The Pros and Cons of Flip Flops: Your Summer Footwear Dilemma

The Pros and Cons of Flip Flops: Your Summer Footwear Dilemma

Love them or hate them, flip-flops are a summer wardrobe staple. Extremely versatile, comfortable and easy to pair, flip-flops have gone from functional beachwear to Cannes' red carpet footwear of choice. Unfortunately, however, they could be causing severe stress and injury to your feet.

Let's be honest; most people love flip flops. And what's not to like? They're easy to slip on and extremely fun. However, while these iconic shoes offer comfort and style during the warmer months, it's important to consider the pros and cons of wearing them.

So, when is it appropriate to slip into your favourite pair and when is it best to choose an alternative option? In this article, I share how flip flops can impact your foot health, including foot pain and hygiene concerns.

Summer best friends

Flip flops have come a long way from their humble beginnings as casual beachwear. Today, top luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin, and Fendi have turned flip flops into a fashion icon. These fashion powerhouses have elevated flip flops into stylish and chic accessories, making them a must-have item for fashion-conscious women. The use of premium materials, intricate embellishments, and eye-catching details has transformed flip flops into a trendy fashion statement that can enhance any summer outfit.

The ugly flop

While flip flops may be fashionable and convenient, they can also pose risks to your foot health. One major concern is the lack of support and cushioning they provide. In addition, wearing flip flops for prolonged periods can lead to foot pain, including arch and heel discomfort, and even conditions like plantar fasciitis.

Flip flops can affect your posture. Think about it; to keep flip flops on your feet, you must exert additional effort, which can strain the structures in your heel, arch, toes and scrunch your toes. The lack of arch support can strain knees and calves and cause spinal stress over time, particularly if you have to 'claw' your foot to keep them on.

As a result, wearing flip flops for extended periods or daily, regardless of age, can be a primary cause of foot pain during the summer, according to my clinical experience. This repetitive stress on the feet due to changes in gait and thousands of steps taken each day while wearing flip flops can increase the risk of pain in your legs and feet.

Moreover, the minimalist design of flip flops offers little protection to your feet, making them vulnerable to injuries such as cuts, blisters, and stubbed toes. It's crucial to be mindful of the potential foot pain and health risks associated with wearing flip flops, especially if you have existing foot conditions or spend extended periods on your feet.

When to wear flip flops

While flip flops have their downsides, they don't need to be banished from your summer wardrobe. The secret to maintaining healthy feet is to wear them wisely.

Flip flops are perfect for casual outings to the beach, poolside relaxation, and quick errands during the summer. They offer an easy slip-on-and-go solution, keeping your feet cool and comfortable and providing optimum foot hygiene (infection free) in hot weather.

However, it's important to avoid wearing flip flops for activities that require more support and stability, such as long walks or exercise. Additionally, if you're experiencing foot pain or have foot conditions, opting for footwear that provides better arch support and cushioning is best.

Wearing flip flops as you age: considerations for those over 60

Professionally, using flip flops in the +60's is not recommended. As we naturally age, we gradually lose balance, proprioception, coordination, and strength in the legs and feet.

Flip flops offer no support, which can put you at risk of falling or twisting your ankle if you have reduced balance and stability.

In summary, while flip flops are a summer wardrobe staple, they can cause foot pain and injury if worn over extended periods of time. So, wearing them in moderation is key. Wear them to the beach, pool, changing rooms or short errands but be mindful of when they may not be the best choice. Remember, self-care starts from the ground up! Your feet give you the freedom to enjoy life actively. Take care of them, and they'll take you a long way.

Summer is the carefree season, and flip flops and sandals embody this ethos. Baring your feet when it's hot feels good but can also make your skin extra dry and prone to cracking. Callen Olive leg and foot skincare is formulated to target the specific needs of your lower limbs' skin. Shop the collection for smooth, hydrated and healthy glowing legs and feet this summer.

Back to blog