Since I live in a warm climate, I end up reaching for my favorite pair of flip flops more often than any other shoe. It seems like a low-key, albeit lazy, shoe routine, but it never bothered me until I recently learned the truth about these casual shoes. Spoiler alert: If you aren’t ready to part with your pair, you probably don’t want to read on and learn the truth!
So, what’s so bad about these summer kicks anyways? Foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Zachary Vaupel simplifies it for us by saying, “By definition, it’s kinda flopping off your foot, essentially.”
Well, yeah, Dr. Vaupel—that’s kind of the point of the footwear in the first place! Nevertheless, we do smell what you are stepping in. Simply put: these shoes just aren’t all that supportive! As a matter of fact, the convenience factor may not be worth all of the trouble your feet could run into in the future.
The good foot doc lists heel pain, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, stress fractures, and even shin splints as conditions that he sees in some of his sandal-loving patients. Anyone who has encountered any of these medical issues knows that they go way beyond foot pain—the ailments can be painful, permanent, and costly to cure.
On top of the long-term symptoms that may arise from wearing these shoes, Dr. Vaupel also points out that flip flops themselves can be quite dangerous. In his career, he says that he has seen “trips and falls, strains and sprains, and broken bones,” among other injuries.
And, it makes sense; if you think about it, only the bottom of your foot is covered, and it’s not even properly supported at that.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “I’m not a klutz; who injures themselves wearing flip flops anyways?” Well, ponder this for a second: plenty of kids end up running, skipping, and jumping in their flip flops, and you probably do too without realizing it. I know that I’ve run after my dog while wearing these sandals on a warm summer day!
Though we are trying our best to sway you by providing you with all of the info, we know that this popular footwear is here to stay—and Dr. Vaupel knows it, too! Because of this, he came up with these simple rules of thumb:
Avoid stairs while wearing the shoes
Do not wear them for a prolonged period of time
Make sure that your flip flops are your exact size
Pretty easy, right?
To learn more about the potential dangers of wearing flip flops, as well as the controversial answer to an age-old women’s shoe question, be sure to click on the video below. I think it’s time I start reconsidering my summer footwear wardrobe!
What do you think of these claims? Have you experienced health problems from wearing flip flops? Have you found any sandals that give you full support? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!