"Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

"Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:05 pm

I usually wear flip flops around the house in the summer. I've known for some time that this isn't the greatest thing for the feet. The problem is that one has to over-grip the bottom of the flip flops to hold them onto the feet. This can cause foot problems over time. The lack of a secured heel (i.e., heel strap) exacerbates the problem so slides (shower slides) appear to be a bad idea as well.

I've had some sports injuries involving my feet, so I'd like to give them better care.

When I look for alternatives to flip flops and slides, the results are "structured" flip flops and slides. Structured means they have arch support and related features built into the foot bed. The structured flip flops are from Vionic. The slides are from Birkenstock.

I took a look at some Birkenstock slides/sandals and they all have a Raised Toe Bar. The literature reads:
The raised toe bar encourages the natural gripping motion of your feet.
Obvious question here: How does the toe gripping in a structured slide/flip flop differ from the toe gripping in a regular slide or flip flop? More to the point, does the toe bar and other structure of a Birk totally correct the issues that make regular flip flops and slides bad for the feet?
Last edited by azurekep on Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

runner3081
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by runner3081 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:36 pm

I have a pair of Teva flip-flop like sandals. They have worked good for me and provide nice support.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2530
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Pajamas » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:23 am

I wear two types of sandals.

For indoors, the basic lightweight flip flops from Havaianas. They are so light that no gripping action is needed. Wearing them is basically like going barefoot with some foam padding hanging off your foot. They do "flip flop" when you walk. There are similar brands such as Sanuk.

https://us.havaianas.com

For outdoors, Chacos, the Z1 version with no toe loop, which is a personal preference. They have heavy, contoured soles that provide significant protection for the feet. Their various models have different strap configurations to hold the shoe on the foot without any need for the foot to grip them. Many people hike or do other rigorous activities while wearing them. Tevas are similar.

https://www.chacos.com

In my experience, the gripping is only an issue with shoes that are both heavy and also don't have adequate strapping, such as thick flip flops. I can't comment on the Birkenstocks in particular.

mrb09
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:02 am

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by mrb09 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:57 am

I have some foot issues from running (flat feet, plantar fascia, bunion, you name it) and I ended up with a full sandal, a pair of vionic boyes. I really like them, their arch support is really good and they a reasonably stiff sole. Very comfortable for walking.

For slip-ons just to go outside and back, I wear Merrell jungle mocs with green superfeet inserts.

btenny
Posts: 4110
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by btenny » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:49 am

I cannot wear flip flop as that toe thing hurts my feet. But I like sandals. I have several pair but like the TEVA brand the best. They are easy to put on and light weight but still have good arch support.

http://www.zappos.com/p/teva-hurricane- ... 2_sims_sdp

Good Luck.

User avatar
Jazztonight
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:21 am
Location: Lake Merritt

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Jazztonight » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:21 pm

These are what I wear, and I highly recommend them:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MC ... UTF8&psc=1

I've had the same foot issues you've described, and I find these very comfortable. Btw, I also have this same brand in flip-flops, but these are slides, so you can wear them with socks. The arch and foot support is great. I've worn them indoors as slippers as well as at the beach and for walks to the store, etc.

I've worn Tevas as well; these Reefs are much more comfortable. For $23, they're well worth it.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

protagonist
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by protagonist » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:34 pm

If anybody has tried Nakefit, or things like Nakefit, I would be interested to hear their experience: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nakefit-Feet ... /203440261?

Similar ones are available on eBay for $1.99

Or I guess I will just try them myself. They are certainly cheap enough. OK, I just did, from Walmart. Will receive by Sept. 2 so don't expect a review for awhile.

If they are stick-ons, I imagine they would not be useful for daily wearing around the house as per the OP....it could get quite expensive.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:13 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:23 am

For indoors, the basic lightweight flip flops from Havaianas. They are so light that no gripping action is needed.
From what I've read, the gripping action is pretty much automatic when wearing flip flops. I've never noticed it myself, but a graphic showed a man running in flip flops where the gripping action was accentuated.... The toes bent down in almost a claw-like configuration to hold on to the shoes.

