Thanks to surgical resident Rachel for forwarding the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) “Ten Tips To Foil A Flip-Flop Fiasco”. My comments follow in italics.
- Do look for a flip-flop that is made of high-quality, soft leather. This material, unlike plastic or foam, will minimize the potential for blisters and other kinds of irritation. I don’t agree with this one, as there are lots of high quality flip flops that are not leather. Also, leather can stretch, causing the flip-flop to become loose over time.
- Do look for flip-flops that hold APMA’s Seal of Acceptance, such as Chaco’ Flip Collection and Wolky’s Serenity, part of their Zen Collection. Evaluated by a committee of APMA podiatric physicians, these products are shown to allow for the most normal foot function and promote quality foot health. I think Chaco’s and Wolky’s are well made sandals, but they won’t work for every foot. Here’s my blog posting with my thoughts on running shoe lists. https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/running-shoe-lists-aarghhh/. I also think there are a lot more sandals than just Chaco’s or Wolky’s which allow for normal foot function.
- Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring that it bends naturally at the ball of the foot. Shoes should never fold in half. Wise advice indeed.
- Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms in locker room areas. Walking barefoot can expose foot soles to plantar warts and athlete’s foot. If your flip flops are rubber, it’s a good idea to occasionally mist the wearing surface with Lysol Disinfectant Spray, to kill any harmful organisms which might hover on the top of the shoe.
- Do ensure that your foot doesn’t hang off of the edge of the flip-flop.
- Don’t re-wear flip-flops year after year. Thoroughly inspect older flip-flops for wear. If they show signs of severe wear in the soles, it’s time to discard them. Set them on a table to evaluate the heels. If flip-flop flops to one side, they need to be replaced.
- Don’t ignore irritation between toes, where the to thong fits – this can lead to blisters and even worse irritation. Ditto for where the side straps insert into the flip-flops. If callous forms here or anywhere else on your foot because of the flip-flops, then it’s time to say goodbye to the flip-flops and get a new pair.
- Don’t wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flop offers little in terms of shock absorption and arch support. Gotta love common sense!
- Don’t do yard work while wearing flip-flips. Always wear a shoe that fully protects the foot when doing outside activities like mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater. According to the Annuls of Emergency Medicine – Researchers analyzed emergency room and hospital records from 1996 to 2004 and found that nearly 663,400 people went to the emergency room and almost 12,000 people were hospitalized in lawn mower accidents during that period. Yikes
- Don’t ever play sports in flip-flops. You can easily twist your foot or ankle, leading to sprains or breaks. More good advice.