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Flip-Flops removed from Wal-Mart shelves caused chemical burns on feet!

Updated on August 23, 2010

Did Wal-mart do all they could to prevent this?

  • Just when you thought it was safe to put on your bargain price flip-flops from Wal-Mart........

Did Wal-mart do all they could to prevent this?

After reading Kelly Stiles story (and numerous others), I have to say its making me think twice about my loyalty to Wal-mart, if not at least question the purchase of products from China. This is not the first negative thing I've heard about Wal-Mart. I'm sure there are entire websites that could be written (if not all ready) by disgruntled employees who were not treated well, the fact that they are non-union, and frankly some of the worst customer service in the land of retail. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into Wal-Mart and had a question while roaming the store and had to walk halfway around the store before finding an actual employee, (let alone one who knew what they were doing) I have no reason to think that Kelly's experience is far-fetched as I have worked in retail and know how big headed management can get. She mentions how rude the GM was at her local store and treated her like "the bad guy". No surprise there. Typical of how most management I've been around act like. In fact she has an email from a former manager of Wal-Mart that states

"I used to be a manger with Wal-Mart and I can tell you as you have well figured out by this time that management and the HR departments are actually trained and taught to shift blame and to try to use confusing tactics to get people to NOT fill out incident reports since any incidents are actually charged to the store and not Wal-Mart directly."

How sad is that? The store itself is the one charged initially. It's always the low end of the totem pole that gets dumped on in the land of corporations.

If you look at Kelly's website it shows very graphic pics of her wounds from the flip-flops. Now I'm no Doctor and don't claim to be an expert but rashes typically spread and looking at these pictures I cant believe this is a rash or "contact dermatitis" as one Doctor put, but a burn, as the injured skin didn't spread past the impression of the straps from the flip-flops. Poor girl doesn't even have insurance, so I feel for her even more. Wal-Mart could have at least offered to pay for her Dr visits and treatment up front. All though they probably couldn't because that would automatically make them look responsible. (Which I believe they are) Doesn't look like they've taken any responsibility other than removing the shoes from the shelves of which they took there sweet time to do apparently. I mean at what point do you say okay Wal-mart you are responsible for this woman (and many others) pain and suffering. Here are my thoughts.

  • Did they manufacture the shoes themselves? No
  • Did they wear the shoes themselves or have several test studies done? Not likely, I mean who ever thought you would need research done on flip-flops?
  • Why did Wal-mart only remove the flip-flops from their shelves and not recall the product as well? Does this mean they might put them back on the shelves if they don't think the evidence is sufficient, or if Kerry Stiles lawsuit fails. Well let me reiterate that I have yet to find any proof that they did an ACTUAL recall. Only that they removed the product from their shelves to conduct their own studies they've stated. What are the results of their studies if any have been done one wonders?
  • Ultimately who is really at fault here? Wal-Mart for selling a toxic product, or China for manufacturing it? Should they both be held accountable?
  • Why is Wal-Mart stating only 10 people have claimed a problem with the shoes, when clearly Kerry's website has many more affected.
  • Another note, there is apparently more than one brand of shoes that are causing these reactions. "No Boundaries" is one of the other that I'm aware of. Sand-n-sun is the one in question. There may be more.
  • In fact Kerry received an interesting email with photos from a former employee that show his hands are affected with similar reactions people have had on their feet. His arms & chest also "broke out". Why? Because he was in charge of stocking many different pairs of shoes at Wal-Mart.

I don't know where I'm at with shopping all together at Wal-Mart. I know I won't be buying shoes from them anytime soon, and I'll definitely think twice before I buy products "made in China" (read my hub to find out more). The problem where I live is that I have limited choices for a "one stop shopping" convience. I have two small children and a small budget, so the less stores I can go to in one day the better. Wal-Mart is a very convient and low priced store that has worked for my hectic lifestyle. But at the same time I don't want to condone their lack of ethics. I think the best choice would be to just tell Wal-Mart myself how I feel and hopefully they will listen. What do you think?


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    • profile image

      lisa 2 years ago

      this happened to my face from fabric at Joann's

    • profile image

      Pravda 6 years ago

      This is not good, but this woman has clearly ben wearing these longer than a day or two. She's allowed this to go on for some time. I had aring once that was silver overlay but I developed a nickel allergy to it that looked exactly like this. I kept wearing the ring because I liked it even though it was causing itchy red bumps & swelling on my finger. Eventually it began turning red and peeling as well. That's when I researched it and found out what was going on.

