Nobody ever said flip-flops were the most glamorous of summer shoes (though these fluffy sliders do make a strong counter-argument), but when you’re on the beach, perching poolside or just embracing those summer-in-the-city park vibes, they are the comfiest go-to shoes for many of us. After all, nothing quite beats feeling the breeze between your toes once the weather is warm enough. But here’s the question: Are flip-flops actually bad for your feet?
It’s a quandary that routinely plagues us (and Google, for that matter) every summer, so we decided to consult the experts to get the full low-down on why our favourite vacay shoes have such a bad rep. Flip-flop fans, you may not like what’s coming.
Dina Gohil, MD, and founder of London’s DG Podiatrist Mayfair laid out the no-bones truth for us about what flip-flops are really doing to your feet. (Spoiler alert: It’s not very good.)
“Flip-flops may be easy to wear and compliment most of your holiday outfits, but the reason they’ve earned such a bad rep is due to this fact: They give your feet zero support. As a result, your feet are exposed to certain pressures, increased ground force and have to work harder to support your body. Wearing them for a long period of time will tire out your feet and dry out your skin too.”
We told you there was bad news on the horizon. On the plus side, however, Dr Gohil does note that allowing your feet the freedom of not being crammed into tight or restrictive shoes is a good thing—provided you’re only wearing your flip-flops occasionally, and presumably not setting off on a miles-long hike in them. She also suggests looking for more supportive flip-flop designs.
“Wearing styles such as Birkenstocks, Fit Flops or Vionics can minimise any damage to your feet, as the sole of the flip-flop tends to be designed in such a way that it supports the foot. To help prevent and minimise dry skin on your feet, ensure you always moisturise your feet at the end of the day.”
Keep scrolling for our pick of the latest flip-flops that’ll help support your feet while looking great, too.