Flip Flop Fails

Eugene Pascarella
Dr. Eugene Pascarella, with a desire to help people, began Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida in July 1984.

How to avoid foot pain with flip flops!Flip flops can practically be called the state shoe of Florida! In fact, with our weather, we can pretty much wear them all year ‘round -- but beware! These go-to shoes can often mess with your feet. Their lack of arch support, shock absorbency, and cushioning can result in foot pain and chronic problems. How can flip flops fail you? Let us count the ways!

  • Your toes need to constantly grip the shoe, and that repetitive action can lead to hammertoes, encourage bunion formation, and overuse muscles and tendons resulting in imbalance issues and tendinitis.
  • Standing or walking too long without cushioning or any material to absorb shock, can place so much pressure on your feet that stress fractures can develop in your bones. It can also result in ball of foot, heel, and arch pain.
  • That crazy thing between your toes can cause painful blisters that leave skin vulnerable to infection.
  • Flip flops harbor bacteria! Direct exposure to your skin can cause a host of problems, including fungal infections and warts.
  • Because your feet are fully exposed, you also run the risk of sunburn as well as injury.
  •  Without support, your natural gait can be affected when walking in flip flops, causing not only foot pain, but issues with your ankles, knees, hips, and back as well.

We know what you’re thinking – you can’t imagine living without your flip flops! Well, the good news is, not every pair is created equal. There are some styles that have redeeming qualities, and if worn in moderation, will help you to avoid the list of flip flop fails above.

Look for a pair with a strap on the back to help keep your feet from moving around too much. Also, you want a thicker sole and a bit of a rise in the arch to provide support. Give it the bend test -- make sure you can’t easily bend it in half! You should steer clear of plastic and rubber that promote sweat and blisters, and instead opt for materials like leather. Finally, never buy one-size-fits all flip flops. If they don’t fit your feet correctly, they can increase your risk of injury.

Don’t let your flip flops fail you! Follow these guidelines so you can avoid foot pain. Of course, if you do notice signs of trouble, just give us a call 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County).

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