‘Dangerous’ flip-flops are worse for your feet than heels

Freeing the foot could be your Achilles heel

The warm breeze on your bare toes and the distinctive clomp as they hit the floor, flip-flops are the life and sole of your summer holiday.

But this year’s must-have accessory could be doing more damage to your feet than even balancing on towering heels, according to experts.

Dr Tariq Khan, a consultant podiatrist at University College Hospital London said: Frankly, flip-flops are dangerous.”

He told the Daily Mail: “They are the most flimsy, unsupportive piece of footwear you can wear.”


You might have thought a stubbed toe was the worst casualty of the flip-flop trend, but the damage could be far worse.

Dr Khan said: “Ideally, everyone’s shoes should have a heel of around an inch-and-a-half.”

He added: “The lack of heel lift means the sole is overstretched and the tendon that runs from the Achilles to the toe becomes inflamed.

“If you have tight calves – common in high heel wearers or runners – this becomes even more likely.

“Pain usually starts with an ache, but can develop into a spasm or burning feeling. It can flare up after walking or running, and is typically worse on waking up.”


For flip-flop fanatics, Dr Kahn recommends “rest, anti-inflammatories and better shoes”.

And he’s not the only specialist who failed to fall head over heels for our new favourite footwear.

Rik Mellor, senior lecturer in anatomy and human movement at St Mary’s University, thinks that if you insist on wearing flip-flops, the best way is to ease into it slowly.

He said: “They’re what British people are used to slipping on for short periods of time at the seaside or by the pool.


“The trouble is summer finally arrives and everyone kicks off their normal footwear in favour of flip-flops, having not worn them for a year.

“And with the sudden change, you can bring on acute, inflammatory conditions in a small space of time.”

Speaking on the dangers of flip-flops, he said: “It can cause muscle-overload pain – on the shins, fronts of the ankles, or the feet. You may limp or change the way you walk and this could even lead to biomechanical problems in the knees or back.”


So if you’re heading on holiday soon and can’t survive without flip-flops, it might be a good idea to whip them out early.

This comes after scientists revealed wearing heels for more than three years could do you serious harm.

Dr Yong Seok Jee from Henseo University said: “Results suggest that wearing high heels may strengthen ankle muscles at first, but prolonged use eventually causes a muscular imbalace.”

She believes deformed feet, back pain and unhealthy walking patterns are all come as a result of wearing heels too often – so you might want to save them just for the grad ball.