The most-emailed list on any site is a clue to... something. Popularity? Buzz? Laziness? For awhile, this entry about flip-flop feet health on the New York Times Well blog dominated most emailed lists, much like the flip-flop itself dominates summer footwear. The entry points out that this little piece of rubber and straps isn't exactly supportive, and might cause more pain than good in the long run.
Researchers from Auburn University in Alabama studied the biomechanics of the flip-flop and determined that wearing thong-style flip-flops can result in sore feet, ankles and legs.
"We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back,'' said Justin Shroyer, a biomechanics doctoral student who presented the findings to the recent annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
Okay, first of all, I would love to talk to that guy. Imagine his friends. "What's your research on, dude?" "Flip-flops. What's yours on?" "Khaki shorts." Second of all, I suspect that this got passed around in a giant passive-aggressive wave of anti-flip-flop sentiment -- a flip-flop on flip-flops, if you will. In my experience, you are either a flip-flip wearer or a flip-flop hater. I used to be the former, but honestly, the slap, slap, slap of rubber everywhere is making me into a hater. The relentless foot nudity among people whose feet should probably not be naked (stoners in Denver, I'm talking to you -- pumice it up), has become a source of great irritation. I'm not going to lie; I own forty pairs, and my feet are funny-looking, so this might be the foot calling the stoner callused, or whatever. The good news is, I'm slowly growing out of the temptation to throw thongs on and run out the door -- and if you wear a size seven in Reef sandals, check out ebay. There are thirty five pairs of flip-flops about to go on sale. (I have to keep some.)