When a groundhog sees his shadow, it means that spring is just around the corner. By the same token, when you see the flip-flops come out of the closet, then you can be sure the summer season is about to arrive!
The act of wearing flip-flops is a rite of passage that welcomes us into the summer season. Not only are they super easy to slip on and off, but they’re also the best way to show off a fabulous pedicure!
Sadly, most of us don’t give a second thought to the dangers of wearing flip-flops.
Wait…what? Flips-flops are dangerous? You bet!
That’s probably the last thing you ever expected to hear. Yet, according to foot doctors who know better, none of us should ever wear this hazardous footwear ever again.
What’s so bad about flip-flops you ask?
Well, its inexpensive price tag might be the first clue. Cheap footwear usually doesn’t come with any cushioning, and there is no arch support to speak of. That means you’re putting an incredibly unnatural amount of stress on your feet and toes with every stride you take.
It’s actually better on your feet to walk barefoot than to don flip-flops!
This flimsy footwear’s name is another clue to its inherent dangers – it’s floppy! It can make your stride slightly imbalanced, which causes you to stumble forward. Since there’s no ankle support, you could invariably end up with a sprained ankle in the process.
Let’s not forget that flip-flops can also lead to an unsightly medical condition – hammertoes. Since the shoes don’t come with any built-in support, the knuckles of your your toes will arch up and grab the flip-flop when your foot lifts up off the ground.
If you walk in your flip-flops for just an hour, that brings you about 5,000 steps closer to hammertoe time!
Believe it or not, flip-flops can also give you staph. Yeah, that’s pretty gross! This flimsy piece of footwear is a magnet for bacteria and germs that stick to the rubber sole. E-coli, fecal bacteria, and other common varieties are the type of nasties that you can expect to find adhering to the bottom of your shoes.
Researcher David Kinney, PhD., tested flip-flops that were worn for four days on the streets of New York City. Not surprisingly, the footwear harbored over 18,000 bacteria. It only takes one to make you sick!
If the staph bacteria seeps into a cut onto your foot, then you can expect some very unpleasant side effects, including death!
David Kinney also found that bacteria normally found in the mouth ended up on the flip-flops. That’s because people are spitting onto the ground, and then you’re stepping on it. What if that person happened to be sick?
Yuck – that’s definitely something extra important to think about!
Other reasons to avoid wearing flip-flops include:
– They can make bunions worse.
– They are usually made of toxic materials.
– The thin strap scraping against the top of your foot can give you awful blisters.
– Since your foot hits the ground with more force, flip-flops can destroy your heels.
– The biomechanics of flip-flops are bad for your posture.
– If you’re flat-footed, then you need arch support. Flip-flops don’t have any, which means wearing them can lead to unwelcome shooting pains in your hips and lower back.
Watch this video for more details on the dangers of wearing flip flops.
This year, you might give a second thought to buying that pair of flip-flops from the dollar store. Keep in mind that the $40 pair that has bling and an expensive brand name attached to it probably won’t be much better. The choice is yours – what will your feet be wearing this summer?