Flip flops are the perfect beach and pool shoe for summertime! TOC podiatrist Kendale Ritchey says, “I am not against wearing flip-flops. They should just be worn for short durations, and not as your primary footwear. Unlike more stable shoes, flip-flops do not absorb the impact of step which forces the toes, arch, heel, calf, and even the back, to bear the brunt of the force. It is perfectly fine to waddle from the pool to the car in flip-flops, but not such a great idea to wear them to work for eight hours! My advice is to purchase a good quality shoe that provides the support your feet need.”
Shoppin’ for a Flop…
- You should look for flip-flops made of high quality, soft, leather-type material. This material, unlike plastic or foam, will minimize the potential for blisters and other irritation.
- Look for flip-flops that carry the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of acceptance, which bases its recommendations on flip-flops that allow for the most normal foot function and promote foot health.
- Gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring that it bends naturally at the ball of the foot. Shoes or flip-flops should never fold in half or twist easily down the axis of the shoe.
- Ensure that your foot does not hang off ANY edge of the flip-flop!
- The sole should have enough tread so that going from a wet to a dry surface does not become slippery, and the top surface should not be slick so that your foot will slide sideways off of the flip-flop.
- There should be a built-in contour of the arch to help promote the natural gait of your foot.
When to not Flip Flop…
- You should never wear flip-flops year after year. Thoroughly inspect older flip-flops for wear; if they show signs of severe wear in the soles, toss them.
- You should never wear flip-flops while walking long distances.
- You should never do yard work while wearing flip-flops.
- You should never play sports in flip-flops.
The following brands are listed on the American Podiatric Medical Association list of recommended products:
The Clarks Companies, N.A.
Keds Corporation, d.b.a. Grasshoppers
Orthaheel (Vasyli) Reebok International Limited
Reef (Reef Arch I)
See Kai Run
Spenco Medical Corporation
Stride-Rite Children’s Group
The Walking Company (Abeo Sandals)