Flip flops, which are essentially thin layers of foam and minimal straps, don’t have the greatest reputation for arch support. As even their name suggests – flip flop flip flop flip flop – there’s a lot of excessive motion and noise with each step. In fact, podiatrists have noticed a glaring correlation between plantar fasciitis and flip flops among their patients.
**Below, you’ll find our expert reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Michael King, a podiatrist out of Massachusetts, has many more patients come in during the fall after, “wearing cheap flip flops all summer.” Another podiatrist, Elizabeth Kurt who practices out of Chicago agrees with King. Wearers punish their feet for months with flimsy shoes that don’t carry any real arch support. She says that flip flops tend to be, ” a major source of foot pain.”
But wait, before swearing off flip flops entirely, there may indeed be hope. Not all flip flops are created equal. A few sandals have even been designed specifically for plantar fasciitis. Some have elements that while not as substantial as an orthotic shoe, will definitely help to mitigate your plantar fasciitis. The next time you search for flip flops be sure to find styles that feature:
Arch support – a flip flop with a bump in the middle typically suggests arch support. Avoid the completely flat foam sandals
Thick soles – a shoe with a thick sole will place less strain on your foot with each step. If it bends or folds in the middle then you aren’t getting the support you need
Snug straps – again you want to limit excessive foot motions, keeping your foot snug and secure prevents the extra motion that will place strain on your plantar fascia
Heel cups – a pocket for your heel will prevent it from sliding around with each step and thus allow your sandal’s arch support to function with the best results
Health brand – seek out a brand that has a reputation for making podiatrist approved sandals such as Vionci, Sole, ECCO, Olukai, New Balance, and Spenco
Here’s an infographic from a Huffington Post article that sums up a lot of the flip flop criticisms as well as a few useful buying tips.
Already you now know more than the average flip flop shopper! You also know that if you are truly serious about ridding yourself of plantar fasciitis symptoms, then sandals should still be avoided until you are completely recovered. Eventually however, you can begin to incorporate a few flip flops that will provide your feet with best shot at staving off plantar fasciitis. Here are a few sandal options that do an especially good job incorporating arch support, a thick sole, snug straps, and a heel cup.