When you wear flip flops that don’t fit you properly, you could be putting yourself at risk of a variety of problems, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, knee and back problems, and even circulatory problems in extreme cases. Finding the right fit of flip flops is not as easy as many people assume, and it is not uncommon to buy the wrong size even when you are aware of your regular shoe size. Read on for more information on how flip flops should fit.
How flip flops should fit? When you wear flip flops, there should be some distance (approximately half an inch) between your feet and the edge of the sole to keep your feet from banging against surfaces. If the straps of your flip flops are made from cloth, fabric, or leather, ensure that they don’t rub your feet uncomfortable when you slip them on.
Since your feet splay out and expand as you walk in flip flops, you want to ensure that the thong straps are not too close-fitting between your toes. Therefore, there should be a bit of room to allow for the expansion of your feet so that you don’t end up with painful blisters in the affected areas. Many people have one foot that is larger than the other, so consider fitting your flip flop to the larger foot.
Like with any other type of footwear, flip flops should always feel comfortable on your feet, which means that they have to fit you without being too tight or too wide. Trying on flip flops before making a purchase can help you determine if they fit correctly, but this is not always an option.
Determining how flip flops should fit
- A bit of space when you have them on – When you wear a flip flop, its sole should provide support to your whole foot, which means that your heel or toes should not be hanging out. You want there to be a bit of space between the edge of our foot (at least half an inch) and the edge of the sole of the flip flop. This will significantly reduce the risk of toe-stubbing incidences or hurting your heels when they overhang.
- They should not move around when you have them on – Any time you try on flip flops, they should not be too big to the point that they are constantly moving around on your feet. Due to how they are constructed, flip flops will understandably move around a bit, but it shouldn’t be to the point where you are struggling to keep them on your feet as you walk.
- The straps should be comfortable on your feet – Flip flops are known for their strappy upper design where the strap goes between your big toe and the second toe. The Y-shaped strap can cause a lot of discomfort especially when it rubs against the skin and causes sores and blisters to form in these areas. When these blisters pop and become open wounds, you are susceptible to infections from pathogens that may come in contact with your exposed feet.
Therefore, if your flip flops have straps made from cloth, leather, or fabric, ensure that they don’t rub the upper part of your feet uncomfortably. You want the straps are snug without being too tight.
- Keep in mind the size of your feet – Like with most other body parts that come in pairs, your feet are highly likely to have some asymmetry, which means that one of them will be larger or smaller than the other. Therefore, when it comes to determining how flip flops should fit, you should always consider the larger foot.
It is also important to remember that the size of your feet does not remain constant, increases as you get older. As a result, ensure that you always measure your feet before buying a pair of flip flops. Measure your feet at the end of the day when they are slightly swollen to be able to accommodate this change of size.
- Pay attention to how comfortable your feet are – Your feet will always let you know how a pair of flip flops should fit. If you feel like they are a little snug on them, don’t let a salesperson convince you to buy them anyway with the promise of stretching over time. Flip flops will stretch very little over time, so you want to avoid a pair that is too tight on your feet at all costs.
- The sizing provided by brands – Slipper brands typically provide the size of flip flops for easy confirmation by users. However, the size provided by a brand is only meant to serve as a guideline rather than dictate the size of flip flops that you go for. For that reason, instead of depending on the sizing detail that you will usually find on the flip flops or indicated on the box, choose to go by how comfortable the flip flops fit on your feet.
Tips on how to find the perfect fit of flip flops
Measuring your feet
One of the most important aspects of finding the right fit of flip flops is measuring your feet to ensure that you know exactly what size flip flops to get. Here are guidelines on how to accurately measure your feet. Make sure you have a ruler, pencil, paper, and tape handy.
- Tape the paper on a regular surface.
- Place your foot on the paper.
- Using the pencil, make a mark behind the heel of your feet and in front of your foot (the big toe to be exact)
- Once you take your foot off the paper, use a ruler to measure the distance between the marks you made and note down the results. Do this for both of your feet.
- If you notice some asymmetry in your feet, use the measurements of the bigger foot and try to match them with the measurements provided on the sizing chart. If your measurements happen to fall between two sizes, round up.
If you are like most people, then you are likely to buy flip flops during the hotter summer months rather than in the dead of winter. Summer is the most ideal season to buy a pair of flip flops not only because your feet get to breathe, but also because your feet are usually slightly swollen and at their largest during this season.
Always read reviews
Most online retailers will have a section where users can post reviews of the products that they sell. Before you make a purchase on flip flops, always go through the reviews that have been posted by verified customers, focusing on the ones that concern the fit of the flip flops that you intend to buy. This way, you will be able to determine if the flip flops tend to run too big or too small and make adjustments accordingly.
Dangers of wearing flip flops that don’t fit you properly
Sometimes, you may want to overlook the fit of flip flops, especially if their design appeals to you. However, this could lead to a variety of problems with your feet that would have been avoided if you just went for the right size of flip flops in the first place.
- Flip flops that are too tight – Some of the most common problems associated with wearing flip flops that are too tight or too big on your feet include:
- Blisters – Blisters can develop when you wear flip flops that are too tight or too large for your feet. When they are too tight, the straps can irritate the delicate skin found between the first two toes and consequently cause small pockets of fluid to start forming in the affected areas. If the flip flops are too large, the sliding shearing movement when you walk in them will cause blisters to develop as well.
- Calluses – Thick and hardened skin can form on areas of your feet where flip flops that are too big on your feet rub against. Calluses are pale or yellowish in appearance and can feel lumpy to touch. If calluses become painful, you might have to seek medical attention.
- Hammertoe – When you wear flip flops that are too large, you will find that your toes need to make more of an effort to hold onto them. Having to constantly grip onto your flip flops could lead to a condition known as the hammertoe. As you might probably guess from the name, this is when the affected toe(s) bends downward and takes a claw-like appearance. A hammertoe can make walking for long distances quite difficult, and stretching the afflicted toe can be painful.
- Metatarsalgia – When flip flops that are too large impact the balls of your feet as you walk, they can cause the affected areas to inflame and become painful, a condition that is referred to as metatarsalgia.
Flip flops should always fit your feet without being too large or too tight. Ensuring that your flip flops fit perfectly will not only preserve your comfort when you have them on but could also prolong their lifespan for a bit longer. Above all, wear flip flops that are of the appropriate fit to avoid developing foot conditions that could potentially damage your feet permanently.