Why I’m Learning to Loathe Flip-Flops

Okay, I’ll confess: I’ve always liked flip-flops. I think that part of this stems from my inability to wear them as a kid. My parents believed in practical footwear, and because of this, I spent most of my childhood in a pair of thick-soled, supportive sandals with powder blue straps.

As a result, anyone who got to wear darling, delicate flip-flops was the object of my envy—all I wanted was a pair of my own. So when I finally got them at the ripe old age of eleven, I wore them to death. I loved how easy they were to pair with any outfit, and how free my feet felt in them. And frankly, the distinct slapping sound they made against my heels as I walked was just so satisfying.

Recently, however, I have begun to develop some knee pain. Because I am a complete hypochondriac, I went straight to the Internet at the first sign of my discomfort to get some answers. What it revealed to me was that my favourite pair of old flip-flops might actually be the root of my problem.

As it turns out, these sandals leave the foot virtually unsupported as their wearer walks. This lack of support is seen directly in the heel of the shoe: traditional flip-flops don’t feature heel cups, which provide support to critical areas of the foot, such as the heel and ankle. Because these two spots are the first to make contact with the ground as we walk, they must be properly braced.

Also, the flat, stiff soles of these sandals don’t do much for their wearer, either: because they don’t fit the contours of the foot’s arch profile, the foot is left virtually unsupported. This can cause misalignment up the kinetic chain, which itself can lead to ankle, knee, or even back injury.

Moreover, flip-flops give your feet a workout—and not the good kind. Because there is no back strap on the sandal to keep the foot securely in place, the toes have to grip the shoes to prevent them from slipping off. This gripping action can cause painful and unflattering conditions such as hammertoes and claw toes to occur.

However, there’s still hope for all of us flip-flop junkies: the Tide II Sandal from Vionic ($80, Align Orthotics) allows us to enjoy our favourite style without all of the orthopedic problems that come with it. These stylish sandals feature deep heel cups, which help to stabilize, support, and realign feet back to their natural position as their wearer moves. Also, their lightweight, flexible midsole (which is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate) absorbs shock, which reduces stress on the feet, ankles, and knees.

See Getaligned Sandals Here These sandals perfectly combine practicality and fashion, and are the perfect way for flip-flop lovers everywhere to wear the style they love without sacrificing their orthopedic health. In other words, beauty doesn’t have to be pain anymore!


Corrina Mosca, Fashion Blogger