It’s hard to imagine a summer without flip-flops. But the truth is if you don’t choose them carefully and limit your time wearing them, your feet and ankles can suffer. Board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center invites you to take a look at these pros and cons:
- Flip-flops protect your feet in places where bacteria and viruses thrive, like locker rooms, pool decks, and hotel rooms. In these warm and soggy places, flip-flops offer easy-on, easy-off protection against infections like athlete’s foot and plantar warts.
- They’re generally inexpensive.
- They don’t offer much in the way of arch support or shock absorption.
- The lack of support affects your stability – that is, your risk of tripping, falling, and a sprained ankle goes up.
- They force your toes to grip to prevent your heel from sliding around. So, simply keeping a flip-flop from flopping off your foot can cause plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and even hammertoes.
- There’s hardly anything there to protect your feet from harm.
- The thong-style can irritate your toes and cause blisters.
- Thin styles can wear out quickly and need frequent replacement.
- They’re not great for all-day wear. If your activities for the day include a lot of walking – for example, at the amusement park or sightseeing around the nation’s capital – you shouldn’t do it in flip-flops.
It’s easy to see that the “cons” outweigh the “pros.” But we understand that our Fairfax County patients aren’t giving up flip-flops any time soon. So, look for sturdy styles with good arch support and wear them wisely. You can find a list of flip-flops that get the seal of approval from the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association)
If your choice of footwear is causing you pain or if you have foot problems for any other reason, choose our podiatry practice for excellent, professional care. Call our office in Centreville, Virginia at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.