Educational Articles

Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

Disclaimer:

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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Comments
July 20, 2015
Helene

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:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17888528-how-to-transition-to-minimalist-shoes

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

February 22, 2021
Steve

I have always loved flip-flops, even when hiking. I’ve owned great flip-flops and really crappy ones, for various reasons. Why don’t you sell them? I’m talking about the traditional flip-flop, without the heel strap. A good pair, made by folks who comprehend healthy footwear, is not that easy to find, in my experience. Cheers!

February 22, 2021
Natural Footgear

Hi, Steve,

Thank you for your comment! It’s great to hear from other people who have successfully used flip-flops for a variety of purposes, including hiking. Though we do appreciate the many merits of a good-fitting flip-flop, we’re partial to minimalist sandals that incorporate a heel strap. We just find that the heel strap makes the sandal that much better for active outdoor use.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

February 22, 2021
Una Jansen

I have Morton’s neuroma in both my feet and wearing closed-in shoes is really uncomfortable. I moved to a warmer climate where I can wear flip-flops all year round—problem solved!!

February 22, 2021
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Una,

Thank you for posting your comment! I’m really glad to hear that you’ve found relief from your neuroma-related pain through the use of flip-flops. Excellent!

If you do ever opt to reincorporate closed-toe shoes into your life, you might consider checking out the following resources from our site, which I think you’ll find quite helpful:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/educational-articles/how-to-shop-for-shoes

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/educational-articles/neuromas-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

All the best,
Marty Hughes, DC

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