Summer fashion could cause a foot full of injuries

Lyndsay Elliott

Wearing flip-flops may be hazardous to the health of your feet, possibly causing ankle and foot sprains. DAVID RANUCCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

They come in red, black, silver and blue. With a color for every outfit, flip-flops are a popular summer accessory.

These summer sandals, though stylish, are the leading cause of shoe-related injuries for college students.

“Flip-flops are more prone to cause foot ailments than other shoes, especially when students are wearing them to walk long distances,” podiatrist David Elliott said.

Elliott said the lack of arch support, shock absorbing capacity and coverage can cause damage to feet.

Cortney Benczo, junior communications major, said she suffered an injury due to the lack of foot protection while wearing flip-flops.

“I’ve tripped over them numerous times and once cut my toe,” Benczo said.

Elliott said flip-flops also lack durability.

April Bryan, senior nursing major, said she broke a pair while walking to class.

“I had to staple it together so I didn’t have to go barefoot,” Bryan said.

Benczo said she goes through many pairs because the strap holding it to her foot often breaks.

“I’ve had two pairs completely break, and I’ve lost at least four pairs because they all got stuck in the mud at an outdoor concert,” Benczo said.

Jason Staten, junior justice studies major, said these shoes are popular because they are cheap, comfortable, quick and easy to put on and can be worn year-round.

“I don’t like having my foot enclosed,” Staten said. “At the end of the day, I don’t have that feeling to just kick off my shoes. It’s like almost having the freedom of being barefoot.”

Elliott said it is easy for people, especially college students, to wear the same type of shoe every day because it is quick and convenient.

“Even when there is snow on the ground, I’ll wear flip-flops to walk short distances,” Staten said.

Despite the blisters and arch pain, college-age students do fairly well wearing flip-flops for an extended period of time, Elliott said.

“College students are pretty durable and do well as long as they switch up their shoes,” Elliott said.

Elliott said ankle and foot sprains are the most common flip-flop related injuries. This usually happens when the foot or a surface gets wet and the foot slides right off the top.

“Students should pick and choose shoes to meet the needs of the activities they engage in,” Elliott said.

Elliott suggests trying to find something with an arch support when shopping for flip-flops.

“A great alternative to flip-flops are Crocs,” Elliott said.

Elliott said these shoes provide the same comfortable convenience as flip-flops, but have shock absorbing capacity, arch support and foot coverage.

Benczo said flip-flops are a huge fashion trend on campus because almost everyone owns a pair.

“They come in every color so it’s easy to match them to outfits, plus it looks casual,” Benczo said.

Elliott said flip-flops used to be for wearing to the pool in the summer and have since become a footwear staple among college students.

Contact fashion and College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Lyndsay Elliott at [email protected].