Experts Question Flip-Flops In The Workplace And Their Effect On Our Feet

Women are wearing flip flops in the workplace more and more, especially in these warmer months. U.S. style experts believe that flip flops could be damaging not only our feet but our careers.

There are so many new styles of flip flops: beaded, leather, sequins that women feel it is easy to get away with wearing them to work.

An employee of West Glenn Communications comments that she wears flip-flops on the days she doesn’t have important meetings with clients or avoids wearing them if she knows that someone who disapproves will be in the office.

Thousands of women across the country consider flip-flops an indispensable element in their summer wardrobe.

An Old Navy and Gap online survey showed that flip-flops were at the top of the list as summer work attire for high school and college students.  More than 31 % of the women surveyed said that flip-flops were essential part for their summer work wardrobe.

Many companies feel differently.

A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas says that if a dress code says no beachwear this includes flip flops.

Style experts advise that flip-flops could be detrimental to a career. Younger women are the ones who tend to wear them to work.

Style commentator Meghan Cleary says, "Shoes convey the mood of a woman. Wearing flip-flops conveys the mood that you are relaxed and on vacation. That's not a good message in the office,"

Doctors also have concerns about the effect of flip-flops on the feet.

Doctors at the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons say that flip-flops are connected to a rising number of heel problems among teens and young adults.

A representative recently said, "We're seeing more heel pain than ever in patients 15 to 25 years old, a group that usually doesn't have this problem.” She said that thin soled flip-flops give no arch support and can intensify abnormal biomechanics in foot motion. This will ultimately cause pain and inflammation.

Flip-flops have been around for at least 70 years, originating from traditional Japanese woven, and possibly wooden soled sandals in New Zealand.

The Y-shaped and flat soled sandal is known all over the world and to all social classes.

It is very common in developing countries for its affordable price and sometimes the only shoe used because it is easy to make.

The term "flip-flop" gets its name from the slapping sound the sandal makes when it hits the ground and the heel.

A few years ago the life of the flip flop changed completely. They became trendy and popular. All kinds of stores sell them in a variety of colors with all kinds of decorations. There is even a bridal Flip flop which is full of Swarovski crystals and sells for $140.

In June 2005 the Northwestern University’s champion woman’s lacrosse team wore flip-flops to the White House to meet the President.  It was considered inappropriate attire and the women were criticized

Ellen Campuzano, president of the Committee of Color and Trends, a New York-based forecasting service specializing in footwear and accessories, believes that flip-flops' popularity has almost run its course.

"Usually these trends come and go in about five years," she said. "I think we've reached the peak. They can't be any more widespread, so maybe next summer something will replace them."