Can Flip Flops Be Dangerous?

2023 | Foot and Ankle | 0 comments

There are benefits that many people enjoy while wearing flip flops.  These can include feeling fresh air on the feet, additionally, they are easy to wear, and come in a variety of colors and styles. Many people who choose to wear flip flops take shorter steps, and this can lead to altering the gait, or walking style.  If you would like more information about the dangers of wearing flip flops, please consult with a podiatrist.

Why are flip flops dangerous?


Despite these benefits, frequently wearing flip flops can lead to specific foot conditions.  These types of shoes offer little or no arch support and can lead to developing plantar fasciitis.  The toes can become fatigued from gripping the top of the shoe to keep it on the foot.  There is also limited ankle support which may increase the risk of falling.  Cracked heels can develop from wearing these shoes that do not have a back or strap.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear.  If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Garden State Foot and Ankle.  Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.


Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they’re perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk


Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries.  On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

 I like Wearing Flip-Flops.  Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

Flip flops are often a popular choice of footwear for many people.  Flip flops allow your feet to breathe and give your toes freedom of movement.  They are easy to slip on and can be worn with virtually any style of clothing. Flip flops, however, despite their many benefits, can be detrimental for your foot health.

Despite their comfortableness, frequently wearing flip flops can create problems in the lower body over time.  Issues mainly stem from the fact that people walk differently in flip flops compared to other footwear, such as sneakers.  This is due to a change in one’s natural gait, which therefore creates stress in different parts of the body while hindering the body’s natural posture.  Problems can also arise in the arches and balls of the feet.  Flip flops provide little to no support to these areas.


Long Term Problems

Aside from long-term problems, flip-fops can also create short-term issues as well, such as ankle sprains and blisters.  Weak materials that are flexible and bendable are generally used to manufacture flip flops.  These materials make its wearers prone to both tripping and injuring their ankles.  Flip flops can create blisters as the material rubs against the foot.  People are much more at risk for infection while wearing flip flops due to their openness.  This also makes it easier to scrape and cut the foot since there is a lack of protection.  If these cuts are left untreated and uncovered, the risk then becomes greater.


Sturdy Flip Flops

There is no problem in wearing your favorite pair of flip flops so as long as you do not wear them daily or for extended periods of time.  Flip flops should be replaced every 3-4 months to ensure that they provide your feet with the best protection.  Purchase a pair of flip flops that offer significant protection.  The soles of the flip flops should not be floppy, but sturdy and firm, and should not significantly bend or wiggle when lifted from the floor.  Flip flops made of high-quality materials will not be affected by this problem.  While higher quality flip flops may be more expensive, they will last longer and provide better protection compared to a cheaper pair.  Brand name flip flops sold from a quality manufacturer are a dependable option.

Toms River Diabetic Wound Care Specialist


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