flip flops bad for feet

Step Podiatry

We are Cardiff podiatrists providing high quality foot care.​

Are flip flops bad for your feet? – Step Podiatry

So let me talk about flip flops from a chiropodists point of view.

We all love the casual feel of flip flops, whether it’s on holiday or for comfortable footwear at home. As professionally trained podiatrists we hear all your reasons for loving flip flops from “They keep my feet cool, they are easy to throw on or they come in great styles and colours”. However, what you don’t realise is that wearing flip flops have a pretty bad effect on your feet. Lets discuss ways in which flip flops & sandals can negatively effect your feet, and how you can prevent poor foot health from happening.

Lack Of Foot Support

Don’t get me wrong, wearing flip flops is way better than walking around barefoot, they provide a layer of protection (albeit a very thin layer). The unfortunate thing about flip flops is they do not provide any support for your heel or your arch. Shoe’s aren’t meant to be designed to be gripped with your toes to stay on.

Having poor foot support is one of the worst things any shoe can provide, it can lead to serious complications further along in life, you may begin to see notable differences in your walking, for example you may begin standing on your toes, which can further lead to back and leg pain.

If you’re in need of some supportive footwear, Clarks have a wide selection of alternative styles and types to help with a variety of different supports.

Blisters & Sores

A common cause of blisters is footwear, especially flip flops, this is due to typically cheaper ‘plastic’ material rubbing against the skin, causing friction & irritation. Flip flops can also cause a number of sores and discomforts on your feet including;

  • Blisters
  • Corns
  • Hard Skin
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Athletes Foot
  • Viral Infections
  • Foot & Leg Pain
  • Bunion Exacerbation
  • Posture Problems

Whilst these side effects are unpleasant, don’t go throwing away your flip flops just yet, they’re perfectly fine in small doses, but remembering that your feet require support, comfort and in many cases treatment is important.

Top Tips For Buying Flip Flops

  1. Materials – Flip flops cam often be a necessity for holidays, beaches & attending pools, the trick is to find some great brands that offer quality materials. The best flip flops will be durable, they should never be able to fold in half. When shopping for your next pair, preform the fold in half test on each flip flop, they should only be able to bend at the ball of the foot.
  2. Size – You wouldn’t want to purchase any other shoes that offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Make sure your footwear is the same size and fits you perfectly. Incorrectly sized footwear can cause long-lasting damages from curled toes, ingrown toenails, blisters, sores and much more.
  3. Occasion – Know when the right time to be wearing them is, Flip flops aren’t inherently dangerous, but wearing them for long distances, hiking, running or exercising can be.

If you are suffering with any Flip Flop related injuries, pains or issues, please feel free to reach out to a member of the team for support.

Corinne May, BSc Hons. Podiatry. College of Podiatry Registered.

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