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Flip Flops are Dangerous

Updated on July 5, 2012

Flip Flops are cute. They come in a variety of colors, materials, and overall styles. They're easy to slip on to run to the store or take the dog out.

But, flip flops can be dangerous.

It is easy to trip over a flip flop. I recently tripped on my flip flops. They sandal bent under my foot tripping me. Not a week later, I hear a story about a women who also tripped on her flip flop; she currently lies in a hospital bed with brain trauma.

There are many dangers that should be taken into account when wearing flip flops, as the hazards can be serious.

In general, flip flops cause changes in your gait and how you walk. Wearing flip flops make you take shorter steps. The heel hits the ground with more force, and you don't bring up the toes as high.

The grip your toes use to hold onto the flip flop is not good for the way your walk.

When you change the way that you walk, you can develop lower leg problems.If you don't want to get rid of your flip flops, you can find sandals that have arch and heel support, but it's still not recommended to wear flip flops for long amounts of time where you have to walk long distances.

Common dangers with wearing flip flops include:

  • Broken toes
  • Fractured bones
  • Toenails ripping off
  • Scraps and bruises (from trips and falls while wearing flip flops)
  • Short and long-term issues with ankles, hips, and knees
  • Pain (caused by tension in the plantar fascia tissue from toe scrunching)
  • Sprained ankles

No matter how comfortable you think flip flops are, the general flip flop does not provide any support, which can cause ankles, legs, knees, hips and back problems.

In addition to short- and long-term dangers associated with walking in flip flops, there are dangers when driving in open-heeled sandals. Studies show that when wearing flip flops while driving, the sandal can slip off and wedge underneath the pedals. The sandal can also slip off and get stuck in or under the floor mat, causing complications when pressing the gas and/or brake pedal.


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    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Flip-flops are dangerous for the reasons mentioned, and so are backless slides. Many years ago I "walked out of" one of my backless slides as I took my first step to walks down a steep set of stairs. I fell all the way to the bottom and was injured. Painful way to learn a lesson.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Yes, they are dangerous! I only recently started wearing sandals again after a gruesome door/toe collision while wearing a pair.

    • profile image

      Lulu 5 years ago

      I have special orthopedic flip flops, though I do occasionally trip. I think the worst combination would be flip flop stilettos-my friend's mom has a pair and they look like torture devices.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 5 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      I'm sorry to hear about your injury - thanks for this article. I don't wear flip flops because they do not provide any support for the feet. You bring up an important point - they can be dangerous as well! Useful information!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Flip flops are convenient and cheap which I think is why they became so popular. Slipping off a flip flop or even walking out of one is very, very common but I don't think people stopt to realize how dangerous it can be.

      Voted this up and interesting and hoping it helps someone avoid an accident.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I think I'm safe since I abhor flip flops. I know I'm in the minority, but I hate how they look, how they sound, and how they feel. No support and a wedgie between my toes! LOL. I do agree that flip flops can pose a danger. Heels may be bad for your feet, but I think people are less likely to trip on them! Great hub. Enjoyed it!

    • pals002 profile image

      pals002 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. Yes I agree it is easy to trip over with flip flops. I still wear it occasionally just to walk for short distance to buy groceries but certainly not for long distance or running.

    • profile image

      paxwill 5 years ago

      Sorry to hear about your injury! Hope it doesn't hurt too bad. I agree that a lot people wearing flip-flops do sort of walk funny. But, a person could trip wearing any kind of shoe. (I certainly have, and barefoot too.) And as footwear goes, flip-flops are not nearly as bad for your feet as heels.