You can soothe the pain of me being right with some Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts

July 30, 2010

Regular Renal Readers know that flip-flops (or thongs to our sizable non-American audience) are one of the major banes of my existence (another is khaki pants, but that’s another matter).  And despite my efforts to inform people about how flip-flops are a tool to keep women oppressed and subservient to the patriarchy, how they are a breeding ground of bacteria and disease, how they identify you as an asshole and make you vulnerable to foot stomps, and how they are a tacit admission that their wearer is lazy and not to be taken seriously, they are still worn full-time by significant portions of the population from the end of March until halfway through October, and even longer by some.

Well now we have more evidence to bolster our crusade against footwear that is just a slab of rubber and something wedged between your toes: this article about how flip-flops are worse for you than high heels.

Dr. Rock Positano from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York says:

“The major shock absorption occurs back on the heel, and if the surface between the heel and the ground is not supported it does not allow the heel to absorb shock as well as it should. Which means the foot works harder than it should and people tend to develop overuse injuries such as tendinitis, or in this case, lower leg, knee, hip and back problems.”

The high heel trades off the damage it causes by elongating the leg, making the person taller, and by being more socially versatile as well as being aesthetically more impressive.  If you disagree with that last point, ask yourself what you can wear to both a night out at a bar and to a job interview: a pair of heels or a pair of a pair of flip-flops you got off the rack at Old Navy for five bucks? (unless you’re applying for a job as a lifeguard)

Flip-flops are appropriate for dicking around your house, being poolside or on the beach, in a communal shower or locker room, going to and from your yoga studio or karate dojo, or for working in a rice patty.  Other than that, put on some real shoes.  There’s a lot of footwear between “no one take my lazy ass seriously” flip-flops and “fuck me” heels.  Explore it, and maybe save some money by not having to get pedicures too.

But stay off of those shoes that have the individual slots for your toes. They just make you look like you’re a cross between a hobbit and a Muppet.   And no one takes hobbit Muppets seriously, otherwise we would have elected one to high political office by now.



  1. I have no problem being seen as lazy. There’s no point in lying about it.

    • But I’m a wild fabricator and outright liar. Lying is my bag. Even though everything I say is true, especially the lies.

  2. Lie to me some more Big Boy

  3. Q: What do you call a Frenchman wearing thong sandals?
    A: Phillippe Filloppe

  4. Aw, I have been shopping for a pair of Bikilas. Just to see what five miles in em would feel like.

    • those bikilas look very interesting. I bet they feel wonderful on. I’ve read some reviews that sounded like the writer had just met a new lover that was the best ever. . .

  5. In my not so humble opinion, flip flops are NEVER appropriate, precisely because of the fact that they are actually quite bad for your feet, calves, hips and lower back. Ditto high heels.

    I have been an iconoclast regarding foot wear for about 30 years now, and I firmly believe that the foot was designed to function brilliantly with nothing between it and the ground at all. In other words, my footwear of choice for going about the world is none. I would say that I spend well over 50% of my life with no shoes on at all, and I have the thick protective soles on the bottoms of my feet to prove it.

    In order to keep the powers that be happy, when I am on errands I wear birkenstocks year round. On formal occasions I wear a pair of nice flats or sandals. When I lived in Alaska I kept soft ballet slippers in my pocket to change into when I got somewhere warm and wished to remove my mukluks. Really well built work boots are also favorites of mine. (Mine are Red Wings and are pretty important when mowing and shoveling, both activities where bare feet are at risk from sharp and blunt objects.) And I do wear cross trainers when I walk the dog, due to the prevalence of sharp rocks in the chat they made the paths from.

    At present I am closer to 60 than I am to 50 and my knees, hips, back and feet do not generally give me pain. Maybe it is the barefoot and birkenstocks, but something is working right for me.

    Well, I also stretch on a daily basis too. That probably has something to do with it.

    Down with flip flops! Down with high heels! LIberate your feet! You have nothing to lose but your pain.

    • so, my rubber soled platform rainbow hued between the toes fuck me thongs aren’t going to work for that interview next week?

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