Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

Person's feet in flip-flops on sandy beach 1 share on Pinterestkali9/Getty Images Flip-flops make up a quintessential part of the summer wardrobe. They come in a variety show of prices and styles, from $ 5 slices of neon foam to luxury footwear made of handmade leather. many people enjoy flip-flops because they take alone a moment to slip on and off, and they provide hot feet with plenty of breathing room.

even, flush though flip-flop offer appliance and ease, you don ’ thyroxine want to wear them every day. Flip-flops are besides finespun for arduous use, and they can ’ triiodothyronine offer the confirm your feet need for day by day life. While occasionally wearing flip-flops may not pose a major health hazard, it ’ second crucial to wear them in moderation. If you overwear your flip-flops, your aching feet may complain late. Over time, interchange may change the direction you walk and contribute to problems like shin splints. Read on to learn more about how flip-flop can affect your feet and how to pick a good pair.

When can you wear flip-flops?

Flip-flops can work well for short-run, fooling habit — for case, if you need to dip outside to grab the newspaper or accept a pizza manner of speaking. Rubber or plastic flip-flops are often easy to clean and quick-drying, which besides makes them ideal for wet locations like the beach. If you have to choose between flip-flops and going barefoot, shoes of any kind make a safe choice .

Protect your feet

When you go barefooted outdoor, you run the risk of :

  • stepping on splinters, glass, or other small, sharp objects
  • burning your feet on hot sand or concrete
  • getting blisters or rashes from rough surfaces
  • developing a bacterial or fungal infection, especially in areas with standing water

Wearing flip-flops in public showers, like at gymnasium or university dorms, can besides help you protect your feet from common infections.

When should you avoid flip-flops?

Flip-flops might have you covered in sealed situations, but other circumstances call for hardy shoes. You ’ ll typically want to grab more supportive footwear when :

Walking long distances

Most flip-flop barely can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate go the distance. Their thin, onionskin platforms don ’ thymine offer significant shock assimilation, and they rarely provide arch support or heel cushion. After a trek in flip-flops, you ’ ll likely notice your feet hurt, about as if you wore no shoes at all .

Playing sports

You ’ ll probably find it sturdy to run and jump in flip-flop. The lapp loose paroxysm that makes them slowly to slip on besides makes them prone to flying in the air whenever you try to kick a ball. flush if you manage to keep your horseshoe on and connect with the ball, you may squish your poor, unprotected toes. Most flip-flop preceptor ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate offer much traction on the land, either. If you slip, the shoe ’ s miss of structure can make it easier to twist or sprain your ankle. fair like you might remember from gymnasium class, it ’ mho always a beneficial idea to wear closed-toe shoes for sports and early outdoor activities .


According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, you may want to take your flip-flops off before getting behind the rack. thinly flip-flops can bend and get stuck under the brake pedal, making it hard to stop your car in time. Wet flip-flops can pose a different problem : You might find your foundation keeps slipping off the pedals before you can push them down. When you ’ ra driving a car, even a moment of delay can cause a clang. Wearing closed-heel footwear is by and large your safest choice.

How can flip-flops damage your feet?

excessively much meter in flip-flops can contribute to a number of branch and feet issues, including :


When you slide your feet into a flip-flop, the skin on your toes may rub against the flog. If your feet are sweaty or wet, this moisture and friction can form the perfect recipe for blisters. Blisters between your toes can prove slippery to treat. Your toes naturally rub together when you walk, and sometimes sports tape or bandages can increase the clash. If your blisters keep opening back improving, they can take an annoyingly long time to heal. In abruptly, you may have more luck preventing blisters from appearing in the beginning place, and limiting flip-flop use can help .

Heel pain

Your plantar dashboard is a ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your cad to your toes. When your plantar dashboard tears, it can cause pain in your heel called plantar fasciitis. Flip-flops can make plantar fasciitis more likely. here ’ randomness why :

  • Your toes need to flex and grip the strap to keep the shoes on. This may cause the ligament to stretch.
  • Without arch support, your foot flattens more than usual when you step down. This can also cause the ligament to stretch.
  • When you take a step, your heel meets the ground first. Without cushioning to soften the strike, the tissue around your heel absorbs the force of the impact, stressing the ligament further.

If you have plantar fasciitis, try these shoes rather .

Sprained ankles

Your ankles tend to roll more when you wear interchange. For light periods, this change in gait credibly won ’ metric ton pose a serious concern. But over time, your ankles may grow less steady, making them more vulnerable to sprains .

Shin splints

Walking in flip-flop makes the muscles in the front of your branch work harder than they would if you went barefoot, or wear more supportive footwear. Overusing these muscles can cause them to develop bantam tears and become painfully inflamed. This leads to medial tibial stress syndrome, normally called shin splints .

Alternatives to flip-flops

Some kinds of flip-flops are less likely to cause injury than others. For exemplar, some flip-flops have more of a T-shape than the authoritative V, with straps that circle your foot near the ankle. research from 2014 suggests these T-shape flip-flops can offer a fiddling more ankle stability because at least the front part of your ankle is supported. That said, sandals that circle the back of your ankle will provide even more stability. You may besides want to check out the footbed on any likely purchase. Some reversal come with arch documentation and extra cushion. These styles can help prevent heel pain, though they may cost more than generic two-dimensional flip-flops .

Flip-flops vs. slides

The flip-flop ’ randomness sibling horseshoe is the slither, which has one flog that goes directly across your foot. Since slides have no bag for your toes, you might wonder if they ’ re better for your feet. But a 2013 learn suggests there ’ s not much dispute between flip-flops and slides. Researchers found that both shoes had virtually identical effects on pace. They did find that flip-flop motivate people to step down a little more cursorily, but tied that deviation remained relatively small. Experts have besides found little difference between flip-flops and Croc slip-ons. According to two discriminate studies, Crocs didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate appear to offer any advantages in walking pace or balance, though they do provide toe coverage .

The bottom line

Flip-flops might offer appliance, comfort, and evening style for your feet, but they aren ’ thymine suitable for physical activity. If you wear them excessively frequently, your feet and legs may start aching due to lack of confirm. To sum up, you ’ ll probably want to reserve flip-flops for taking out the trash, showering at the gymnasium, or wading at the beach. For anything more arduous, you ’ re better off grabbing sturdier shoes.

Emily Swaim is a freelance health writer and editor who specializes in psychology. She has a BA in English from Kenyon College and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. In 2021, she received her Board of Editors in Life Sciences ( BELS ) documentation. You can find more of her work on GoodTherapy, Verywell, Investopedia, Vox, and Insider. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn .

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Category : Fashion

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