I have wide feet. I mean really wide. So wide that my pinkie toe will eventually wear a hole through the side of most shoes. No puny canvas upper can contain my rampant pinky toes.
So, when the weather is nice I like to give my feet a break by wearing flip flops. But this summer I’ve been keeping away from the flip flops; it turns out that they’re not very good for you.
Here are three reasons to avoid flip flops this summer:
1) Flip flops are dirty. Thousands of bacteria and other nasty things colonize your flip flops. Alarmingly, many flip flops test positive for the staphylococcus bacteria which can cause staph infections if your skin is broken.
2) Flip flops cause foot injury. Flip flop wearers report an abnormally high incidence of foot injury including plantar fasciitis, achilles tendon injury and stress fractures.
3) Flip flops alter your gait. Researchers hypothesize that flip flops alter your gait kinetics because you have to grip with your feet, which is not a natural part of walking or running. This is of particular concern to those of us who run, or at least those of us who want to run well.
A good alternative to flip flops are the toe shoes popularized by Inov-8 and Vibram. I own some of these and they are flexible enough to accomodate even my super-wides.