Educational Articles

Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC


The above content is for educational or informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or augment professional medical instruction, diagnosis, or treatment. Read full disclaimer here.

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July 20, 2015

I once saw a young Indian woman, whose big toe was far-away splayed away from her other toes — the space between her big toe and the others was cut-into by her flip-flops — probably a result of standing on a slope often in wet weather, or wearing flip-flops in wet, slippery weather in general. The thing is, no matter what you have on your feet, you need to be mindful of them for them to stay healthy.

August 11, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hello, Helene,

Thank you for your response. We could not agree more! Mindfulness is the main ingredient to honoring what your body needs, from the feet on up. Thank you for contributing to the ongoing conversation we are honored to moderate.

Continued best,
Sarah K. Schuetz

October 19, 2018
Lawrence Bell

In transitioning to minimalist footwear, some of your articles recommend barefoot walking, including around the house. However, I’m wondering if it is okay to walk on a hard surface on which there is no carpeting?

October 19, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Lawrence,

Thank you for your message. I’m glad to hear that you’re thinking about ways to strengthen and rehabilitate your feet.

The human foot is naturally very adaptable and responsive and can support our weight and movements on a variety of surfaces, including hard surfaces. This is, however, under ideal circumstances (i.e., an already strong and resilient foot). Many folks who suffer from the foot problems caused by conventional footwear may have trouble with harder surfaces initially. My best recommendation is to check out the following article, which outlines the many ways to support a transition to healthier feet and footwear:

In general, it’s always wise to start out slowly and gradually, and that would certainly apply to walking barefoot on harder surfaces.

If you have any additional questions, please do let us know. We’re happy to help out however we can!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

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