Still glowing from the long weekend, a friend at work tells me that she is planning to go summer shoe shopping to update her inventory of sexy sandals, wedges and flip-flops… another coworker gasps.
“Flip flops belong at the beach or in the locker room,” she said. And then she went on this long diatribe about how they are so terrible for your feet and yada, yada, yada.
At first I just thought she was blowing hot air (since she has been known to do that, among other offenses like wearing sneakers with panty hose and a skirt while commuting on the Metro). But when I heard a recent news report on the perils of flip flop wearing I began to think again.
Just like Lindsay Lohan… I love my grocery store flip flops! So, I decided to investigate whether or not they really are [insert gasp here] bad for my feet (and La Lohan’s, too).
Here’s what I uncovered:
Flip flops can cause hammer toes.
Whether they are Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos or your basic CVS convenience store brand, flip flops provide only a single strap to hold your entire foot in place, thus, your toes end up doing all the work. As you walk in them, you inevitably end up gripping your toes onto the shoes, which makes the muscles and tendons in your feet do all the work. This can lead to tendinitis and toes that curl over or are flexed at the middle joint, also know as hammer toes. (More info at: Podcare.com
They can mess up your Achilles tendon.
Flip flops with no arch support can strain the muscle that connects your calf to your heel, also known as the Achilles tendon. If you are used to wearing shoes that have a raised heel, flat-soled flip flops end up overstretching the calf muscles. Some flip flops do have arch support and are made to support the muscles, but most do not and are putting your feet at risk. (More info at: WebMD.com)
They lead to calluses and cracks in dry skin.
According to FitSuger.com “All that pounding on the back of your foot hardens the skin, and since your feet are exposed to air, the skin can dry out. If it gets too dry, the callused skin can crack and bleed, which is very painful.” Check out their list of Reasons to Ditch Your Cheapo Flip-Flops.
So should you ditch your summer flip flops? According to the Newseek article, Flip Flop Flaws you should not. Instead – just like bikinis, tube tops and Spanx – you should wear them in moderation.