10 Reasons Why You Should Not Wear Flip Flops

Circle of flip flops on grass
Multicolor circle of flip flops on grass.

Although nothing signifies summer more than wearing your favourite flip flops, but studies suggest that wearing them regularly can cause foot pain and other ailments.  Wearing flip flops can change the biomechanics of your foot.  When you wear them, you have to walk in an awkward fashion, putting pressure on your heel then moving to the outside of your foot and onto the big toe.  This can cause stress to your ankles, shins, knees and hips.  Flip flops should be strictly for the beach or pool.  Problems arise when people who live in warmer climates wear them daily.  Flip flops are so cheap, you can buy a few pairs without breaking the bank.  The problem, pinching pennies with summer footwear isn’t doing your feet any favors.  Here are some reasons you should skip the flip flops and opt for more supportive shoes.

10.  They can cause terrible blisters.

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When the only thing supporting your foot is a thin strap, it runs up against your skin every time you take a step, causing blisters and irritation.  When the blisters pop, you’re left with an open wound which makes it you more vulnerable to the pathogens you pick up anytime foot is exposed.

9.  They can permanently damage your toes.

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Wearing flip flops means your toes need to work harder to keep your shoe on your foot, which over a period of time can cause hammertoe.  Hammertoe is when the knuckles of your toes bend, leaving your toes stiff and painful.  To avoid this, it’s a better idea to wear a strappy sandal that goes behind your ankle for extra support.

8.  They can cause shooting pain.

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The arch of your foot helps to support your knees, hips, and back.  Flat-footed people need to wear shoes that support their arch or they are looking into injuries all over their body including Achilles tendonitis, heel pain, and pinched nerves in the back.

7.  They can exacerbate bunions.

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A bunion is a bump at the big toe joint and it can become quite painful when your toes have to work extra hard to keep flip flops on your feet.  Overgripping can cause a lot of problems with painful bunions.

6.  They could be made of toxic materials.

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Many people are allergic to the plastic straps that are made of latex or plastic that contains BPA, a toxin linked to various cancers.  It’s better to wear sandals or if you are dead set on a pair of flip flops, opt for the ones with fabric or leather straps, because we all know natural materials tend to be safer.

5.  They ruin your posture.

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If your extremely flat shoe doesn’t bend like your foot does when you walk barefoot, it could be altering the biomechanics of your foot and ultimately affecting your posture.

4.  They destroy your heels.

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When there’s a thin piece of foam separately your foot from the ground, your heel hits the ground with much more force.  Walking in flip flops increases the heel-strike impact, which could end up causing pain, especially if your wear them for an extended period of time.

3.  They make you extra clumsy. 

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A study done at Auburn University found that people who wear flip flops take smallers steps that those who wear sneakers.  Those short strides increase your risk of tripping.

2.  They slow you down.

A girl walking in flip flops on wet pavement
A girl walking in flip flops on wet pavement

You might think they’re the comfiest shoes in the world but they actually make you walk slower because your shoes are only hanging onto your feet by a plastic strap so it’s takes your foot longer to take a stride.

1.  They expose your feet to bacteria, viral and fungal infections. 

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It’s a given that whenever you wear flip flops your feet will get dirty.  Sometimes they’re likely to get covered in gross bacteria like Staphylococcus.  In the best case it can irritate the skin on your foot and in the worst case scenario it could lead to amputation.  The intensity depends on the how exposed your foot is to the bacteria. You might have tiny wounds from exfoliation from a pedicure.  You can also get athlete’s foot, an itchy fungal infection that’s highly contagious.  It is spread by contact with something that in contaminated.  When you’re wearing flip flops, you’re virtually barefoot, so you could be welcoming any fungus lying in your path.  You can pick up viruses that cause warts or human papillomavirus (HPV).

Experts aren’t saying you have to live without your flip flops completely.  They’re great for the pool or showers at the gym – just don’t walk in them for extended periods of time.  We know that flip flops are practically the definition of summer, but doesn’t hearing all this change your mind about how often you’ll wear your flip flops?

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10 Reasons Why You Should Not Wear Flip Flops

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