Are Flip-Flops Bad For Your Feet?

As summer approaches and the temperatures begin to warm up, many of us find ourselves reaching for our flip-flops rather than trainers or boots.

The open design and lightweight feel will keep your feet cool. Some individuals who are overcoming medical conditions may wear sandals because they do not restrict their feet and this can help to treat an infection.

If you are a keen flip flop wearer, you may be wondering whether they are bad for your feet.

Whilst they may be one of the most convenient styles of footwear available, they have gained a pretty poor reputation due to the lack of padding and support incorporated into the design. Because of this, they are often the cause of injury.

Are Flip-Flops Bad For Your Feet

What is good about flip flops?

First, let’s take a look at the features that make flip-flops a good footwear option.


Perhaps one of the most prominent benefits of wearing flip-flops is that they are super convenient. They don’t have any straps or laces that you need to do up, you can simply slide them onto your feet, and then you are ready to go.


Whilst many of us associate flip-flops with warm and sunny beach days, there are several other occasions when they can be worn.

For example, although it might not be extremely hot outside, it may still be too warm to wrap your feet in enclosed footwear. As the popularity of flip flops grows, there is now a more varied selection of styles available.


Whereas sneakers and boots boast an enclosed design, flip flops have a sole and a Y shaped strap that passes between your big toe and second toe to keep the shoe securely on your feet.

As such, they are much more breathable and promote proper airflow. As a result, sweat and odors are less likely to accumulate.

How can flip flops harm your feet?

There are many reasons why flip-flops are considered to be bad for your feet. Whilst occasional wear isn’t going to result in severe damage to your feet, if worn daily over a prolonged period, unfortunately, your feet are going to be left suffering.

Insufficient support

Flip flops lack the sturdy soles that the majority of other shoes are designed with and because of this, they don’t really offer much support to the arches of your feet.

Depending on the terrain that you are going to be walking on, you may find that you feel the objects from the ground below, poking and prodigy your feet.

If you are heading out on a trip where you plan on doing a lot of walking, wearing flip-flops is not advised because they do not provide the best level of support, which in return can affect how comfortable they are. They also do not absorb shock and may end up inflicting unwanted pain onto you.

Increased risk of injury

Wearing flip-flops when engaging in intense and strenuous activities can increase the risk of an injury. Due to the improper support and lack of shock absorption, you are much more likely to suffer from a sprained ankle or a stress fracture.

The positioning of your feet are going to start turning inwards and as a result, you are at a greater risk of twisting your ankle. You shouldn’t wear flip flops on any surfaces that aren’t flat, or in yards where there is a possibility of your feet getting injured by any tools that are lying idle.

Blisters and toe problems

A single Y strap is solely responsible for keeping your feet in place. Should this start to rub against your skin, it is going to irritate your feet. When combined with constant movement and sweat, blisters may start to form.

If these blisters pop, you will then be left dealing with an open wound. If you continue to wear your flip flops, this wound is going to worsen as it is exposed to outdoor elements and the strap.

Poor posture

Wearing flip-flops can affect your posture whilst altering your stride. Rather than adopting the heel to toe stride, your feet will be working in the opposite manner and this can alter the biomechanics of your body.

This adjustment can also inflict more pain on your lower joints, your hips, knees, and your back. To alleviate this pain, you are more likely to alter your posture.

Shooting Pains

Individuals that have flat feet require proper arch support to prevent them from suffering from alignment issues. Because you aren’t provided with this support, you are going to experience much more pain and discomfort.

Many people who wear flip flops regularly suffer from plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when a section of your feet becomes inflamed and this can make your arch and heel feel uncomfortable and painful.

Exposure to infection

Flip flops do not protect your feet from infections. As you walk, there is an increased risk of your feet getting covered in things like bacteria and fungi. Staphylococcus is an example of a nasty bacteria that can irritate your feet and have severe consequences depending on the level of exposure.

How to treat problems caused by wearing flip flops

Many issues can arise as a result of wearing flip-flops. Should you experience any of the problems that we have listed above you will need to treat your feet to ease this pain and discomfort.

One of the most obvious solutions is to opt for a different type of footwear that offers a higher level of support and comfort. It may also help to massage your feet after wearing flip flops, especially if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons which argue that flip-flops are bad for your feet. Whilst there are few advantages of wearing flip-flops, some would suggest that the negatives outweigh these benefits. When worn intensely, flip flops can affect the health and condition of your feet as well as the rest of your body.

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