More Structured Flip-Flops Better For Feet, Says Study

June 5, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Flip-flops with heel cups and arches, or athletic shoes in general, are a better option than plain flip-flops, a study has shown. (Photos.com)
Flip-flops with heel cups and arches, or athletic shoes in general, are a better option than plain flip-flops, a study has shown. (Photos.com)
Specialists are advising people not to wear flip-flops for extended periods of time as it can result in foot, ankle and leg pain.

Researchers from kinesiology departments of Auburn and Lafayette Universities presented their findings on flip-flops at a recent American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Indianapolis. Their research lead to the conclusion that flip-flops with heel cups and arches, or athletic shoes in general, are a better option than plain flip-flops.

“The more the shoe conforms to your foot, the better off your foot and leg will be. If it's loose, your foot has to work harder to keep your flip-flop on," explained Justin Shroyer, Assistant Professor to Dr. Wendi Weimar, in the biomechanics department at Lafayette University in Louisiana, according to USA today.

Auburn University reported that people who wear flip-flops make shorter strides when walking, their heels hit the ground with less vertical force because of the foot’s reflex to grip the flip-flop with toes when the foot is swinging through the air.

Shroyer, however doesn’t mean to discourage flip-flop lovers to abstain from their favorite footwear. People can still wear flip-flops to the beach, to the pool, to allow the feet to breathe after a football game, but long-term use of flip-flops can cause shin muscles to stress, which can cause health problems in the long run.