Flip flops are one of the most ancient footwear in the world, originally worn by the Egyptians back in 4000 BC. Consisting of a flat sole that is held on the foot by a Y-shaped strap, they are one of the simplest types of footwear. As a result, they are lightweight and easy to wear, which is why they are one of the most popular types of casual wear worn when the weather is warm. Despite being popular, it is not always clear when you should wear flip flops. Read on for more information on where you can and can’t wear flip flops.
Where to wear flip flops? There are several places where you can comfortably wear flip flops.
- Given that one of the ways that they first gained mainstream popularity was as beachwear.
- You can also wear flip flops as you hang by the pool or just after a swim as they adequately keep your feet protected from the surface you are stepping on.
- Flip flops are also commonly worn around the house, whether it is to go to the bathroom or to take a shower.
Due to their casual nature, it is best to avoid wearing flip flops to work, a nice restaurant, on the road, and when exploring outdoors. While you can wear them in the house, it is best to switch to footwear that offers more coverage while in the kitchen to avoid potentially hurting your feet as you prepare a meal.
Flip flops are one of the most convenient types of footwear. However, there are some general limitations when it comes where you can wear them.
Where you can wear flip flops
1. The shower
When taking a shower within your home, you may feel comfortable enough to do it barefoot especially if you take the time to clean your bathroom regularly. However, if you are using a community shower in the gym or a college dorm, you might want to consider wearing flip flops. This is because public showers are very filthy, sometimes containing as much bacteria as a public toilet.
As a result, showering barefoot can increase the risk of catching nasty infections such as fungal nail infections and athlete’s foot. To make things worse, you may end up exposing to even more harmful bacteria that could cause serious staph infection. The staphylococcus bacteria can survive even in the cleanest communal showers. Additionally, since a shower in a gym or standard college dorm is unlikely cleaned after every use, it keeps getting re-infected after every use. Therefore, to keep yourself from potential infection, you will want to wear a pair of flip flops at all times. To avoid spreading the bacteria you may have picked up from the public shower, you will want to restrict the flip flops you use within public showers only.
2. At the pool
Whether you just got out of the pool or you are simply hanging out by the poolside, consider bringing a pair of flip flops along with you. Wearing flip flops will provide you with the traction that you will need to walk on the often slippery poolside. Additionally, the poolside is not as clean as you might assume, and so to keep your feet protected from the lurking germs, you will want to flip flops. You might also want to consider wearing flip flops by the poolside especially on hot days. As you might know, the surface by the pool can get very hot due to the heat from the sun, and you might end up with burn injuries if you opt to walk on the surface barefoot.
3. To the beach
Flip flops are great to wear at the beach as they will offer some degree of protection from the sand if you don’t want your feet to get too dirty as well as any sharp objects that may be lying around on the beach from hurting your feet.
Where you should avoid wearing flip flops
There are several occasions where you will want to forego wearing flip flops in favor of other more appropriate footwear:
1. A nice restaurant
As previously mentioned, flip flops are casual footwear and the furthest thing from being dressy. Due to how much noise they tend to make as you walk as well as the amount of exposure they allow, you will want to avoid wearing them if you are going out for a nice dinner or brush, or any fancy restaurant for that matter.
2. Music festivals
Music festivals and concerts, in general, are more often than not packed to full capacity. As a result, this makes it hard to navigate the crowds without bumping shoulders with another person or even getting stepped on. If you opt to wear flip flops, they are likely to break easily when you get stepped on, which could force you to walk around barefoot on the filthy surfaces that are often the norm in such areas. This will inevitably expose you to bacteria and viruses that could potentially cause infections.
3. On the road
When you get into your car to go to the beach or run errands, you may not even think twice about wearing flip flops. However, driving in flip flops is very dangerous. Here are some reasons why:
- They can get caught under the pedals – As flip flops are not fastened on your feet, it is easy for them to slip off as you are driving and consequently get caught under or between the pedals. Additionally, the pedals can end up getting caught between the flip flop and the sole of your foot, which could end up being disastrous.
- It can slow you down – The overall deceleration speed is slower when you are driving in flip flops as compared to when driving in a standard pair of shoes. It can be up to 0.13 seconds slower which is the same as traveling a further 3.5m at a speed of 60mph.
- It will affect the force application – The force that you apply to the brake is lower when you are driving in flip flops. For example, when driving in wedges, the force is 20.05 square meter per second, while in flip flops it is a mere 10.05 sq. meter per second.
4. Public transportation
Wearing flip flops in public transportation means such as the subway, train, or the bus is not advisable. This is because flip flops provide little coverage for your feet, leaving them exposed to the dirt and germs that may be lacking around in the area where you are stepping. You may also end up stubbing your exposed toes and getting hurt as a result.
5. In the kitchen
Cooking while in flip flops can be very dangerous. This is because the kitchen contains sharp knives and other potentially harmful utensils that could cause injury to your exposed feet. The bubbling oil that you might be using in your cooking could also end up on your feet, leaving them painfully scarred.
6. Exploring outdoors
Flip flops are generally not made for outdoor activities such as hiking or even long-distance walking, so you will want to leave them home if you plan on doing these types of activities. This is because flip flops don’t offer much in terms of support and shock absorption, and after a few hours of attempting to hike in flip flops, you will feel the pain in your feet, knees, and even your lower back in some cases.
7. At a bar/club
Most bars and clubs typically have a dress code, and it doesn’t usually include flip flops. Additionally, you risk getting your feet trampled on the dancefloor if you wear flip flops, so you will want to wear shoes that offer more coverage.
8. At work
Wearing flip flops to work is generally advised against as they are considered to be casual. Additionally, they can be quite noisy as you walk, which will be obnoxious and too disruptive to those around you.
9. Public restrooms
Wearing flip flops to a public restroom leaves your feet exposed and vulnerable to the germs that are inevitably present wherever you step.
10. Doing yardwork
Doing yard work often involves the use of weed whackers and lawnmowers. Opting to wear flip flops as you go about using such equipment in the yard could lead to potentially serious injuries.
11. Walking the dog
As previously mentioned, your feet are very exposed and vulnerable to germs when you wear flip flops. A simple activity such as taking your dog for a walk could potentially lead to an infection.
There are several reasons why flip flops are so popular, including their breathability, ease of wearing, and being one of the most lightweight types of footwear. This makes them especially convenient to wear at the beach, by the poolside, and even when showering. However, due to their casual nature as well as their minimalistic structure, they are not appropriate to wear in places such as restaurants, public restrooms, at work, and when exploring outdoors, to mention a few.