      The reaction wasn't caused by the store. It's a biological response of certain individuals to certain contents. Everything we do is a potential risk so lets not jump to conclusions.

    • profile image

      Nancy 7 years ago

      I am sick of people always picking on Walmart and McDonalds. Maybe the government needs to do a better job with imports from other countries. We have higher standers here, why not set them on things coming into the USA. If they don't comply the are not aloud in the USA. period!!! But we don't have the man power or the money to take care of the problem. So we need to stop buying from them altogether, right? While the other countries are getting rich off of us we are suffering the consequence. Then be prepare to pay the price. Walmart and Target won't be a discount store, and no one should complain. Pick up at least 10 items in your home and see where they come from, don't forget about clothing. You would be lucky if you find one out of that ten that is made in the USA and I bet they didn't all come from walmart!

    • recoveringredneck profile image

      Tonia L. Clark 7 years ago from Idaho

      I would defiantly be concerned about that myself! Perhaps see what Old Navy has to say about it. Maybe they were recalled who knows. Keep an eye on your daughters feet for any reactions would be my suggestion. Even itchy dry feet could be a sign of something. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Jill 7 years ago

      I've recently had problems with my daughter's flip flops (toddler size) from Old Navy. I set them down on a lacquered cabinet for a couple of days and they turned the paint to goo. There was some kind of reaction between the flip flops and paint. Also happened with another pair that was set down on a wood stained side table. Really makes me wonder what they are made of and concerned that they have been on my daughter's feet all summer.

    • profile image

      dodie23 7 years ago

      Watch out for Bras, bought three from wal-mart had same problem. Broke out,red itching,painful.Did not know what it was and accidentally came across same problem with Bras bought at Victoria's Secret had high levels of formaldehyde.

    • profile image

      Marilyn 7 years ago

      I purchased brown flip flops from Old Navy and had a chemical reaction that caused both feet to itch, swell, turn bright red and now my skin is peeling. It was incredibly painful and I've worn the Old Navy brand for years. There is definitely something wrong.

    • recoveringredneck profile image

      Tonia L. Clark 8 years ago from Idaho

      Nona, thank you SOOOO much for sharing that info. I found the link you referred to at

      It's unbelievable to me that Wal-Mart has let this happen so many times. I hope somebody puts a stop to this. I refuse to buy any shoes made in China now, and I'll not likely be buying them shoes from Wal-Mart anytime soon.

    • profile image

      Nona Roach 8 years ago

      If you want to see what happens when you buy your granddaughter Danskin shoes made in China from Wal Mart go to the KOTV 6 Tulsa website and google grandmother. My granddaughter had to go to the Hillcrest BURN Center 3 different times for treatment for her burns from the insoles made of "Post Industrial Material".

    • profile image

      October 8 years ago

      I have a very small budget, but I don't skimp on shoes. This is why. I would rather have one quality pair, then 10 cheap junky pairs. I really hope these poor people are compensated for this.

    • profile image

      mamahops 8 years ago

      Totally agree with you - wow! I cannot believe these photos. IT's sad that the well being of its customers isn't a priority for Walmart. Yet its so hard for consumers NOT to shop at Walmart! Great hub.

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 8 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Horrible!!!!! We have a love/hate relationship with Walmart~~ someday we hope to never support it in any way!!!!!

    • profile image

      Miracle 2 9 years ago

      Yikes. That picture is really scary! You ask some very good questions here. I think they call it contact dermatitis when an irritant in a product cause a skin problem. I know they call that the case when people get rashes from the nickel in cell phones on their face or ears. Thanks for this page. I know in the UK a lot of people were sick from sofas that had some anti-mold chemical in for shipping.


    • recoveringredneck profile image

      Tonia L. Clark 10 years ago from Idaho

      I actually saw that on the FDA website just a few days ago. Very appalling! I just don't get how cereal of all things can get salmonella poisioning. I didn't even think that was possible!

      Thanks for you comment

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      I'm very new to hubbing here and still looking around finding the hubbers I enjoy. Good luck on making enough $$ to get your hubby home to you and your sweeties. My posts mainly about food/nutrition/health. Thought you might be interested in my latest, a food recall that originates in good ol' wholesome Minnesota. It's a dangerous world out there!