No Flip Flops

Cartoon of someone falling with flip flop shoes

Flip Flops Falls

The floppiness of flip flops increases our risk for ending up with our face (and our pride) down in the mud where our feet just were a second ago.  When we spend a lot of time walking on unfamiliar ground unaware that there might be a little dip in the grass next to the picnic table, or a sewer connection hidden in the grass.  Flip flops tend to get caught on things as a closed shoe can’t, and our risk for falling increases in unfamiliar surroundings.  Especially when on hills or other uneven surfaces, leave the flip flops behind and choose something more fitted instead.

To keep flip flops on our feet, we need to scrunch our toes to grip the thong.  This is exactly opposite of what our toes should be doing at that phase in the gait cycle.  This leads to a whole chain of events; our stride shortens, our leg and hip muscles have to work harder and other muscles shut down.  We change our gait when we walk in flip flops, and that can lead to chronic inflammation and pain in the feet, hips, and low back.  Sherri Greene, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City, advises wearing flip-flops for no more than a few hours at a time.  When more active, switch to shoes with more support.  Never wear flip flops while exercising.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not an anti-flop activist!  Still, I only use them when not active and/or on flat surfaces for short periods of time.  Take care of your feet, friends!  They’re the only pair you get.