If the first pair of shoes you reach for in the summer when it’s hot out is a pair of flip-flops, you may want to invest in a few more shoe options. Here’s why.
Blame it on the popularity of Havaianas or the trends from Los Angeles spreading outside of the City of Angels, but flip-flops (once only worn at the beach) have become acceptable everyday footwear in the city streets. Some people even wear them to work — talk about pushing office policy on casual dress! As easy as they are to slip onto your feet, and as lovely as it is to not have your feet constricted (not to mention how inexpensive flip-flops can be), this shoe style may be damaging your feet. Here are some of the dangers of wearing flip-flops.
Flip-flops offer no foot support
Your typical flip-flops feature a flat piece of rubber, often with virtually no support built in for your feet’s arches. This can cause discomfort if you have high arches or flat feet, so limit your flip-flop wear if your feet fall into either category.
Flip-flops are loose on your foot
The simple thong style of the flip-flop, which is what makes them so great to put on and kick off, is also what makes them dangerous. Since that thong between your toes is all that’s keeping them on, you are naturally scrunching your toes to help keep the flimsy shoes on your feet. Given this, consider how easily the flip-flop can slip from underneath your sole when driving, or imagine it getting caught in the empty space when you step onto an escalator or it slipping into the gap when you get on or off the subway. You can see how these shoes may get you injured.
Flip-flops expose your feet to all sorts of elements
Trodding all over the city or countryside with your feet practically bare, it stands to reason you may be exposing yourself to all sorts of bacteria. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Miami found that one pair of flip-flops had more than 18,000 types of bacteria on it (including fecal matter, skin and respiratory germs) — even more reason to opt for a different style, or at the very least, wear them for only a short time.