Not that anybody really RUNS in flip flops, but the scrunching of the toes is apparently what happens in a milder form when walking.

One of the injuries I got was to the metatarsal area (now healed but I don't want to have a flare-up) and that's the area most affected by this hypothetical scrunching.

All the products mentioned on this thread look great. I just need a better confirmation on this toe scrunching/gripping business. If it applies only to certain types of flip flops and slides, that opens the field considerably.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:24 pm

Jazztonight wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:21 pm
These are what I wear, and I highly recommend them:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MC ... UTF8&psc=1

I've had the same foot issues you've described, and I find these very comfortable. Btw, I also have this same brand in flip-flops, but these are slides, so you can wear them with socks. The arch and foot support is great. I've worn them indoors as slippers as well as at the beach and for walks to the store, etc.
Man, those look comfortable.
I've worn Tevas as well; these Reefs are much more comfortable. For $23, they're well worth it.
That's a great price. I had been looking into some Nike slides since I tried on a friend's and liked them, but these look better.

User avatar
Chan_va
Posts: 725
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Chan_va » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:28 pm

Pure click bait. I clicked on this thread thinking this was about some fancy new options strategy that investment banks were structuring.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:32 pm

Chan_va wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:28 pm
Pure click bait. I clicked on this thread thinking this was about some fancy new options strategy that investment banks were structuring.
I can offer you a one-time deal on securitized structured flip flops. ;)

JBTX
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by JBTX » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:53 pm

azurekep wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:05 pm
I usually wear flip flops around the house in the summer. I've known for some time that this isn't the greatest thing for the feet. The problem is that one has to over-grip the bottom of the flip flops to hold them onto the feet. This can cause foot problems over time. The lack of a secured heel (i.e., heel strap) exacerbates the problem so slides (shower slides) appear to be a bad idea as well.

I've had some sports injuries involving my feet, so I'd like to give them better care.

When I look for alternatives to flip flops and slides, the results are "structured" flip flops and slides. Structured means they have arch support and related features built into the foot bed. The structured flip flops are from Vionic. The slides are from Birkenstock.

I took a look at some Birkenstock slides/sandals and they all have a Raised Toe Bar. The literature reads:
The raised toe bar encourages the natural gripping motion of your feet.
Obvious question here: How does the toe gripping in a structured slide/flip flop differ from the toe gripping in a regular slide or flip flop? More to the point, does the toe bar and other structure of a Birk totally correct the issues that make regular flip flops and slides bad for the feet?
I have the Vionics flip flops and they have good arch support. Wear them all the time. That and a bunch of other things have helped my plantars. Also the higher arch helps foot from sliding inward like most flip flops.

protagonist
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by protagonist » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:44 pm

For what it is worth: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-be ... #flipflops

I generally trust their reviews above all others, but flip flops are a very personal item. What works for one may not work for another.

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5338
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:17 am

I don't notice my toes griping when I wear my Birkenstocks. But I can't compare them to flip-flops since I haven't worn flip-flops for decades. I have a pair of EVA Birkenstocks instead. One thing I have noticed with Birkenstocks is I wear a much smaller size in them than I do in tennis shoes or dress flats. You want a pair that has a sole just slightly longer than your foot to get the best fit. Their website has a detailed fitting guide if you have a place to try them on in-person before buying. If buying online, choose a vendor with a good return policy.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:21 am

Short of a kineseologist weighing in, I think the products recommended in this thread are mostly okay. The more arch support, the better, even though that's not the main problem with flip flops. But arch support probably plays into reducing toe gripping.

In fact, it's not clear whether toe-gripping itself is bad, or toe-gripping "during the wrong part of the gait cycle" is bad. (paraphrasing an article). It may be that the natural grip facilitated by the toe bar in Birkenstocks occurs during the "right" part of the gait cycle.

So, you get some contradictions like:

Toe-gripping = bad
Toe-gripping in Birkenstocks = good

Flip flops = bad
Flip flops by Vionics = good

Maybe I should just be a lawyer. I've heard lawyers revel in pointing out contradictions. ;) But at this point, it's probably just overanalysis.

