Beware the Beloved Flip-flop: When to Wear and When to Skip

Even pretty flip-flops should only be worn at the pool or beachMay’s almost here, and that means it’s about to get hot in Houston! Without fail, when the temperature rises, we all pull out our flip-flops. These easily toteable shoes are a great idea in certain situations, but for the most part, they don’t provide enough support for your feet.

So, for the comfort of your feet, read on for a Houston podiatrist’s flip-flop dos and don’ts:


Wearing flip-flops by the pool or when showering in a public or shared restroom (think camp or the gym)is a very smart idea, as it will go a long way towards protecting your feet from picking up plantar warts or fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Ditto for the beach, if you’re only planning on walking short distances (like from your lounge chair to the snack bar and back.)


Wearing flip-flops in any situation outside of the ones I just discussed is a pretty bad idea. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), you should not wear these flat sandals for any period of extensive walking as they offer no arch or ankle support and can lead to foot pain, tendinitis (from gripping your feet to keep them on) and even ankle sprains if you trip and fall.

Additionally, the very open nature of the shoe leaves you more vulnerable to stubbed toes, cuts and even punctures; if you have diabetes, it’s probably smart to steer clear of flip-flops altogether since any foot wound you develop can become a major problem.

Finally, even if you aren’t planning on walking very far, flip-flops aren’t the best choice for driving shoe. Because they aren’t fitted to your foot, these sandals can slip while you’re driving, lodge under your gas or brake pedal and leave you vulnerable to a car accident. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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