Flip-Flops: Friend or Enemy?

Foot injuries and back pain are more prevalent in the summer months because of one main culprit…the FLIP-FLOP!  With temperatures in the 90 degree range most people wear flip-flops to stay cool. While they can be the best option for days around the pool or soaking up the sun on the beach, they are not the best option for everyday wear.

This infamous shoe will make you more susceptible to injuries due to its lack of SUPPORT. Flip-Flops, while practical and easy, offer no shock absorption, arch support, or heel cushioning.

Foot Pain

The lack of support can cause fallen arches, flat feet, or pain in the bottom of the foot. It could also cause overuse injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis or an over-pronation of the foot.

Back Pain

Another common injury caused by wearing flip-flops is back pain.  Due to the lack of shock absorption, every step sends a constant pounding or jarring sensation up the spine. This impact can cause pain in the disc, joints, and ligaments.

Don’t get defensive, we are not telling you to throw away your flip-flops. However we are suggesting that you limit your time wearing them.

DO NOT wear flip-flops when:

  • You already have foot pain
  • On your feet for long periods of time
  • Walking long distances
  • Running or playing any sporting activity


An alternative to wearing flip-flops is a sandal made for the outdoors with ample support and straps to keep the shoe secure on your foot.

Most of the symptoms related to flip-flop wear can be easily treated if caught early. If you notice pain while wearing flip-flops rest your feet, ice the affected area, and take an over the counter anti-inflammatory.  If that does not help, you may need to consider physical therapy for advice or treatment.

Dutch Physical Therapy offers a FREE consultation to determine if physical therapy is right for you.  For more information on this topic, please call 225-767-4440