Flip Flop Syndrome

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SCRANTON -- Summertime can mean a change in footwear. That goes for men, women, and kids.

One doctor at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton says she treats more foot problems in summer than any other time of year, and she has an idea why.

In summertime, many of us put away the boots and pull out the flip flops.

It's the time of year foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Ellianne Nasser says she sees the most patients complaining of foot and heel pain--so much so, she calls it flip flop syndrome. But she says not all summer sandals are bad.

"They can be a good thing if you're walking around a pool. We'd rather you in something like this than barefoot to protect your feet. But when it comes to support and long-term walking, it's not something you want to be wearing," Dr. Nasser said.

Dr. Nasser is a foot and ankle surgeon with Geisinger-CMC in Scranton. She says flip flops or flat sandals do protect feet from dermatological issues, such as fungus and wounds. But when you wear completely flat shoes, your arch collapses, which can knock everything out of whack.

"It's like a domino effect. If there is something wrong on one side, one foot, you're typically putting more pressure on the other side. That can affect your hip, your back. Patients can develop pain in other areas as well."

The flip side of that is a too-high heel.

"Normally, when we walk it's a heel to toe gait. We press through, push off. When you're in a high heel, a wedge or a stiletto, you lose that mechanism and all of your weight goes to the ball of your foot."

The bottom line: neither super flat nor super high is a bad option as long as you limit how much time you spend wearing them.

Dr. Nasser says in general, it's best to look for a shoe with arch support to prevent problems.


  • Lance

    I think it is stupid to walk around with them unless you are at a beach. Walking around with them around here proves how lazy some morons are

  • BeGone

    Can’t Stand flip flops and sandals… specially on guys…and extra specially with socks.
    I’ll stick to my sneakers and steel toe boots

  • Flipflopsbelikeugly

    Nothing is more low-rent and sloppy looking that someone walking around in flip flops. It looks lazy, and it IS lazy. They aren’t “cute,” and they sure aren’t healthy in the long-term. I’m so grateful that a Doctor is speaking about this with some common sense.

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