Getting something that looks good, feels good, has a good price point and no OBVIOUS toe-gripping is probably the answer.

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:29 am

A confounding factor for me is that I inherited slightly wider than average feet from my father.

This means that whenever I want to buy sandals, I am more likely to find a good fit with flip flops than other sandal styles where the straps run horizontal across the mid-foot.

This sometimes ends up in foot pain. I will check out the Vionics, thanks
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

pjhalifax
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:01 am
Location: South Carolina

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by pjhalifax » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:49 am

I just wanted to add another recommendation for Vionic. I have the men's Tide toe-post sandals and really like them. I ruptured my right Achilles in March and I had to upgrade my shoes/sandals to account for the discomfort I have (and will have for a while) while walking. The Vionics have just the right kind of support for my foot, and they don't look bad, either. I was worried that an orthotic sandal would look bulky or odd, but these don't stand out.

RE: toe gripping, I hadn't really thought about that. I pretty much walk normally in these sandals without any extra effort to keep them secure.

Silly Wabbit
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:54 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Silly Wabbit » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:45 am

Now you've got me rethinking my constant flip flop wearing.

I wear double layer Rainbow sandals with arch support. They last through several years of constant wear. At ~3 miles of walking a day the durability is good.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:34 pm

Silly Wabbit wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:45 am
Now you've got me rethinking my constant flip flop wearing.
I think it's a good idea to at least think about. There's actually another, more aesthetic reason I didn't mention but read about: Some people who wear flip flops with minimum support develop a "duck walk". The techncial term is "toeing out". Almost everyone where I live wears flip flops in the summer so I've had a wide laboratory in which to observe. Sure enough, a lot of people are toeing out. Not all, but many. So for looks, if not for health, it's probably a good idea to graduate from drugstore flip flops to ones with more structure.
I wear double layer Rainbow sandals with arch support. They last through several years of constant wear. At ~3 miles of walking a day the durability is good.
I think you're probably fine. The arch support looks solid.

Rupert
Posts: 2520
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Rupert » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:15 am


MDfive21
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:16 am

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by MDfive21 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:57 am

anything by merrell is made to fit your foot shape. i have some with a leather band over the top of the foot. they're $90 but i've been giving them use for 2-3 years now. so long i can't remember what year i bought them.

similar to these.. http://m.zappos.com/p/merrell-terrant-s ... lor/106052

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:31 am

Rupert wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:15 am
Try Oofas. https://www.amazon.com/OOFOS-Unisex-Ori ... ords=oofos
Those look comfortable.

It's interesting though. They claim not to be flip flops.
Why are OOFOS not “flip flops?”

Traditional flip-flops may offer some comfort, but they lack cushioning and arch support and can actually lead to conditions like tendinitis. Most medical professionals do not recommend wearing flip-flops for this reason — they’re not healthy for your feet. We designed OOFOS to provide impact absorption and arch support typical flip-flops lack, so feet get a chance to recover in between workouts.
https://www.oofos.com/pages/common-questions

Basically they're saying they don't have any of the bad characteristics of flip flops so they shouldn't be called flip flops. Can't argue with that. ;)

Rupert
Posts: 2520
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Rupert » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:33 am

azurekep wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:31 am
Rupert wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:15 am
Try Oofas. https://www.amazon.com/OOFOS-Unisex-Ori ... ords=oofos
Those look comfortable.

It's interesting though. They claim not to be flip flops.
Why are OOFOS not “flip flops?”

Traditional flip-flops may offer some comfort, but they lack cushioning and arch support and can actually lead to conditions like tendinitis. Most medical professionals do not recommend wearing flip-flops for this reason — they’re not healthy for your feet. We designed OOFOS to provide impact absorption and arch support typical flip-flops lack, so feet get a chance to recover in between workouts.
https://www.oofos.com/pages/common-questions

Basically they're saying they don't have any of the bad characteristics of flip flops so they shouldn't be called flip flops. Can't argue with that. ;)
I know several runners who wear them around the house as their recovery shoes. They look great with those knee-high compression socks that runners also love. :?

