Flip-Flop Wearers Beware

   By drodriguez  Jul 17, 2008

Now that the warm summer months are upon us, you may want to toss the sneakers and boots to the back of the closet. Many of us opt to wear something light and airy like the flip-flop for running errands or attending a more casual occasion.

Before heading to the shoe store this summer, you may want to hear about some new research published in the New York Times that shows wearing thong style flip flops can be very hard on your feet, ankles, and legs.

Researchers at Auburn University in Alabama conducted a study by recruiting 39 college-age men and women. The researchers had them wear both flip-flops and athletic shoes. The subjects were then told to walk on a platform where vertical force was measured as their feet hit the ground.

While wearing flip-flops, the subjects in the study tended to take shorter steps and their heels would hit the ground with less vertical force than when they wore athletic shoes. Justin Shroyer, a biomechanics doctoral student explained the study’s findings by saying, “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.

So does this mean we should say goodbye to the flip-flop for good? Probably not. Shroyer, who admittedly owns a couple pairs himself, recommends people only wear flip-flops for shorter periods of time, like at the beach or running a quick errand. Shroyer stresses that the flip-flop is just not designed to support the foot and ankle for all-day wear.

What do you think of the new research stating that flip-flop wearers may experience foot, ankle, and leg pain?

Now that you’ve heard about the study, will you to give up the flip-flop on longer excursions?

Make a Comment

Lillielambs by Lillielambs | Marengo, IA
Aug 04, 2008

I love my flip flops. My Mom chews my butt when she sees me wearing them (which in the summer is everytime she sees me). I only wear the Nike brand. Not that it is much better, but there is some support in them. I just can't handle my feet being hot. And, how are you supposed to have pretty feet and tonails if they are cooped up in stinky shoes all day? (LOL!! My hubby says that I need to change my priorities in life....I think he is CRAZY:) )

carob07 by carob07 | Monroe, LA
Aug 01, 2008

I love wearing sandals and have tried many brands. I do own a few pairs that I love the look and just had to have, and wear them when I won't be standing or walking for long period of times. Sandals that I have and wear that do support my feet all day are from Berkinstock, Merrell, and Columbia. They have some cute sandals!

KrystenMarie by KrystenMarie | Davie, FL
Aug 01, 2008

This is horrible news for me. I've grown quite a liking for sandals and now that is all I own. I have a few pairs of flats but those i barely wear

pop_tart_sm by pop_tart_sm | Eagle Mounta, UT
Jul 31, 2008

I agree with the study on the fact that I only have issues when I wear them for an extended period of time. Otherwise they've been fine for me to slip on and run to the store with. If I am going to be walking alot though, I usually wear my athletic shoes.

firecracker by firecracker | Elgin, TX
Jul 31, 2008

Never had any problems. I will say with kids convenience is the key and sandals are easy to slip on when you are on the go.

langash by langash | Hampton Bays, NY
Jul 31, 2008

I'm a stay at home mom and i'm always always with my flip-flops on... even in winter i wear them (indoors of course) and i really can't tell that i've had any kind of problems i hope i won't get any problem any time soon...

ravysmom03 by ravysmom03 | Limington, ME
Jul 31, 2008

I don't think I could ever stop wearing my flip flops! I will wear the m less often now though!

binhach by binhach | Teaneck, NJ
Jul 31, 2008

ooooooo.... i love my havaianas... they keep my feet cool... but will reconsider - though reluctantly! :)

aaahchuu by aaahchuu | Jefferson, TX
Jul 31, 2008

I'm diabetic and my doctor told me not to wear them but I do like them.

klfindley by klfindley | Toccoa, GA
Jul 30, 2008

I will continue to wear my flip flops because during the summer who wants to have hot sweat sneaker feet. Yeah flip flops may have less support but I think they are mor comfortable.

momof3insprings by momof3insprings | Coral Springs, FL
Jul 30, 2008

OMG. i am a flip flop junkie.!!! No wonder my low back always hurts. Oh well. I live in South Fla. I can't wear sneaks. I need my feet out.

mlb477 by mlb477 | south orange, NJ
Jul 30, 2008

i love flip flops! i've worn them since i was a little girl and i'm 53 years old. the summer is the only season that my feet don't hurt. they can study all they want but until you are a flip flop wearer you just don't know.

karensava by karensava | Hawthorne, NJ
Jul 30, 2008

Everyone should invest in FitFlops. I have two pairs. They are great!!!

chaos7448 by chaos7448 | Scotts, MI
Jul 30, 2008

I wear flip flops until the snow flies. I even wear them when I see my orthopedic surgeon. I am about to have my second hip surgery in two years. Interesting read. I will have to ask my surgeon what he thinks.

toriphilly by toriphilly | buffalo, NY
Jul 30, 2008

Awesome thanks for the info on FitFlops. I am willing to pay the extra $$ esp being an adult my shoes last for ever! Plus if they do what they say that would be a bonus!