Wear Flip-Flops for Protection But Not for Walking


It’s tempting to wear flip-flops a lot during warm weather. After all, these sandals are inexpensive and quick to grab when heading out in the morning. Today’s versions can be very fashionable, with jewels, embroidery, bows and other fancy trimmings.

But wearing flip-flops too much can cause overuse injuries to your feet, including plantar fasciitis (heel pain), tendonitis and hammertoe.

Flip-Flops Have Inadequate Support for Extended Use

Without enough stability or support for good foot health, wearing flip-flops for too long can result in overuse problems such as:

  • Heel pain. When walking, your heels strike the ground with plenty of force, and you may inflame the plantar fascia. This tissue that connects your toes to your heels along the soles of your feet is important for arch support. Without adequate cushioning, the stress on the plantar fascia can cause heel pain that often is worst when you get out of bed in the morning.

  • Achilles tendonitis. Because of the inadequate support in flip-flops, your foot and leg joints will try to compensate. This may cause an overuse injury in this tendon that connects your calf muscle to the heel bone.

  • Hammertoe. When you wear flip-flops or other sandals with minimal straps, your toes must work extra hard to keep the sandals on your feet. This repeated toe curling can cause a muscle imbalance called hammertoe where the toes become bent, painful and stiff.

Another curious problem with the excessive wearing of flip-flops is that it forces you to take shorter steps. This may cause an injury from a tripping accident or a sprained ankle.

Use Flip-Flops for Protection, Not for Walking

It’s smart to wear flip-flops to protect your feet. Wearing them in public areas like swimming pools can help you avoid the bacterial and fungal infections that lie in wait in these damp places.

Tossing these lightweight sandals in your travel bag can also help protect your feet from picking up a nasty foot fungus or bacterial infection while on vacation. Use them to protect your feet at swimming pools and spas, and even in your hotel room.

Keep those flip-flops lined up in your closet! But remember to wear them for protection only. For walking and prolonged standing, choose sturdier sandals instead.

We Can Help with Foot Overuse Injuries

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.