We love flip flops for the summer – cool, practical and fashionable – what’s not to like?
But experts have warned that flip flops could be a risk hazard and could even cause long term foot damage.
The lack of support and structure – which is the very appeal of flip flops – can be a problem for feet.
The hazards include tripping or slipping off the shoe and falling over, as well as it being much easier to stub a toe or suffer injury from a loose stone in the shoe.
But there are other less obvious risks too.
- Wearing flip flops can alter the way you walk. Toes can scrunch to keep them on due to lack of arch support and strides can become altered as you walk. These almost unnoticeable accommodations can have consequences in terms of tendon problems or back pain
- Lack of cushioning or support can lead to plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation. It can also result in stress fractures or hammer toes
- Exposed feet can dry out – the skin on the heel can become cracked and painful, even infected in worst cases. This is best treated with daily moisturisation to keep skin supple
- Rubbing, blisters, soreness and irritation can also be caused, especially for those not used to flip flops or who walk too far or run in them
Flip Flop Buying Advice
From American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
Some flip flops are better than others. There are designs offering cushioned and/or supportive/shaped foot beds for more protection. There are also styles with more wider and more supportive straps. The APMA recommend:
- Look for flip flops made of high-quality, soft leather to minimise blisters/irritation
- Gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring that it bends at the ball of the foot – it should not fold in half
- Make sure your foot doesn’t hang off the edge of the flip-flop – flip flops should be slightly bigger than your feet
- Make sure you inspect older flip-flops and throw them away if they show signs of severe wear
Finally, be sensible as to when, where and how you wear flip flops.
Podiatry Services, London
If you have any concerns about your feet, a podiatrist could be able to provide help and treatment.
Alaa Razak is a London podiatrist based at The Smart Clinics. She specialises in
- Adult gait analysis (prescription of orthotics)
- Musculoskeletal podiatry;
- Lower limb acupuncture and manipulation
- Often combines various treatment options to achieve successful outcomes of Foot and Ankle problems.
Contact The Smart Clinics to request a podiatry appointment.
Private Healthcare London
The Smart Clinics is a private healthcare company established in 2013, offering a membership-based alternative to NHS care for individuals and families.
The Company describes itself as:
London’s pre-eminent integrated healthcare clinics
The company offers patients a choice of two conveniently located and comfortably equipped clinics at Brompton Cross (South Kensington) and Wandsworth.
Telephone our team on 020 7052 0070.