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

nadiakhanus by nadiakhanus | edison, NJ
Jul 27, 2008

I also have a flip flop sandal and i think if we choose a comfortable sandal which have a foaming cushions to support feet there would be no pain and obviously these comfortable sandals would be some what expensive but they worth paying that much amount so i would not left wearing flip flops but i will not buy cheap flip flops.

tbolliecat by tbolliecat | COLUMBUS, OH
Jul 27, 2008

I found that the Adidas flip-flops with the soft foam cushion footbeds are very comfortable. I like them so much that I bought a second pair this summer. I wear them all the time and don't notice any discomfort. Unless I know that I will be doing a huge amount of walking, I tend to wear and will continue to wear my flip-flops during the summer months.

Salemsw by Salemsw | Millbury, MA
Jul 27, 2008

I love flip flops -but I do agree with the article when going on vaction I and my children wear them bumming around but if your walking around lets say Cape Cod you really have to wear sneakers even though I would rather be wearing my nice Roco Wear ones which I have 5 pairs in different colors..

usagiseiya by usagiseiya | Fresno, CA
Jul 26, 2008

That really bites! I'm in regular shoes for work 40hrs+ a week! When I get off I need freedom. I'll have to look up some of the sandles/Flip flops yous guys are talking about.

ladyvet by ladyvet | Chicago, IL
Jul 26, 2008

I have had problems with my feet, back and ankles. That being said, I can tell the difference between wearing my teeva flip flops ($20) and wearing more pricy sandals such as chacos and Keens. At the end of the day, I would recommend Keens . I love mine so much that I wear them into the winter months. If your on a shoe string budget, and don't mind bargin hunting you should be able to find a pair for under $65. If your in a hurry and can't shop around be ready to drop atleast $90. Good luck and may your feet be happy.

almitchell07 by almitchell07 | Brooklet, GA
Jul 25, 2008

Flips flops are comfy. I love the freedom that it gives. However, I do see the point in this article. This is coming from a teacher's point of view. Being that I am on my feet all day, they do hurt more when I wear my "dressy" flip flops, than my regular shoes. Sandals, I guess, is the answer for freedom and comfort.

queenplease by queenplease | Fort Smith, AR
Jul 25, 2008

I love non-confining flip flops but it's true that I have a great deal more hip and back pain in warm months than winter.

FloridaGirl57 by FloridaGirl57 | Polk City, FL
Jul 25, 2008

I love the freedom and easy of flip-flops (easy to get off and on) but because of all the mounds of red ants we have here in Florida, I haven't had a pair in years. Nothing worse than red ant bites all over your toes!

melsy00 by melsy00 | TOMBALL, TX
Jul 24, 2008

I do not like flip-flops, never have, never will. I find them very uncomfortable.

sweetcoron by sweetcoron | Redmond, WA
Jul 24, 2008

The results aren't surprising considering that with most flip flops, you have to walk differently to keep them from sliding off your foot. And the back part coming away from your sole when you lift your foot up feels unsecure.

rtrap by rtrap | Lakewood, NY
Jul 24, 2008

I have knee problems and know I probably should give up my flip flops but since I purchased Crocs flip flops I haven't taken them off.

agulbenk by agulbenk | Fairfield, CT
Jul 24, 2008

I have known for years that flip flops are a problem, I have a pair of keen flips flops I bought last summer that have arch support and even though i get teased for the toe guard, I wear these sandals everywhere and all summer long. :-)

mom714 by mom714 | Woodstock, GA
Jul 24, 2008

I love flip flops also... but I mostly wear great sandals made by Tatami. I am told that they are a sister company of Birks. I do not know for sure. They are great looking and also have a wonderful arch support. They are a feminine sandal and compliment your legs, were I feel crocks and birks dont.

Dreama by Dreama | BURLINGTON, KS
Jul 24, 2008

I love flip flops. I would wear them year round. I am sure I will have some problems from them but they are so cute. I am addicted. I want to try the victoria secret fip flops. They look cute and they claim to tone you as you wear them...

mr44 by mr44 | Newark, DE
Jul 24, 2008

I love to wear flip flops. My legs at times will ache if I wear them for a long time standing/moving. But it won't stop me from wearing them for errands or around the house.