Flip-Flop Tips from a New York Podiatrist

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

May 28, 2013 2:10:00 PM

flip-flopsThe popular warm weather sandal we all know as flip-flops have been worn for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. I don’t know if there were any Egyptian podiatrists back then, but I do know that any New York podiatrist this day and age flips at the thought of this type of shoe because it could cause a number of flops to your feet. But, it’s also inevitable that flip-flops will be a part of most people’s summer wardrobe, so here are some Do’s and Don’ts to remember when wearing them. 

DO invest in a good pair of flip-flops.

They should be made of a high-quality, soft leather and have a good sole on the bottom. Leather minimizes irritation and makes it harder to get blisters. A sturdy sole will at least provide some kind of support for the bottom of your foot. 

DON’T keep your flips-flops until they wear out.

If your flip-flops are showing signs of wear and tear, toss them immediately and take a trip to the mall. New York podiatrists generally aren’t fans of flip-flops in the first place, and worn out flip-flops are just a disgrace because they put your feet at a higher risk for problems.

DO wear your flip-flops instead of going barefoot.

It’s tempting to kick off your shoes and go barefoot at public pools, in locker rooms, at the beach, or in hotel rooms, but you don’t know what’s lurking around in these places. Wearing flip-flops can offer some protection from contracting plantar warts, athlete’s foot, and even toenail fungus. 

DON’T play sports in flip-flops.

Activities that involve running, skipping, or biking are a bad idea to do in flip-flops because they can lead to tripping, twisting your foot or ankle, and possibly even sprains or broken bones.

DO ensure your flip-flops fit properly.

Your toes and heel shouldn’t hang off the edge of the flip-flop, and you shouldn’t feel any irritation from the strap between your toes. 

DON’T ignore any irritation you’re feeling.

If you do feel the strap between your toes rubbing awkwardly or sense a blister forming, stop wearing your flip-flops right away, otherwise it can lead to infections and just be plain uncomfortable. 

DO test the flip-flop.

The New York Podiatrists at Adler Footcare recommend bending the flip-flop from end to end at the ball of the foot. If you can bend it in half, you need a sturdier flip-flop. You shouldn’t be able to fold any kind of shoe in half.

DON’T wear flip-flops when walking long distances.

Flip-flops in general offer little arch support or shock absorption. If you’ll be walking for an extended period of time, wear shoes that offer more protection and support for your feet. 

Flip-flops come in all shapes and sizes and so do the feet we see at Adler Footcare. While we don’t exactly love the thought of you walking around in flip-flops all the time, we know they’ll probably be around for a few more thousand years. So do this New York podiatrist a favor and at least keep these DO’s and DON’Ts top of mind next time you slip into your flip-flops. 


Topics: Foot Care, Tips from a New York Podiatrist