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

cyndylew26 by cyndylew26 | CHICAGO, IL
Jul 21, 2008

i happen to love flip flops. i don't wear them all day, but it's a relief from being confined to closed in shoes if i just wear them around the house or for a quick trip.

rabbitpatches by rabbitpatches | west kingston, RI
Jul 21, 2008

Wow! I just looked in my closet and noticed that my summer shoe designs have changed drastically since I had a heel spur 3 years ago. I have flipflops, yet I really don't wear them anymore. The other day I wore a pair for the first time and my hip hurt me at the end of the day. What my closet is full of now are sketcher shoes and Crocs. I love my crocs maryjanes and sandals especially.

maautry72 by maautry72 | Covington, GA
Jul 20, 2008

flip flops hurt my feet and i seem to drop things on my toes only when i wear them. sandals are so much better!

uniqueusername by uniqueusername | Pittsburg, KS
Jul 19, 2008

From experience I know they are tough on your feet and legs... I wear flip flops all the time and it is so not good for me.. I have heel issues but I hate wearing shoes when it is so nice outside.. Flip flops make my heels hurt so bad, I guess I am a glutton for punishment.. I just cant give them up!!!

lilmami08 by lilmami08 | Bloomingburg, NY
Jul 19, 2008

i wear flip flops from early spring til the first snow falls. i hate confining my feet to sneakers/shoes, but yes, this is true. i have had foot/back problems since i was a little girl. this could also be in part because i have flat feet also. i am supposed to wear special inserts, but i dont.

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jul 18, 2008

Lately my feet and ankles have been sore. I'm sure it's from wearing flip-flops and slide-on sandals everyday during the summer. I hate having hot, athletic shoes on during the warm months!

lcgrag by lcgrag | VOORHEES, NJ
Jul 18, 2008

I bought "FitFlops" & love them. I've had both my bunions removed over the past 5 years & my feet are always a problem, especially walking. These are not!

laurdriz by laurdriz | Syracuse, NY
Jul 18, 2008

I really do agree with this, my hips have been bothering me more than normal. Hey, but if you wear heels then you get bunions, so what one is worse?

Indigoblue by Indigoblue | Holly Springs, GA
Jul 18, 2008

I wear Birkenstock type molded flip flops--or athletic ones--they support my feet--and I have no pain:)

cady by cady | Palm Coast, FL
Jul 18, 2008

Not my Crocs, they have some support. Also I wear birkies sandles. As for the less expensive flat lfip flops I would never wear them because of no support.