Flip Flops Aren't Good For Your Feet: Here's Why

Flip-flops are essential footwear in the summer wardrobe. They exist in a variety of prices and styles, from neon foam to luxury footwear made from handmade leather. Many people enjoy flip-flops because they are quick to put on and take off and help sweaty feet breathe.

Still, even though flip-flops offer comfort, it’s not recommended to wear them every day. Flip-flops are too delicate for intensive use and cannot offer the support that the feet need for daily life.

Although the occasional use of flip-flops may not pose a major health risk, it is important to wear them in moderation. If we use them too much, sore feet can complain later. Over time, flip flops can change the way we walk and contribute to problems like leg cramps.

When to wear flip flops?

These shoes can work well for short-term casual wear, for example if we need to go out for the paper or accept a pizza delivery. Rubber or plastic flip-flops are usually easy to clean and quick-drying, which also makes them ideal for more humid places like the beach, swimming pools, or locker rooms.

If we have to choose between flip flops and going barefoot, these shoes are a safer option. When we go barefoot outside, we run the risk of:

  • Stepping on splinters, glass, or other small, sharp objects
  • Burning your feet on hot sand or concrete
  • Getting blisters or rashes from rough surfaces
  • Developing a bacterial or fungal infection, especially in areas with standing water

Wearing flip-flops in public showers, such as gyms or college dorms, can also help protect your feet from infections like athlete’s foot.

When to avoid flip flops?

These shoes can cover us in certain situations, but other circumstances require more resistant shoes.

walk long distances

Most flip flops can’t go all the way. Their thin, flimsy platforms offer no significant shock absorption and rarely provide arch support or heel cushioning.

After a walk in flip flops, we will probably notice that our feet hurt, almost as if we were not wearing shoes. In addition, with the heat it is possible that friction injuries appear.

Do sport

We will probably find it difficult to run and jump in flip flops. The same loose fit that makes them easy to put on also makes them prone to flying every time we try to kick a ball. Even if we manage to keep the flip flop on and connect with the ball, we can crush the poor unprotected fingers.

Most flip flops also don’t offer much traction on the ground. If you do slip, the lack of structure in the shoe can make it easier to twist or twist your ankle.


According to the General Directorate of Traffic, we may want to take off our flip-flops before getting behind the wheel. Thin flip-flops can bend and get stuck under the brake pedal, making it difficult to stop the car in time.

Wet flip-flops can pose a different problem: your foot may slip off the pedals before you can push them down. When we drive a car, even a second of delay can cause a crash. Wearing closed-heeled shoes is generally the safest option.

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common injuries

Too much time in flip flops can contribute to a number of leg and foot problems.


When we slip our feet into a flip flop, the skin on our toes can rub against the strap. If feet are sweaty or wet, this moisture and friction can form the perfect recipe for blisters.

Blisters between the toes can be difficult to treat. Our toes naturally rub together when we walk, and sometimes sports tape or bandages can increase the friction. If the blisters keep breaking open, they can take a long time to heal.

plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel to the toes. When the plantar fascia tears, it can cause heel pain called plantar fasciitis. Flip-flops can make plantar fasciitis more common.

The toes should be flexed and grasp the strap to keep the shoes on. This can cause the ligament to stretch. Also, it doesn’t have arch support, so the foot flattens out more than normal when you step down. This can also cause the ligament to stretch.

When we take a step, the heel hits the ground first. With no cushioning to soften the blow, the fabric around the heel absorbs the force of impact, further stressing the ligament.

Sprains and cramps

Ankles tend to roll more when wearing flip flops. For short periods, this change in gait is probably not a serious concern. But over time, ankles can become less firm, making them more vulnerable to sprains.

Walking in flip-flops makes the muscles in the front of your leg work harder than they would if you were barefoot or wearing more supportive shoes. Overuse of these muscles can cause them to develop small tears and become painfully inflamed. This leads to medial tibial stress syndrome, commonly called leg cramps.

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Alternatives to flip flops

Some types of flip flops are less likely to cause injury than others. For example, some flip flops are more T-shaped than the classic V, with straps that wrap around the foot near the ankle. These T-shaped flip flops may offer a little more ankle stability because at least the front of the ankle is supported.

That said, sandals that hug the back of the ankle will provide even more stability. We may also want to see the template in any potential purchase. Some flip flops come with arch support and extra cushioning. These styles can help prevent heel pain, though they may cost more than generic flat flip-flops.

The flip-flop’s sister shoe is the slide , which has a strap that goes directly over the foot. Since slides don’t have toe grips, you might wonder if they’re better for your feet.

A study suggests that there is not much difference between flip-flops and slides. The researchers found that both had virtually identical effects on gait. Experts have also found little difference between Crocs flip-flops and slip-ons. Crocs don’t seem to offer any advantage in gait pace or balance, though they do provide toe protection.