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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > How do you get used to wearing flip flops?      Home login  
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 CMonster
Joined: 12/4/2004
Msg: 4
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Flip-Flop Flaws

According to a new study, the ubiquitous summer shoe may be bad for your ankles and feet.

Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert

Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jun 10, 2008


Summer is when the rubber hits the road. We're talking about flip-flops, the ubiquitous sandals that consist of little more than a sole held onto the foot by a Y-shaped thong. Flip-flops used to be relegated to the beach or the locker room, but in the last few years they seem to have become the footwear of choice for a whole generation. Back in 2005 some members of the Northwestern University national champion women's lacrosse team drew flack for wearing flip-flops when they met with President Bush at the White House.

Questions of etiquette aside, flip-flops may not be the best choice for health reasons. In a study presented last week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, researchers at Auburn University found that flip-flops actually alter the way wearers walk. That change in gait can cause persistent foot and ankle pain—the kinds of problems usually associated with a fondness for Manolos and Jimmy Choos.

Justin Shroyer, a doctoral student in biomechanics at Auburn, and Dr. Wendi Weimar, the director of Auburn's biomechanics laboratory, were tossing around ideas for a research project when they hit upon a subject that seemed ripe for exploration. "We're biomechanists," explains Shroyer. "We can't go anywhere without analyzing the way someone walks." They noticed that when students came back from summer vacation they often complained of pain in their feet, ankles and lower legs. The same students were also likely to be flip-flop fans (as is Shroyer, as a matter of fact). Could there be a connection?

To find out, Shroyer solicited 39 college-age female and male volunteers. The participants wore thong-style, flat-soled flip-flops and then regular athletic shoes while walking on a platform that measured the force they exerted when their feet struck the ground. Shroyer also filmed them as they walked so he could study differences in the movements of their hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet and toes.

After digitizing all these images and analyzing the data, Shroyer came up with some disturbing conclusions for those of us who treasure the freedom of flip-flops. He found that flip-flop wearers take shorter steps. The result is more stress on the body because you have to move more to go the same distance as people wearing other kinds of shoes. That could mean a higher risk of muscle and joint pain in the legs.

Toes are another problem area. "When you wear flip-flops, you kind of scrunch your toes to keep the flip-flop on your foot," Shroyer says. That constant pressure often adds up to throbbing and tenderness in the toes. "The body is an amazing machine," Shroyer explains. "When you do one thing, other things turn off and on. By engaging the muscles that scrunch your toes, you are turning off the muscles that would bring your toes up." That also means that you can't lift your foot up as much when you walk—hence the characteristic flip-flop shuffle.

Shroyer's analysis of the mechanics of flip-flop wearing isn't the first warning about their dangers. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons has reported an increase in heel pain among flip-flop wearers, especially in the spring, when they make the switch from sturdier winter shoes. The problem is exacerbated when people who are overweight or sedentary wear flip-flops. One of the most common sources of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue that links the toes to the heel bone. Being overweight and wearing ill-fitting shoes make it much more likely that you will suffer from plantar fasciitis. Thin-soled flip-flops without arch support aggravate the effects of any existing sources of strain on the legs and feet (such as too much weight or weak muscle tone).

Does this mean that you should throw out your beloved flip-flops or walk barefoot? Not necessarily. Like all good things, flip-flops are probably fine in moderation. Wear them at the beach or even for short jaunts to the mall. But don't make them your everyday footwear. You can get much the same look from sandals that have a little more arch support or another strap that keeps them on (and gives your scrunched up toes a rest). Shroyer also suggests replacing flip-flops more often. "Usually people break their shoes in so they become more comfortable," he says. With flip-flops, he says, "that is probably the point where you need to get rid of them."

If you're already experiencing pain, kick those flip-flops to the back of your closet and slip on footwear with more support until you feel better. If you have flat fleet, arch supports may help; you can find relatively inexpensive ones at the drugstore. If the pain doesn't go away, see your doctor. In a few cases foot and heel pain could signal more serious medical conditions like arthritis or even a stress fracture.
 CMonster
Joined: 12/4/2004
Msg: 6
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 10:08:07 AM

Umm...I think the OP and I were discussing the blisters some people get between their toes. Not serious foot pain.

If it's not serious you could just grin and bear it, right?
 oddandy
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 8
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 11:32:56 AM
Ditch the flip-flops and buy a pair of sandals. Voila, problem solved.
 barbee1970
Joined: 12/29/2008
Msg: 10
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 1:30:38 PM
I have these reflector filp flops I got at Kohl's. The look cool, but they are VERY uncomfortable. I go for shoes with reflectors as I get off work at night and take out my dog. I want to be easily seen.

I got a pair of Sketchers Sport athletic shoes from a rummage sale for a quarter. They have refelctors. Those are comfortable. I want another pair like them but only find white.
 SAguy_06
Joined: 12/29/2005
Msg: 13
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 2:36:32 PM
I doesnt got easier...it took me all summer when I was a kid to start to get used to them, but the heat and the sweat made it like walking on wet ice...I sliped and slided all summer long...never again
 Ezzee
Joined: 7/26/2004
Msg: 17
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 5:17:32 PM
First of all, they are something one does have to get use to. It takes time. I've been wearing them forever.

