We all have a pair, or two, or three — those flimsy waterproof flip-flops you buy at the drugstore you wear just about everywhere, from the beach to the park. While they might be easy to slip into and are typically affordable, the medical community agrees they can cause foot issues due to their lack of support and underfoot cushioning.
“When you wear a flip-flop or ballet flat, you are punishing your feet,” warned Bob Schwartz, a certified pedorthist and owner of comfort shoe store Eneslow in New York. “They’re worse than going barefoot.”
But don’t think you have to give up on this seasonal favorite. There are a range of brands that have updated the silhouette for women with design features that are actually good for your feet. Look for these five design features when shopping for your next pair of flip-flops.
Anatomical Footbeds: Built-in contoured footbeds feature enhanced arch and metatarsal support, and deep heel cups to cradle the foot.
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Underfoot Cushioning: Lightweight EVA and proprietary foam materials offer lightweight cushioning to help absorb impact.
New Heights: Low platform silhouettes put some extra distance between the foot and hard surfaces.
Health Benefits: Proprietary foam materials are antibacterial and anti-odor to guard against bacteria.
Water Friendly: Manmade materials take these flip-flops from land to water.
Here, FN has curated a selection of water-friendly flip-flops that are comfortable and fun to wear.
Oofos Oolala Sandal
This versatile style made of a proprietary Oofoam footbed to absorb impact is designed to reinvigorate feet after a workout at the beach or the gym.
Aetrex Lynco Flip
Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, this flip-flop features a metatarsal cushion to relieve stress at the forefoot.
Vionic Beach Noosa
This classic silhouette offers a contoured footbed that’s lightly textured for comfort and grip.
FitFlop Iqushion Ergonomic Flip-Flop
A biomechanically engineered footbed that’s done in a shock-absorbing microbubble foam for enhanced comfort.
Olukai Kulapa Kai W
An anatomical compression-molded midsole provides underfoot support, while a nonmarking outsole features ocean-inspired traction pods.
Crocs LiteRide Flip
A LiteRide foam insole is super-soft and lightweight, and — paired with a Croslite foam outsole — provides durable all-day support.
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