The temperature is rising. Maybe not as quickly as we’d like, but it’s rising. And with that rise brings a change of wardrobe. Cast aside are the sweaters and woolen socks of only last month, and stowed away are the mittens and scarves. Time to don those ironic t-shirts, throw on some shorts, and feel the breeze through your toes as you flip flop around the city.
Or will that kill you?
Probably not, but you could do yourself a great deal of harm by wearing flip flops all summer long. These simple drugstore purchases have become summertime staples, and even though it feels nice to take those dogs for a walk, you could be doing yourself a great deal of harm.
Let’s start with simple arch support. There is none. This is fine for bumming around by the pool, or maybe a short walk, but if flip flops are all your wearing all day long, then you are putting a great deal of stress onto the bottom of your foot. The arch of your foot could potentially cave in, leaving your body with no shock absorption when you walk. That means your first line of defense against the impact with the ground is gone, and that force will then be transferred up through your knees, your hips, your SI joints and your spine. And if you already have flat feet or low arches, these will only serve to exacerbate the problem. Not to mention that all the stress put into the plantar fascia can, of course, lead to plantar fasciitis, which causes severe pain into the bottom of your foot, and in extreme conditions, will form bone spurs on the anterior portion of your heel bone.
That’s right, flip flops will make your feet stab themselves.
Wearing flip flops by the pool so you don’t burn your feet on the hot cement if fine. Wearing flip flops to go for a hike or play football is no good. Stubbed toes, broken toes, broken nails, cuts and bruises all are much more likely when your feet are left unprotected from trauma. And if you are a diabetic with peripheral neuropathy, where you might not know you’ve injured your toe, then you should never wear flip flops.
Yes, wearing flip flops in a public shower can decrease your chances of getting athletes foot. But wearing them while you traipse around the city? You’ve all seen what people do on these sidewalks. You’ve all seen what dogs do on these sidewalks. You’ve seen the city wildlife, now imagine what they do on the sidewalks. Now imagine Wrigleyville after a Cubs game, and imagine what all those bros do on the sidewalks. Now imagine all that getting trapped between the soul of your foot and a thin piece of rubber that slaps and splatters the bottom of your foot with each step, like a bellows to a campfire. Whoosh goes the fungi, the viruses, the bacteria, the dirt and bugs and parasites.
Don’t forget the sunscreen on top of your feet, either.
And whatever you do don’t drive while wearing flip flops. They have been known to get stuck on the gas pedal, giving the driver no easy access to the brake pedal, leading to 3,000 pounds worth of heavy machinery careening through the streets with no means of stopping.
But at least you can show off your pedicure.