Flip-Flop Injuries on the Rise

flip flopsSummer’s favorite footwear has become a source of pain for many, according to foot doctors and orthopedic surgeons, who are seeing an influx of patients suffering from flip-flop injuries. Because the Fourth of July holiday weekend is almost here, we thought we’d bring this special public service announcement because we don’t want anyone’s holiday ruined due over a pair of $10 flip-flops.

Flip-flops may be fun and fashionable but they’re a major source of injuries, including tendonitis, ankle sprains, low back pain, heel pain, broken bones and second-degree burns.  The most common issues docs are diagnosing include:

  • Overuse Flip-Flop Injuries: People modify their gait when wearing flip-flops, gripping their toes in order to keep the shoes in place. This can cause stress in different muscles and strain toes, ankles, legs, hips and back.
  • Arch pain, Plantar Fasciitis and Nerve Issues: A flat and flimsy shoe bed does not provide the foot with adequate support for all-day wear.
  • Sun Damage: Sandal wearers must remember to apply sunscreen to the feet. Mount Sinai Podiatrist, Dr. Bryan Markinson has seen a sharp rise  in foot melanoma in his practice. Few people understand or think of the foot as a place where skin cancer can arise, but foot melanoma can be deadly.
  • Lower Extremity Pain: Lack of shock absorption can cause pain to feet, legs, hips and back.

According to foot and ankle specialists, here’s some do’s and dont’s when donning summer’s favorite footwear:flip-flobs

  • Do shop for a flip-flop made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.
  • Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half.
  • Do ensure that your foot doesn’t hang off of the edge of the flip-flop.
  • Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms and in locker room areas.
  • Don’t wear old flip-flops. If they show signs of severe wear, discard them.
  • Don’t ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.
  • Don’t wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.
  • Don’t do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear a shoe that fully protects feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater.
  • Don’t play sports in flip-flops. This practice can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.


  1. Sheila Vives says

    This is a good article. I often see women wear flip flops that are too short for their feet wiht their toes or heels hanging off and that is just setting yourself up for some serious injury that could impair your walking for the rest of your life.

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