As the weather warms, we will begin to put away our winter boots and break out shoes of the open-toe variety. With this seasonal change, often comes injuries associated with flip flop use. This article will breakdown why flip flops are dangerous and what to look for in a “good” flip flop if you just cannot live without them.
Not all flip flops are created equal. However, the anatomy of the flip flop remains relatively constant despite the overall quality of the product itself. The first issue with flip flops is that, due to the backless nature of the shoe, the foot’s tendons and toes must over grip to keep the shoe on the foot. This results in fatigue of the tendons which may cause tendonitis or injury. In addition to the over gripping, most flip flops offer little-to-no arch support or shock absorption with cushion. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, or other stress-related injuries.
It is important to examine the quality of your flip flops carefully. Lack of arch support and cushion may result in injuries such as ankle sprains or stress fractures. These injuries are avoidable by choosing a more supportive sandal. If you experience these injuries, the recovery may last up to 8 weeks. If possible, sandals with a heel strap provide added support that may help prevent these injuries.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, here are a few tips on what to look for if you are considering wearing a flip flop.
When it comes to smart flip flop design, there are two companies that meet all or our requirements.
Even with the most supportive versions of a flip flop, there are populations that should never wear flip flops. Most notably, diabetics with peripheral neuropathy should always take caution when walking in shoes as open as flip flops. The risk for injury to the foot without notice is increased when the foot is not protected.
A full list of APMA-approved sandals can be found on their website. APMA Seal of Approval