When summertime rolls around, you’d be hard-pressed to find a shoe more ubiquitous than the flip-flop. Just about everyone sports these simple, easy-to-slip-on shoes once the mercury rises.

But as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and when it comes to flip-flops, the statement holds true. While it may be rewarding to wear a shoe that’s breathable and simple, there are also some unintended health effects that you might want to consider before digging your flip-flops out of the closet.

Shocked? Just wait until you see what one doctor says about the dangers of flip-flops below…

When the summer season starts, men, women, and children alike flock to their closets to dig out their trusty flip-flops. During that time of the year, you can hardly walk a block without spotting these breathable shoes on feet everywhere.

WXYZ-TV Detroit

That should come as no surprise: whether it’s to give your feet a little exposure to the summer-time air or to provide perfect protection from hot sand on the beach, flip-flops are as essential to summertime style as swimsuits, shades, and floppy hats.


But when you get down to the nitty-gritty of the flip-flop’s function, you might see just why one Michigan-based doctor awarded flip-flops with an “F” grade. That’s right: this summer staple could be failing feet everywhere, and you’ll be shocked to find out why…

WXYZ-TV Detroit

You see, as Dr. Zachary Vaupel—the foot and ankle surgeon that Detroit’s WXYZ-TV consulted to answer all of their burning flip-flop queries—noted, they don’t call ’em “flip-flops” for nothing. As the name indicates, these bad boys flop while they’re on your feet, which is counterproductive to a shoe’s intended purpose.

WXYZ-TV Detroit


Dr. Vaupel named a laundry list of flip-flop side effects sure to make any flop fan frown. “Plantar fasciitis or heel pain,” he listed when asked about the primary issues with the popular footwear. “We can see pain in the arch, tendonitis, stress fractures, and shin splints.”

WXYZ-TV Detroit

But Dr. Vaupel wasn’t done ruining flip-flop wearers’ days. He also argued that flip-flops can lead to larger health issues with the rest of the body, namely strains, sprains, and breaks that result from trips and falls.

WXYZ-TV Detroit

Already with one expert opinion, reporters at WXYZ-TV took to the streets for a different perspective on flip-flops. When asked if she ever ran in the summertime sandals, one little girl echoed the doctor’s sentiments: “No, because you might fall!” she answered confidently. Smart kid.

WXYZ-TV Detroit


Dr. Vaupel conceded that his patients and non-patients were going to continue wearing flip-flops despite his warnings. Still, he left viewers with just a few more warnings: you have to be mindful of stairs and make sure not to get caught wearing them for long periods of time.

WXYZ-TV Detroit

“If you have a flip-flop that’s too small, it can cause pressure points and lead to irritation and blisters,” Dr. Vaupel said. “If it’s too big, it’s unstable so you can slip and fall.” His solution? Don’t wear flip-flops. Cushioned shoes are simply the best way to protect the long-term health of your feet.

WXYZ-TV Detroit


After digesting all this information, reporter Syma Chowdhry had just one question for the doctor: What’s worse for your feet—high heels or flip-flops? You can see how Dr. Vaupel answered that question in the video below! While you’re watching, maybe ask yourself if you really want to wear your flip-flops next summer…

Knowing how bad flip-flops can be for your health, it might be wise to consider a more supportive pair of shoes next year.

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