Flip-Flops Bashed for Being Dangerous, But That's Not the Whole Story

Eye Roll 14

woman's feet in flip-flopsEvery summer, a magazine, news outlet, or research journal has to rain on our flip-flop-lovin' parade by coming out with yet another warning about how the easygoing footwear is KILLING our feet!

This year's version comes to us courtesy of CBS and expert Dr. David S. Levine, foot and ankle surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC ... They'd like to remind us that flip-flops that don't provide arch support may contribute to our toe troubles. And by the way, 78 percent of adults have had at least one foot problem in their lives, according to the National Foot Health Assessment 2012!

As someone who at 28 just started having bothersome foot issues (caused by accidents whilst wearing "risky" footwear), I get it. But why is it that these finger-wagging stories always seem to fail to mention that not all flip-flops are wreaking havoc on our feet?

Sure, basic flip-flops aren't doing us any favors. The $1 kind you can buy at Old Navy or a drugstore, just for throwing on and going to the beach or the pool, definitely lack the arch support one needs for doing any actual walking. But in the past few years, shoemakers have tried to tackle this issue and offer we the people of Flip-Flop Nation some appealing, aesthetically-pleasing, and safer options.

Take FitFlops. Not to sound like a commercial or anything -- because even though they totally should for how much I rave about them, they're not paying me, I swear -- but I LIVE IN THEM. The -- gulp -- $70+ I forked over for them was steep, I admit, but you basically won't find anything else on my feet all summer long. They really are as comfortable as they're cracked up to be and do sport the arch support that experts lament regular flip-flops lacking. In fact, their design takes advantage of the natural biomechanics of your foot by promoting natural roll -- which regular flip-flops hinder. 

Similarly, companies like Reef and Okabashi seem to be looking out for our tootsies by designing flip-flops with arch support. So, clearly, "healthier" flip-flops exist. And if you give 'em a shot, you'll probably fall in love with a pair you'd gladly trade your traditional ones (and all the foot problems that come with them!) in for.

What footwear do you tend to wear all summer long? Are you concerned about foot problems they might cause?


general health, shoes