The Flip-Flop Debate: Are They Bad for Your Body’s Overall Health?

July 12, 2021

Flip-flops are the effortless, go-to footwear for many flip flopsAmericans when the days turn warmer. While flip-flops have their place in the world (like hot, sandy beaches and communal showers) many people wear them almost exclusively as long as the weather permits—and may find themselves dealing with the physical consequences long after summer is over.

Here’s why:

They Lack Arch Support

The majority of flip-flops don’t offer much, if any, arch support. This can greatly affect your plantar fascia (the band of tissue that connects your heel and the ball of your foot), which can lead to tenderness and inflammation, or the painful plantar fasciitis condition. This injury can make every step you take painful and may even require physical therapy or injections if left untreated.

They Can Create Blisters

Due to the freedom your feet have when wearing flip-flops with no heel support and no way to confine your toes from moving around, it’s easy to develop blisters between your first and second toe, especially if your feet are moist for any reason.

They Can Lead to Toe, Knee, and Back Problems

Because of the unique way you have to walk while wearing flip-flops—with your toe constantly grasping the shoe and your gait adjusting—your toes, knees, and back can become painfully inflamed, throwing off your entire body.

They Leave You Exposed

Just because the bottom of your foot is protected against bacteria and grime, that doesn’t mean the rest of your foot is safe. Take a moment to think about how dirty your sneakers or other enclosed shoes can get throughout an average day—then imagine those stains and residue on your bare feet.

They Make Your Feet Vulnerable

With a thin layer of protection below and no protection above or on the sides of your feet, you’re vulnerable to a host of injuries, from stepping on a sharp object or poison ivy to stubbing your toe or losing the nail. And don’t forget, your uncovered feet need protection from the sun now too.


If you’re suffering from orthopedic pain, whether or not it’s caused by wearing flip-flops, contact the foot and ankle, knee, and back sub specialists at Orlin & Cohen, Long Island’s leading orthopedic practice. Immediate appointments are available: Schedule yours now.