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How Bad Can Flip Flops Really Be For My Feet? (very bad!)
By Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland, PA
June 03, 2015
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Flip Flops  

As the weather gets warmer, more and more people choose to slip their feet into a pair of flip flops. Flip flops are easy to put on, allow your feet to breathe, inexpensive to buy, go with just about any outfit, and come in attractive color choices. However, as cute and simple as flip flops may seem to be, they can be detrimental to your feet. Many patients of Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland, a popular Olney podiatrist office, come in with complications related to wearing poorly designed shoes. Understand the problems that flip flops can create over time, and learn better alternatives for your feet.

The Design of Flip Flips
A standard flip flop is simply made with a flat piece of foam or rubber with a plastic thong at the top that fits between your big and second toe. Because of this, they are extremely cheap and can be purchased for as little as a dollar at a convenience store. As affordable as they may be, they are poorly designed for your feet. A standard flip flop shoe has little to no arch support, no backing for the heel and puts a strain on the tissues and ligaments inside of your feet.

What Foot Problems Can Flip Flops Cause?
Some experts believe that flip flops are the worst type of shoe for the feet, and that is because they cause a plethora of foot problems. Here are just a few that are commonly treated at your local Olney podiatrist office:

  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of tissue that extends forward from the heel bone) 
  • Flat feet (due to no arch support)
  • Heel pain and bone spurs
  • Toe problems (the toes do much of the work when walking in flip flops) and irritation of the skin between the toes

Long-term use of flip flops can even lead to back and hip problems. All of these issues should be immediately treated by your Olney podiatrist.

Better Alternatives
To avoid problems with your feet, choose a better alternative to flip flops. Some manufacturers now offer sneakers that are designed with similar benefits of flip flops—you can easily slip them on and go, but they are better for your feet. Plimsoll or canvas shoes are also comfortable, cheap and easy to wear—you can also add orthotic supports inside of them for added comfort.

Get a Foot Checkup
If you've gotten into the habit of wearing flip flops during much of your day or for long distances of walking, it's a good idea to schedule a checkup with your Olney podiatrist. Call Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland at (301) 924-5044 to request a date and time to see a doctor.