Why Flip Flops are bad for Your Feet:
Flip flops. They are the go to shoe in your closet during summer time. They are conveniently easy to put on, and go with every article of clothing you own. You can dress them up or dress them down. There is nothing that compares to them! However, studies are beginning to show that the summer staple may be a complete and total health flop.
Flip flops have no protection. I mean, what if you drop something? What if you stub your toe? Besides this fact, they can be seriously damaging to your feet, which are also the foundation of your entire body. Because your feet aren’t supporting your body the way they should, the rest of your bones, muscles, and ligaments have to overcompensate. Not saying that flip flops aren’t okay for slipping on to the short walk to the pool, but large problems can result from making flip flops your go-to shoe.
Here is a breakdown of how flip flops can be negatively effecting your body:
Your toes are in jeopardy. Because there is only a small strap of fabric holding your foot in its place, your toes overcompensate to grip the shoe to keep it on your foot. That repetitive gripping overtime can overuse the muscles and trigger things such as tendinitis. Tendinitis can be painful and result in tears and ruptures of the tendons. Over wearing your flip flops can also cause hammer toes, which is a contraction of the joints that causes the toes to bend abnormally. Hammer toes can then create uncomfortable bunions or aggravate an existing bunion and make it worse. Also, you are more likely to get blisters when the thin material rubs against the feet. There isn’t much material to stabilize the foot, so rubbing and blisters are more likely to happen.
Your bones are at risk. Overuse can cause stress fractures in the bones of your feet. These stress fractures will develop from repetitive trauma to the foot when there is no cushioning or absorption of force. When you stand or walk to long on a thin flip flop, it can cause these tiny cracks in the bones.
You’ll bring bad bacteria into your home. Here is something gross to keep in mind. A 2009 study showed that flip flops contained over 18,000 types of bacteria, including dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus Aureus and bacteria from fecal matter.
The rest of your body is in danger, too. When walking in flip flops, you carry your body differently than you would with a more supportive shoe. You change the entire way you walk. People wearing flip flops take shorter steps and hit their heels to the grown with less force. This throws off your natural gait and triggers pain and problems throughout the entire body. Changes in your natural gait are proven to cause issues in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.
There are some flip flops that are better for your body than others. Picking flip flops that are the right size (not a one size fits all deal) that doesn’t let your heels or toes hang over the edge of the shoe are better for you. You need more support, so choosing a less bendy flip flop pair is also a smart idea. If you have the option, always choose the flip flops with an arch in them to support your foot. A thicker sole and a little bump in the middle are great for arch support. Try to choose flip flops with a strap on the back so your toes don’t have to over compensate to keep the shoe on your foot and choose materials that are high quality and soft leather. This will help prevent blisters and irritation.