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By Spencers Solicitors

  Louise Wright    
  June 12, 2017

Flip out for National Flip Flop Day!

Did you know that Flip Flops actually got their name from the sound they make against the ground when you walk?

Flip Flop and Summer Accessories

You may also be surprised to hear that Flip Flops have been around for thousands of years stepping back in time to the Ancient Egyptians.

Flip Flops are worn around the world and have become the favoured choice of footwear for a visit to the beach or just a stroll around in the sunshine. There is even a day dedicated to the celebration of flip flops and this is the 16th June.

However, whilst they can be great to wear on a fun summer’s day out with your friends and family, the lack of support and thin soles can lead to sore or injured feet and can even cause accidents!

A recent study showed that Flip Flops appeared to cause 1.4 million road traffic accidents or near misses every year. In a poll taken, 27% of drivers admitted driving in flip flops had caused a mishap, and 11% said the shoe had got stuck under the pedals. Flip flops can even can slow a driver’s BRAKE time by up to 13 seconds.

Wearing Flip Flops can also cause slip and trip accidents. The most common injuries caused include ankle sprains and broken wrists from falls. Flip Flops are loose fitting, open and generally quite slippery causing them to get caught on steps, loose flooring or pedals and even causing them to slip off your feet at the wrong time. Many ankle sprains and breaks are caused by feet slipping sideways in Flip Flops causing ankles to go over.

I experienced my own Flip Flop injury whilst visiting a popular theme park in France with my husband and son. I was walking around the park in the hot sunshine making our way to the next ride when my flip flop caught in a tram line. This caused me to trip and fall and bang my toe on a concrete curb stone as a result . Whilst the fall itself was rather embarrassing the impact of my foot hitting the concrete actually caused the nail on my big toe to be ripped from the nail bed and yes it was VERY painful!! Over the weeks I did lose my nail with a new one luckily growing underneath and more to the point I had no broken bones! Needless to say, during this year’s visit to theme parks during my summer holiday it will be trainers all the way!

Over wearing flip flops can even cause plantar fasciitis which is an inflammation of the ligament connecting the heel bone to the toes and this can be rather painful to anyone unlucky enough to develop the condition.

Here are some treatments that can assist to speed up your recovery if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis:

  1. Resting your heel – avoid walking long distances and standing for long periods
  2. Regular stretching
  3. Pain relief – using ice packs and pain killers
  4. Wearing well fitted shoes that support and cushion your feet (not flip flops!)

So whilst most of us would agree that Flips Flops can make a lovely fashion accessory in the summer and are great for relaxing on the beach, we should bear in mind the length of time we will be wearing them and shouldn’t wear them for prolonged periods of time. Giving careful thought to the activities we will be taking part in when wearing Flip Flops is also advisable to avoid mishaps like mine!

I would also warn against driving whilst wearing Flips Flops to avoid becoming another flip flop wearing statistic and potential accidents.

Enjoy this timeless foot wear but keep the Flip Flops for the beach and stay safe and injury free this summer....

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