When temperatures increase, the clothing worn decreases and people start to wear flip-flops. But this is not really the best idea. Scientific studies led by the American Podiatric Medical Association show that due to fungus, calluses, and the “pincer grip” of the foot, in the long run, flip-flops can be really harmful.
We at Bright Side care about your health, and for this we have listed a number of reasons why flip-flops should not be packed in your suitcase for your next vacation.
Risk of bacteria and fungi
Walking around wearing flip-flops turns your feet into a veritable receptacle of bacteria, of which staphylococcus is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous (in the most serious cases, especially in the presence of open wounds, you could even have to amputate the limb), but it’s also better to pay attention to fungal infections like warts and “athlete’s foot,” which are highly contagious, as well as annoying.
A study conducted by Auburn University did a comparative analysis of the human gait while wearing flip-flops and sneakers. On a sample of 56 individuals, it showed that footwear significantly influences the way we walk. The flip-flops cause a shorter step and a shorter support time compared to sneakers.
Increased risk of falls
Directly connected with the previous point, when wearing flip-flops you have to make sure that the flip-flop remains in contact with the ground and that the foot has maximum adherence to the shoe. When wearing them you also have to flex your knees and ankles more, which will eventually lead to a distorted walk and to an increased risk of tripping and falling.
The thinness of the sole means that, with each step, the heels are considerably stressed and this repeated impact can cause severe pain, especially when wearing flip-flops for long periods of time.
The side straps are the only point of attachment for the foot to the foot bed. And the fact that they rub against the skin at each step means they end up irritating it, causing painful blisters that can end up as open wounds, exposing the foot to possible bacterial infections.
Permanent damage to the toes
When wearing flip-flops, the foot is forced to assume a “pincer” position in order not to lose its grip and, in the long run, this unnatural posture causes the knuckles of the toes to bend, causing the so-called “hammer toe.”
The “pincer grip” taken by the toes to keep the flip flops on the feet can cause calluses, especially those that form between the big toe and second toe where the thong strap rests, making wearing them even more painful.
Any shoe completely devoid of a heel prevents the correct support of the foot, altering the right distribution of body weight and blood circulation, and damaging the posture, especially in the case of prolonged use.
Danger of tendonitis and bunions
The altered posture that happens when wearing flip-flops imposes a greater load at the level of the joints of the legs. These joints then have to make a greater effort to compensate for the imbalance, thus exposing the foot to a series of issues, which could be anything from simple pain to more severe tendonitis and bunions.
The side straps that hold the flip-flops together are often made of latex, a material that many people are allergic to, or may contain BPA (bisphenol A), a compound that has been shown to cause some types of cancer. In this case it’s better to opt for fabric or leather models.
Do you recognize any of your own issues in these statements? Or will you continue to wear your favorite flip-flops every summer? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side