For Florida Keys residents, flip flops are likely the most basic and yet most popular item in the closet. This comfortable and durable footwear is a staple in the Florida Keys but as Jimmy Buffett wrote in “Margaritaville,” blowing out flip-flops is a real thing. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, of the 198,437 emergency room visits in 2014 due to shoe-related injuries (yes, shoe-related injuries!) 25,300 were associated with flip-flops. Worse, podiatrists point the finger at flip-flops for causing bacteria and viral infections, bad posture, bunion exacerbation and formation, athlete’s foot, and lack of arch support. Before you go throw out all your flip-flops, here are a few things to consider before wearing your favorite Keys footwear.
Just like red wine and chocolate, in moderation, flip-flops are just fine. Podiatrists hate stilettos, too, so now you might as well break all the rules and wear a little of both. Let out your inner fashionista with some fun for your feet. Instead of donning your regular plain flip-flops, try a cute pair of ballet flats or a great pair of colorful heels. You may be surprised by the response and your feet will look fabulous. Wearing flip-flops at night can be disastrous.
I once had the unfortunate experience of accidentally stepping on a scorpion at night while wearing flip-flops. As I stepped on him, his tale whipped up and stung me in the toe. My foot throbbed for days. So when going out at night, consider something that will provide a bit more coverage from stings, bites, rough terrain, broken glass, and other debris. If you’ve had your flip-flops for longer than you can remember, then it may be time to replace them. Just like running shoes, flip-flops get old and stop providing the support you need. A little wear is fine, but considering how many cute color combinations are available inexpensively, I recommend replacing your flip-flops every year.
Wearing flip-flops while driving can be dangerous. Backless shoes can easily slip off and get wedged under the brake or gas pedal. A recent study identified more than 1 million accidents or close calls while driving that was caused by flip-flops every year.
But it’s also important to also keep your feet looking great. Get a pedicure regularly, be sure to lather plenty of sunscreen on your toes when out in the sun, and clean your feet after wearing flip-flops. Remember that any dirt you come in contact with will also end up on your feet so be sure to give your toes a good wash before climbing into bed.
Named for the sound they make when they slap between your foot and the floor, flip-flops are great for the beach but have no use in any professional environment or dressy event. Just imagine flopping into your office or into a wedding. If sandals are a must, opt for a cute pair of sandals in a metallic hue that doesn’t flop for a more dressed-up look. When in doubt, wear your flip-flops. Life is better in flip-flops.
Leah Maki is a fashion-obsessed style blogger. More of her fashion advice can be found on her blog, LeahsFabulousFinds.com.