At the end of last week I heard commercials on the radio advertising a big $1 Flip Flop sale by a well-known national retailer. At that price, why not get a pair in every color, right? In theory, this may seem like a good idea but I’m here to caution you against purchasing the inexpensive flat flip flops. They may seem like a bargain – but you’ll pay for it in other ways.
Consider the following before purchasing and wearing bare bone flip flop sandals:
• The soles are spongy & offer no heel, arch or structural support. While they may initially feel soft and comfortable over time you may wonder why your heel, the arch or toes are hurting.
• Not only do they lack structural support for your feet, the repeated impact and misalignment from the lack of proper support will travel from your feet often causing pain and discomfort in your knees, hip and back.
• The flat flip flops places excessive strain on your Achilles tendon. Those used to wearing shoes with a slightly raised heel will find that flat shoes may overstretch their calf muscles.
• Increases your risk of falling or injuring yourself. The flimsy nature of this footwear makes them a bad candidate for riding a bike, playfully chasing after someone or hiking down to incline to the bank of the river. I think we have all witnessed (if not experienced ourselves) someone tripping over their flip flops.
• Low quality flip flops offer very little protection for your foot. Thus, it is easy to accidentally step on a sharp and/or dirty object & have it puncture your foot. The poor quality can also lead to increased incidence of callous & blisters.
Despite these points, you don’t have to give up wearing flip flops all together. I would recommend investing in a quality pair of flip flops. When compared to the $1 pair they will seem expensive, but when compared to your walking or running shoes – the price won’t seem all that bad. If you’re like me – you spend more time in your flip flops in the summer than your walking or running shoes – so it’s well worth the investment. There are many brands out there that offer proper structural support & make a quality flip flop – a couple brands you might try includes Sole & Reef. Another consideration, as with many things in life – moderation is the key. Going to the beach or to the neighborhood pool – flip flops sound like a great option. Going to walk the entire Las Vegas Strip? Speaking from personal experience – flip flops are a bad idea. All in all, feel free to let the air run through your toes this summer – simply invest in a quality pair of flip flops & give your feet (knees, hips and back) a break by wearing the proper footwear for the proper occasion.