Risky flip flops

flip flop

They might not be the most attractive footwear but they are popular. Flip flops come in a variety of colours and styles however they have been found to alter the gait of the wearer with a potential to cause low back pain. US researchers at Auburn University recruited 39 men and women for their study in to flip flops. They recorded the patterns of walking, comparing the users also in athletic shoes. The findings indicated the wearers took shorter steps gripping their toes to hold them on. The measurement of vertical force placed on the ground along with limb angles and stride length enabled the researchers to view the changes that were happening from the foot up towards the hip. The gripping or clawing of toes to hold the flip flops on has been eliminated in other versions of the footwear. The removal of the thong from between the toes and adding a re-useable adhesive to the surface of the flip flop has produced another popular variation. The idea is that the foot sticks to the surface and eliminates the clawing. The only thing is the adhesive will not last very long if worn wet or when dirt covers the surface and probably not the easiest  item to pack away. Maybe this version may no longer produce the familiar flip-flop noise !