Also, I would suggest not wearing them on long walks. They do tend to absorb sweat, and wear out faster that way.

I usually just buy the cheap ones, like a Target or Shop-Ko, usually won't spend more than like $10 on them. That way I don't feel so bad if I have to throw them away in a year.

If the strap is cutting into your toe, try putting some gauze or something like that around it. It will lessen the impact and give you some protection.
 mcfly762
Joined: 7/7/2008
Msg: 18
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 6:57:58 PM


I've tried bandaids, sticking plaster, and rubber foam around the leather "thong" all to no avail. There must be some trick to soften it so it doesn't irritate.


Have you tried vaseline?
 mcfly762
Joined: 7/7/2008
Msg: 19
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 7:02:20 PM

I can so relate to this thread! I love flip flops and thong sandals and live in them all summer. I wore a brand new pair of Teva thongs yesterday and now I have the beginnings of a blister on the toe next to my big toe on my left foot. I've never had that happen before! Sorry, no advice! Teva sports are my favorite sandals, this is the first I've worn their thongs. They're cute, a bit sexy, but maybe a bit rough on the toes!


That same thing happened to me! I bought some Teva flops last week. They were comfy at first, but then after walking awhile, the top strap (above the foot) was hurting. And I also had the beginning of a blister. Is there a "breaking in" period? Or should I switch to something else?
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 20
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How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 8:17:24 PM
They always rub my toes raw with that little strap and since I have such a high instep that pulls on the top part, they always break. I think they are so cute, but I can't wear them.
 Lacquered
Joined: 10/10/2006
Msg: 21
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History
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/19/2009 11:41:37 PM
Last fall Zumies was having a sale on their line of flip flops, and I bought my daughter several pairs...... I needed to run outside a couple of weeks ago and hers were sitting by the front door so I slipped them on and was suprised to find their brand had an arch moulded into them. They were quite comfortable, I am thinking of getting me a pair to wear. Other than that I opt for the sports sandle in the summer, but they never come with much arch support in them either.
Dreams
EDIT: leather doesnt rub blisters as much as the plastic ones. IMO
 mcfly762
Joined: 7/7/2008
Msg: 24
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/23/2009 6:44:48 PM


I hate flip flops - I find them uncomfortable, as they give zero support for my feet, and I don;t like how they feel between my toes. I do however love strappy sandals :)


Same here. I have yet to find a comfortable pair of flop flops. Right now I have some Adidas slides and sport sandals. They are comfortable but don't really match polos or button up shirts.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 26
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How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/23/2009 8:18:22 PM
Try some Crocs. They look every bit as stupid as flip-flops but they're actually comfortable. And you can wear them with socks. I don't know if the cheap generic WalMart ones are as good as the brand name ones.

On the other hand, I'm 58, don't care what other people think, have no fashion sense, would wear boots with shorts if it was comfortable, and have always detested flip-flops because if they don't fall apart the first day they fall off my feet when I walk or cause blisters.
 winderup
Joined: 8/3/2008
Msg: 27
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/24/2009 6:35:27 AM
They used to be called thongs in my day. Times have changed. Went into a department store and asked a clerk where I could find thongs. She grinned, pointed and gave some verbal instruction. Arriving in the department described, I was quite shocked to see the thongs. A little triangular shaped piece of material with a few strings atttached. I summoned a clerk and asked, "how can one expcect these to fit and not wear out quickly? Do you not have any made of rubber with thick bottoms?" Needless to say I was giving a strange look and a peculiar reply.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 29
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/24/2009 9:34:51 AM
I call them zories, which I think comes from the Japanese. I call panties that are thongs "tongas" (Brasil). Thongs are things with which to pick up asparagus. Ahem...

I hate them, I hate the sounds they make [flip flop], I hate that people often DRAG their feet when wearing them. Get some Tevas or something that actually FITS onto your foot.

I have no idea why anyone would want to get used to wearing them.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 30
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How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/24/2009 4:31:49 PM
"Get a pair that has real good arch support and cloth straps."

Your feet already have arches, they don't need support. Do we need elbow support too? Knee support?

If your support your arches, you kill your feet. The arch is already there, it's the strongest natural shape already.

Never liked flip-flops, they don't let you walk correctly. Sandals are good, as long as they don't have arch support.

All my shoes are as flat as possible, with as little "support" as possible. The whole support issue is a scam perputrated by foot doctors.
 mcfly762
Joined: 7/7/2008
Msg: 34
How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/26/2009 8:31:09 AM

I have no idea why anyone would want to get used to wearing them.


They are pretty popular these days...
 itechman63
Joined: 7/7/2005
Msg: 35
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How do you get used to wearing flip flops?
Posted: 4/26/2009 8:43:14 AM
I think that if you buy flip-flops, you should be forced to ride the escalator as punishment. Wait... you're a Cubs fan? I think you've been through enough!
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