Flip-flops have a bad reputation for messing up your feet. But, it turns out, there are plenty of flip-flops that are actually supportive and comfortable — and look good.
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"Flip-flops have come a long way," Melissa Lockwood, DPM, a podiatrist at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates in Bloomington, Ill., tells Yahoo Life. "There are some really good ones out there now that don't look orthopedic but still give you good arch support."
If you're looking for a new pair of flip-flops, Lockwood recommends steering clear of flat ones that don't have a strong bottom. Meaning, if you can easily bend the base of your flip-flop, that's an issue. "That will be almost like you're walking barefoot," she says.
Instead, look for flip-flops with at least a quarter to a half-inch of arch support on the bottom. "They should not be completely flat," Lockwood says. Ideally, you also want something with a thick, sturdy thong, too, to help your toes get a comfortable grip.
Not sure where to look? Lockwood says these brands, all available at Amazon, are great.
These sandals — which have garnered over 10,200 five-star reviews and earned the distinction of Amazon's No. 1 bestselling outdoor slides — are beloved by shoppers for their comfortable and supportive fit. Hand-braided nylon cord contours to your foot while ensuring they don't slip and slide (even at the beach!) plus the sole provides plenty of arch support. If walking on air was a shoe, these would be it.
Available in 18 colors, these sandals have thousands of fans for good reason. For starters, they're made with natural materials (we're talking re-purposed yoga mats) and are entirely vegan. Plus, they're just as comfortable as that feeling you get when you sink into Savasana at the end of your practice. The best part? They're on sale (depending on color and size).
"I LOVE LOVE LOVE these sandals!" shared a shopper. "I keep coming back to them and repurchasing. I always buy them for myself and as gifts. The reason why I keep returning is due to the complete comfort and support they hold. I can wear them all day anywhere. I have actually went hiking in these babies and did not slip a bit."
Lockwood gives Birkenstocks the thumbs up for their support, as do 14,800 five-star fans The Gizeh Essentials EVA flip-flops have a molded, rubber-like upper and sole for extra cushioning and support. Plus, they are waterproof so they are a perfect option for all of your warm-weather activities. These are available in a dozen colors (prices vary depending on the color and size).
In case you're not familiar with the brand, Vionic shoes were founded by a podiatrist who wanted to craft comfortable, stylish and supportive shoes for his patients. These particular sandals have received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, meaning they're good for your feet. They have a podiatrist-designed footbed built in to promote stability, and they come in a range of colors. "Vionic shoes are amazing," Lockwood says. "I tell everyone to go for them."
This flip-flop features Oofoam technology to help cushion your foot while you walk. The brand's special tech also absorbs 37% more impact than regular footwear foam. A patented footbed cradles your arches to minimize stress on your feet, knees and back. "These are my latest favorite," Lockwood says. "They last a long time and have a great footbed."
These flip-flops can take you anywhere. The Crocband Flip-Flops are lightweight and fun, and have a massage-pod footbed to give your tired feet a little therapy while you walk. The sandals also feature Croslite foam for all-day support, which gets the thumbs up from Lockwood. They're even waterproof, so you can use them as water shoes.
These Vionic flip-flops have a pretty perforated upper for a dressier look and come in a range of colors. They also feature the brand's Vio-Motion support and next-level arch support for a feel you probably haven't had in flip-flops before. "Vionics are stylish—and they give you support," Lockwood says.
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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