Today is National Flip Flop day, according to Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Florida. And while I'm all for made up holidays to raise money for good causes, I cannot shake the feeling that this is a ploy by the flip flop industry to distract us from the damage being done by their flimsy products. It's big flip flop pulling the wool over our eyes and the plastic over our toe, and I'm not falling for it.
In these heated times, I believe strongly in freedom for all, specifically all the toes. Let them feel the wind in their...er.. nails, let the sun shine down on them. However, I simply cannot accept the flip flop as a respectable shoe option. I support a full flip flop ban. Here's why:
1) They don't provide enough of a barrier between your feet and the world.
Suffice to say, a quarter inch of plastic between your toesies and the street is not enough. The grime accumulates and it is gross. I've seen fancy ladies in New York City with a $75 flip flop dangling off of a filthy but manicured big toe and just... noe.
2) They cause your toes to GRIP for dear life.
With no arch support and no strappage securing the flip flop to your foot, your toes have to grip the pathetic excuse for a shoe just to hang on to the illusion that you are in fact wearing shoes. Toe gripping causes the bottom of your feet, the plantar muscles and fascia, to work overtime, and this in turn can turn off other muscles in the kinetic chain, like your calves and glutes. If you don't already have plantar fasciitis you just might by fall, and I'll have to say "i told you so". Nobody wants to hear that, so get a (proper) grip.
3) The are ugly!
Full disclosure, I've been known to sacrafice proper support for a pretty sandal. Sometimes you gotta rock a stiletto and deal with the consequences. But flip flops? Are these even worth the trouble they cause? You can bejewel them all you want, to me it is just lipstick on a pig.
4) They provide no support!
No arch support at all, no ankle stability, no protection. Flip flops are just begging you to sprain your ankle, develop plantar fasciitis or stub your toe. I cannot support a shoe without any support!
So what's a girl to wear? I'm a fan of a moulded foot bed sandal for every day use. Birkenstocks are great, though I find them to be too flat for my body, and I suspect other disc herniation sufferers would agree. Naot has many styles with a bit of a lift, though lately I find their styles too... 'fapitzed' for my liking. My recent sandal purchase were Mephistos, and I find them to have just enough of a heel lift to save my back, great arch support and fuller coverage on the straps, meaning there is actually something holding the shoe to my foot!
Have fun this summer, but please leave the flip flops for the trek from pool deck to shower!