We see them everywhere: on feet, by the pool, and in the sun. While these types of sandals are popular, the darker side to them is little known. Finding flip flops that are good for your feet may be key for happier, healthier feet.
As the warm weather continues to heat up, we tend to find ways to cool down, and for many of us, that means breaking out the trusty ol’ flip flops. Hmm, but are they really that trusty? And is it possible to find flip flops that are good for your feet?
What’s the danger behind flip flops?
Flip flops have been linked with everything from blisters, bacterial and viral infections, and bunion formation, to athlete’s foot, arch pain, and even bad posture.
In 2014, there were close to 26,000 flip-flop related ER visits—roughly about 12% of the overall total. However, most of the damage caused from flip flops relates to persistent, chronic foot pain that is usually treated by podiatrists, rather than the acute foot conditions ER doctors treat in incidents involving flip flops.
For diabetic patients, it’s best to avoid flip flops altogether, as the feet can be too easily exposed to cuts and scrapes that can become life-threatening.
What can I do if I love my flip flops?
If you’re a die-hard flip flop wearing fan, here are 8 tips to keep your feet as protected as possible and to perhaps find flip flops that are good for your feet:
1. Don’t buy flip flops you can easily bend in half—those are super weak and you might as well go barefoot.
2. Make sure that your flip flops have a tread surface that is able to grip smooth or wet surfaces.
3. Choose supportive flip flops that are APMA-approved.
4. Before buying them, walk around in the flip flops to see if the straps rub against your toes.
5. Try to limit the amount of time you wear flip flops. A day at the beach, the pool, quick trips in public showers and locker rooms, or to the store are best.
6. If you’re prone to blisters, go with leather rather than plastic, as leather conforms to your feet better.
7. Throw out flip flops with holes, rips, or worn treads.
8. Replace flip flops every season.
It’s a win-win for enjoying your flip flops as well as for your foot health.
By following these tips and especially following APMA-approved flip flops that are good for your feet, you can still enjoy the carefree joy of footwear that’s light on your feet and healthy.