I love flip-flops. I wear them until the snow gets high enough that it’s impractical for me to wear them outside. The idea of cramming my feet in shoes and socks (unless I’m heading to the gym or an amusement park) makes me claustrophobic.
Unfortunately, there are a few hazards that come wth wearing flip flops. As an avid wearer of said shoes, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to tell you never to wear them. I can, however, pass along a few words of caution to use the next time you slip your toes into a pair of these shoes.
1. Sandals made from rubber may leak chemicals
A Danish Environmental Protection Agency report released in 2009 showed that children’s rubber shoes contained four different types of chemicals and that the chemicals could pose a risk for children. The study also indicated that adult sandals have even higher levels of leeching chemicals. To avoid this problem: by sandals made with natural latex, recycled rubber, cork, leather, hemp or bamboo, according to Now Toronto
2. Flip-flops lead to foot pain
It’s no secret that flip-flops offer very little in way of heel and arch support. WebMD says that due to their lack of support flip flops can lead to tendinitis sore feet. This is particularly problematic for people who have feet that over-flatten. To avoid foot pain, avoid wearing flip-flops when you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking (like at theme parks or a long day of shopping).
3. Wearing flip-flops equals more injuries
It’s a lot harder to stub your toe, twist your ankle, or cut your feet on a piece of glass if you’re wearing sturdier shoes. The open-toe, thin sole design of a flip-flop leaves your foot prone to injuries. To avoid this problem: wear tennis shoes or work boots when working in the yard. Also, use extra caution on wet surfaces, flip-flops can be surprisingly slippery.
4. Flip-flops are not safe for driving
Driving with flip-flops can be very dangerous. A flip-flop can get stuck under the gas or brake pedals, making it difficult to control your car. Worse: if you’re in a car accident, your feet will be far less protected in flip-flops than supportive tennis shoes. Avoid this hazard by keeping slip on shoes at the ready for when you need to drive.
5. Flip-flops are hell on heels
As a regular flip-flop wearer, I can attest to this fact: these shoes do your heels no favors. Your heels are repeatedly striking the ground (with a thin piece of material between you and the cement) all day, according to Cosmopolitan. Not only can this be painful, it can dry out your feet like crazy. Avoid this hazard by moisturizing your feet regularly and taking a break from the flip-flops in favor of a more supportive pair of shoes.
6. Flip-flops aid in poor posture
Because there’s little to the bottom of a flip-flop and because you’re using your toes to hold the shoe on, you automatically alter the way you walk. This change doesn’t just affect your feet, it moves up your legs through your knees and into your back. These changes in your posture can cause hip and back pain, according to Vitality Clinic. Avoid this problem by wearing flip-flops in short spurts.
7. Flip-flops equal sunburns
Your tootsies may be a little more susceptible to sunburn if they’re normally covered up in socks and shoes. Sunburn on any part of your body is bad (it hurts, it can damage your skin and it could lead to skin cancer), so make sure to lather up on sunscreen if you’re wearing flip-flops. Special advice: don’t apply sunscreen to the bottom of your feet if you don’t want to slip out of your shoes.
If you’re heading into the summer with visions of flip flops and summer dresses, make sure to use a little common sense when donning your favorite footwear, so you can stay safe all year round. Make sure to share these tips with your friends on Facebook, and help their feet stay healthy too!