What's Really Wrong With Flip Flops?
By Dr. Rion Berg
June 20, 2016
Category: Heel pain

Summer is finally here and you're just bought yourself a new pair of flip flops and got a fabulous pedicure. Now you're totally set to have an awesome summer with your friends. Your first stop is the beach on Alki and then your all headed to the Seattle Great Wheel and for a long walk on the waterfront.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I'm here to let you know that while flip flops are great for the beach and pool, they pale in comparison to other types of sandals and shoes when it comes to keeping you upright. That's right--you're much more likely to twist and ankle, trip, and fall when you've got them on particularly when you wear them walking, dancing, or for other activities.

But that's not all!

They can also create a lot of other problems for your feet.

Heel pain - flip flops have absolutely no arch support. If you have flat feet, you're already prone to heel pain. Wearing flip flops will only make it more likely for you to develop this painful condition.

Bunions and hammertoes - the other problem with flip flops is that you have to constantly grip with your toes to keep them on your feet. That repeated gripping can cause painful tendinitis and lead to more rapid bunion and hammertoe formation. If your mother has either of these conditons, you're much more likely to get them -- swearing off flip flops except at the beach is a really good idea.

Stress fractures - walking, dancing, or exercising in flip flops can cause stress fractures or cracks in the bones of your feet.

Blisters - flip flops allow your foot to move around a lot and that can cause very painful blisters.

What Can Be Done?

  • Bring an extra pair of sandals or tennis shoes with you when you go out; that way you can switch out of your flip flops when activities ramp up.
  • Buy a pair of flip flops that have arch support like these Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal.
  • Look for a leather footbed when you shop; that will help prevent blisters.

If you're experiencing pain due to flip flop overuse, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+