Yossarian
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 6:19 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by Yossarian » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:03 pm

I got these recently, very light and comfortable.

https://xeroshoes.com/shop/gender/mens/ztrail-men/

I don't like stuff between my toes so this or Tevas would be my recco.

reisner
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:34 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by reisner » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:51 pm

Consider the slides by HOKAS. A brand often recommended by foot surgeons.

mouses
Posts: 2175
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by mouses » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:17 pm

Just around the house, I wear Dearform scuffs, no gripping with toes required.

doingwell
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by doingwell » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:51 pm

Another recommendation for Oofos. After overdoing the running, I got plantar fasciitis, which normally means no flip-flops as arch support is important. A physician friend suggested the Oofos and they’ve made a world of difference, particularly during hot summer months.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:14 pm

reisner wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:51 pm
Consider the slides by HOKAS. A brand often recommended by foot surgeons.
You're talking about this?

http://www.hokaoneone.com/mens-recovery ... 14864.html

Interesting. I had come across the name before, but in connection with running shoes. It turns out all their shoes, including slides, have a meta rocker sole. The slides have an "early stage" meta rocker sole.
What is a Meta-Rocker?

Our Meta-Rocker midsole geometry is specifically designed with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole to create a unique fulcrum effect, like a rocking chair, to encourage a guided gait cycle. This design supports a runner's natural form while promoting an efficient, smooth roll from initial impact to toe-off.

All of our shoes are designed with a Meta-Rocker, which is built into the mid- and outsoles, near the metatarsal bones in your feet. We break the Meta-Rocker into two categories: early-stage and late-stage. In styles with an early-stage Meta-Rocker, the transition zone is placed behind the metatarsal heads. This helps create a smoother ride and a faster transition to the forefoot. Styles with a late-stage Meta-Rocker have the transition zone placed in front of the metatarsal heads, which provides a more stable base of forefoot support.
https://help.hokaoneone.com/hc/en-us/ar ... ta-Rocker-
From another site:
Forefoot Rocker Sole: A rocker placed just behind the metatarsal heads is very effective at reducing pressure under the ball of the foot and reducing motion in the toe joints. Thus we use it for treating hallux limitus (big toe arthritis) and ball-of-foot pain.
https://www.footankle.com/shoe-therapy/ ... ole-shoes/
So, for those with metatarsal issues (ball-of-foot pain), the early-stage rocker would be the right pick.

azurekep
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by azurekep » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:42 am

reisner wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:51 pm
Consider the slides by HOKAS. A brand often recommended by foot surgeons.
I'm sure everyone is going to cringe seeing this poorly worded topic rise to the top again. ;)

But I had to rave about my Hoka slides. I decided to go with them because my injury was to the metatarsal area and the slides are advertised to work with that specific injury.

Also, they looked like fun.

They feel like I'm walking on a 5-inch-thick cushion and though the "rocking" effect is not pronounced, it's noticeble enough, especially when leaning forward or stepping backward.

The rocker sole and thick cushioning does the job of not making me feel ANYthing in the metatarsal (ball of foot) area. Which is the whole idea. That means there's no pressure on that area and the residual swelling from the injury will have a chance to go away.

Thanks for the rec.

RustyShackleford
Posts: 1177
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NC

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by RustyShackleford » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:58 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:23 am

For outdoors, Chacos, the Z1 version with no toe loop, which is a personal preference. They have heavy, contoured soles that provide significant protection for the feet. Their various models have different strap configurations to hold the shoe on the foot without any need for the foot to grip them. Many people hike or do other rigorous activities while wearing them.
Most comfortable shoe EVER, for me. I wear them for almost everything, including backpacking. In the Grand Canyon.

HIinvestor
Posts: 1189
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:35 pm

My relative has ankle problems and swears by this brand, Mephisto.

https://www.mephisto.com/us/men-1/sandals-1.html
https://www.mephisto.com/us/women/sandals-1.html

Post Reply