Flip-flop flubs – one local foot doctor cautions against overuse of flip-flops

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 07/21/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – In the middle of the official dog days of summer (the universally recognized hottest days of the year that run between July 3 and August 11), we find what relief we can from the heat. When it comes to summer clothes to wear outside, the likely choices are breathable fabrics (like cotton), light-colored and lightweight, and either covering as much or as little of your body as the situation and access to sunscreen there is.

Dr. David Jenson has some (toe)-gripping advice for summertime footwear

When it comes to summertime footwear, however, what may appear to be the best heat-resistant shoe might turn out to be the worst for you: the flip-flop.

Dr. David Jenson, DPM, FAENS, and owner of the offices of Jenson Foot & Ankle Specialist, has some warnings for those wanting to slip on a pair of foot-thongs when headed outdoors.

“The primary problem with flip-flops is that they are completely flat. Wearing any footwear without arch support pronates your feet, where your arches flatten out like pancakes,” said Jenson. “Another result could be plantar fasciitis, which causes considerable stabbing heel pain.”

Jenson also points out that steady use of flip-flops can lead to a higher incidence of bunions, as well as Morton’s neuroma, an inflammatory pinched nerve between metatarsals that causes a painful stinging sensation on the ball of your foot.

“The flattened pressure combined with grasping the rubber or leather strap between your first two toes can also lead to a higher possibility of ingrown toenails,” said Jenson.

The locally based foot specialist stresses that flip-flops aren’t inherently dangerous and can certainly be used in moderation. “If you wear the right size, and choose a brand that offers arch support, in my opinion you’re much more likely to be problem free.”

Jenson suggests that, if you simply wish to eschew full-footed shoes like sneakers or loafers in the summer heat, to look into Teva brand footwear. “They’re like wearing an open shoe and are much better for your foot safety and comfort.”

To get additional questions answered about your foot health, click on to learm more about Jenson Foot & Ankle Specialist.

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