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In Arlington, Danger is Underfoot

by ARLnow.com May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm 8,372 42 Comments

The ubiquitous brown flip flop may be hazardous to your health, according to an article in the Washington Post.

The Post reports that podiatrists are treating a rash of flip flop-related injuries in the D.C. area, including one District-based foot doctor who treats at least one flip flop injury per day during the warm-weather months.

The health dangers of flip flops include stress fractures of the metatarsals, plantar fasciitis, cuts, bruises and sunburn, according to the article. But the scientific evidence is a bit thin.

“Very few studies have looked at the pros and cons of flip-flops,” the Post notes. Perhaps researchers can interview a few of Arlington’s bevy of dudes in brown flip flops.

Said the tipster who sent us the link: “Breaking news! Residents of Clarendon need to be alerted immediately.”

  • Arlingtonian

    I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot and it is some painful $#@*! Flip-flops are definitely bad for people with fallen arches. You can get some that have arch supports built in for people like me, however. 🙂

    • NPGMBR

      I have high arches and I don’t wear flip-flips simply because I they don’t offer any support for my arches and because I just fear they expose my feet to much more crap than my other sandals.

  • SoArlRes

    It’s dangerous to live in Arlington. We all knew the risks when we moved here. 😀

  • MB

    I think a fundraising concert for these poor soles is in order. The headliner is obvious, but how to fill the opening slots . . .

    • Cyrus

      Perhaps Nine Inch Nails or Little Feat?

  • Eponymous Coward

    The guy in the article says despite injuries, he wears them because it is “looks over comfort.” Looks?

    o rly?

    • dynaroo

      No kidding. Flip flops not only are usually stupid-looking, they make the person wearing them look stupid.

  • CrystalMikey

    Hahaha…love the tipster.

  • If you wear them too long, you can get some nasty flip flop rash.

  • Blueskies

    Too bad – those brown flip flops match all the new brown buildings in Clarendon so well.

  • Ladies, you’ll get much more attention from the guys if you wear brown pumps instead of brown flip flops.

    • BoredHouseWife

      Heels = back problems, knee problems, ankle problems, just a whole slew of problems.

    • PCB

      Those are nude.

    • CW

      Ladies, if you think men are looking at your feet, think again.

  • y8s

    Has anyone tried black flipflops?

  • Hattie McDaniels

    OK, it’s been a number of years that it’s been fashionable (I use the term loosely) to wear flip-flops 24/7. Even longer for college students. So why are these “dangers” only now appearing?

    • dynaroo

      Because someone finally wrote an article about them.

  • TedL

    Thank you ARLnow and all the commenters for giving me a good chuckle every now and then. I love this blog.

  • BoredHouseWife

    I broke my meta tarsel last august, so I am really getting a kick out of these replies.

    Protip: Do not break your right foot.

  • Michael H.

    +1 on more structured sandals with arch support. The cheapie flip-flops are not good for your feet. So stay away from the $3 shoes.

  • FlipFlopJokesAgain…Really?

    The brown flip flops observation was clever back around 2008 (?) in the context of the rap video that popularized it. But the jokes are kinda tired at this point, no?

    I realize ArlNow is just playing to his audience, and I don’t fault that. But when it comes to a typical post in which flip flops are not the topic, I’m surprised how frequently folks still strive to work a flip flop “joke” into the comments… and receive encouragement.

    Other than that, I like the site.

    • Thes

      @ FFJAR: Your dourness falls flat. Have you no sole? I support the arch and witty comments here — they put us all on the same casual footing. Why do you insist on making us all toe the same line?

      • NPGMBR

        Very good….That put a smile on my face!

      • FlipFlopJokesAgain…Really?

        That was somewhat witty. I appreciate that! Fresh humor is good. It’s the generic recitation to which I was referring.

  • Chris

    Next they’re going to tell us that gourmet pizza, burgers, and cupcakes are bad for you. It’s just not fair!

  • As a podiatrist in Arlington I have to say the foot banter is funny. Sometimes a little turn of a phrase is a good thing but I’ll leave that to other posters. I think there are some good supportive flips and recovery sandals. I’ll be bringing my favorite brand Soles out to the Clarendon bike race June 11 if you want to check them out. I’ll be blogging soon on this at Docforjocks.blogspot.com

  • Set the Controls

    I once lost a toenail when I was wearing flip-flops on a metro escalator., Good thing I didn’t lose my toes.

    • CW


      • Set the Controls

        In all honesty, the comb at the top of the (it was the Dupont Circle station as I recall) escalator caught my toenail between the toe and the nail and I yanked it away just in time. The nail fell off a couple weeks later.

        • Josh S

          Uh-huh, yeah. Uh-huh, yeah.

  • Matt

    I keep hoping flip flops go out of style soon. I’m tired of seeing men’s nasty feet.

  • Josh S

    The idea that flip flops cause foot problems is ridiculous. They’re basically no shoe at all. Do we think that Mother Nature engineered a foot that can’t withstand walking without a shoe on? Doesn’t make sense.
    It could be walking on concrete and other hard surfaces causes foot problems without a sturdy shoe on. But in this case, it would be the concrete’s fault, not the flip flop’s.

    • dynaroo

      Gee, someone’s spouting off their opinion on the Internet without actually reading the article. That’s unusual.

  • Lacey Forest

    Tevas are much better.

    • SaveDaveMcKenna

      FlipFlops should stay in the shower. Vibram is the way to go.

  • Stephanie
  • dynaroo

    I once saw a guy in a full suit and flipflops, downtown. No bag or backpack indicating he had shoes to change into either; maybe he kept them at work. Man did he look stupid.


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