Flip-flops are one of the most popular footwear choices of the summer. They’re easy to put on and take off, they don’t require socks, and they’re so cheap that you can have multiple pairs to chose from.
But be warned. There are some major downsides to them. They might be perfect for a walk from the parking lot to the beach, but you shouldn’t incorporate them into your daily life for a plethora of reasons. Here are some of the cons of wearing flip-flops.
1. They collect and breed fungus and bacteria.
The soft, porous foam that your flip-flops are likely made of are a great home for living things that you don’t want touching your feet. If your flip-flops become a habitat for fungus or bacteria, those germs could easily move on to your feet. That can be a tough problem to get rid of.
The problem is made worse by the conditions that people often wear flip-flops in. Communal showers where dozens of people are walking barefoot and bathrooms at pools or beaches are just two examples of wet, germy places where your shoes can pick up a ton of germs.
2. They can cause hammertoes.
The lack of arch support and stilted way flip-flops make you walk cause major stress on your feet. This can lead to an ugly condition called hammertoe.
Hammertoe occurs when the second, third, or fourth toe on your foot gets permanently bent to the side. This is usually caused by non-ergonomic footwear, and it requires surgery to fix.
3. They are a major tripping hazard.
Pretty much everyone who has worn flip-flops knows that you have a much greater chance of tripping while wearing them. A scientific study in Ireland confirmed this unfortunate reality about flip-flops.
The problem is often caused by catching the longer toe of the flop on a tripping hazard. Of course, you can also scrape your own toes on concrete and other skin-removing objects since there is no top to the footwear. Basically, flip-flops cause us to walk awkwardly which makes us trip where we normally wouldn’t.
4. They are bad for your heels.
Again, the awkward gait that flip-flops induce makes people alter their steps. That ends up putting a great deal of force on the heels of their feet.
This force can bruise the bone in extreme cases. Even minor injuries like calluses and cracked skin are worth avoiding by wearing flip-flops less.
5. They cause bunions.
Bunions might not be as gross as they sound, but they are seriously inconvenient. These bony protrusions occur on your big toe or pinky toe when you wear shoes that cause unnatural stresses.
Studies have shown that people who don’t wear shoes don’t have bunions. Properly fitting shoes will also not cause bunions. Tight or flat footwear that presses foot bones together is the big culprit.
Of course, there are times when flip-flops are really convenient. Using them to walk on hot sand or when you have just a short distance to go will not hurt you. But if you embrace flip-flops as your go-to shoe of the summer, watch out for these problems.