It’s the summer and it’s time to break out your flip flops. Or maybe not according to noted physician Dr. Zach Vaupel, a foot and ankle surgeon and orthopedist. He lays out a variety of reasons why flip flops are a hazard to your health. There is no support and you can easily trip while wearing them. Flip flop sandals were invented some 1,500 years ago by the Egyptians. Since that time, they have in and out of fashion dozens of times. Can something that’s been around that long actually be a threat? I don’t know but the democratic party has been around for over 200 years.
Dr. Vaupel says that flip flops can cause all manner of foot injuries, including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, stress fractures, heel pain, and even stress fractures.
The short term comfort of having a shoe that can easily slip on and off at the pool can be far outweighed by long term damage to your feet, ankles, and legs.
Dr. Vaupel also says that in his career he has seen flip flops cause such immediate injuries as “trips and falls, strains and sprains, and broken bones.”
Furthermore, they offer no protection from sunburn or from falling objects that can easily crush toes, cut soft tissue and cause skin abrasions.
According to a 2009 Auburn University study “flip-flop wearers took shorter steps and their heels hit the ground with less vertical force than those wearing athletic shoes.” Their conclusion was that people with such issues as flat feet should be wearing shoes that provide more support than flip flops are capable of.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service found that in 2010 there were two hundred thousand flip flop related injuries in England costing the country more than forty million pounds, or roughly eighty million dollars.
If you must find an open toed shoe for your summer activities, consider other, more well designed sandals that feature thicker soles, straps to hold the shoe attached to the foot at the heel, and made of better materials.