top of page

Are flip-flops bad for your feet?

Why summer's favorite footwear (flip-flops!) might not be so great for your feet.

Are flip-flops bad for your feet? A Pilates instructor weighs in.
Are flip-flops bad for your feet? A Pilates instructor weighs in

As a Pilates reformer instructor, I'm always studying people's feet during the footwork portion of the workout. Posture begins with the feet. How a person positions their feet on the footbar generally works its way up the body and impacts how we walk and stand.

It's for this reason I'm not a super fan of people wearing flip-flops all summer long. Yes, flip-flops are easy to slip on and off and can look effortlessly cool, but they're not great for the feet.

Reason #1 - Flip-flops increase the likelihood of plantar fasciitis

Flip flops don't allow the big toe to flex, which is what allows the foot to push off the ground. So the body compensates for the lack of mobility in the toes by hyper stiffening the plantar fascia, the tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes and ankles, which shows up as pain--plantar fasciitis--down the line. Plantar-fasciitis can take months to get over!

Reason #2 - Flip-flops can make your heels hurt

Your average box store flip-flop lacks cushion and foot support so the heels end up taking on most of the load of impact--think, repeatedly pounding your heel on asphalt--resulting in heel pain.

Reason #3 - Flip-flops can lead to ankle strain

Because there is insufficient cushion or foot support, you're more prone to tripping and falling when wearing flip flops. This is way we frequently work the ankles during the footwork portion of the Pilates workout....anything to keep those ankles strong!

If you're determined to wear flip-flops, opt for a pair that offers sturdy support. I like the Oofos brand. They're well made, very comfortable and offer superior support.

Appreciate this content? Consider signing up for Speakeasy's 2x monthly (sometimes more) newsletter where Speakeasy Pilates owner Jessie Knadler opines about all things health, wellness, fitness, Pilates, building a small business, motherhood and LIFE! Unsubscribe anytime.


bottom of page