Do Flip Flops Cause Bunions?- According to Podiatrists

With summers comes airy dresses, ice creams, and your favorite funky pairs of Flip Flops. However, are they your favorite if they are a cause of pain? Flip Flops increase the effort in walking with foot deformities like Bunions.

As much as you want to flaunt a beautiful pair of flip flops with your manicured toes, most paediatricians recommend not to choose this shoe wear. It is a contradicted pair with all foot deformities that can cause knee and hip pains.

There is a reason why flip flops are not liked and advised by foot specialists. Among the most obvious reasons, they can cause progression in your Bunions. Flip flops solely may not be the cause, but they aggravate the symptoms.

The pain increases and even an airy shoe like flip flops are challenging to wear. Find out what factors of flip flops make them undesirable for the recommendation of doctors!

I have listed the major issues faced by most of the Bunion affected population. If you can make adjustments in those, then you are in for luck!

Flat shoes:

Most flip flops are flat and give no arch support. There is no padding or cupping for the toes. No arch support also means that there is a lack of support for body weight. This reduces the mobility of the toes, and you have to exert extra pressure. There is already accumulation in the toes, and any additional pressure will increase the intermetatarsal angle.

Over Gripping:

Flip flops are not like other shoes because two vertical straps are connecting the footbed to the top. The limited area of contact from above has decreased stability in shoes. While walking, your feet have to make up for the lack of connection. The toes do most work.

The big toe is curled for over gripping to take hold of flip flops. While you are trying to prevent shoe slipping, you are also jarring the metatarsophalangeal joint. More work falls on Bunion, which leads to an increase in pain and discomfort.

Targeted Force:

In flip flops, the body weight falls on the ends of the feet. The heel and the toes are targeted for the distribution of body weight and absorption. As more force befalls the toes, they flex to accommodate. The flexing forced the big toe to overlap the next smaller second or even the third toe. This causes the formation of Bunion. Furthermore, it is also a major cause of rapid progression of the protrusion of the bunion lump.

Bursa Formation:

Flip flops can cause skin problems. The constant rubbing against the straps and toe binder causes the formation of the fluid filled Bursa. Apart from the blisters, the skin gets resilient and scaly, which causes Calluses and corn. They can get uncomfortable and itchy while walking.

Leeway with Flip Flops:

Where there is a downfall of using flip flops, you can also take advantage of the situation. It may seem impossible with the above mentioned factors, but I will tell you how!
The things that make flip flops unpredictable can also be moulded to fit in the Bunions orthotics.

Space and Coverage:

While flip flops do not cover the toes, that does not mean the coverage cannot be changed. You can wear toe separators and bunion pads, which are uncomfortable in enclosed shoes. The pads will fit over your Bunion smoothly, and there will be no external abrasion from the material of the shoes.

You can buy a variety of pads that suit your skin and the size of the lump better. The gel-filled pads are more effective in absorbing shock. The more significant pads area increases the maximum surface of bunion lumps and forms a firm connection of toes with the feet.

The Footbed of Flip Flops:

As mentioned before, most flip flops are flat, but they also allow the insertion of orthotic footbeds. You can make the most out of summers by using removable footbeds. They will lend support to the arch and take most of the work of toes away, giving them a chance to relax.

Bunions are catalyzed by underlying foot conditions like a high arch and flat feet. A comfortable footbed with an adjusted shape will not only stop bunion progression but treat the other foot deformities as well. It will be killing two birds with one stone!

Padded heels and toes:

Instead of discarding the idea of flip flops altogether, you can choose better alternatives. Padded heels and toes can prevent skin problems. The inflamed areas are not targeted anymore. Even so, it allows the bruised Bunion feet to heal and recover.

Soft and Wide Straps:

The wider the straps, the better because more area is given for support from above the arch. Make sure that the straps are comfortable, so they do not chafe against the skin. Many Flip Flop companies have developed orthotic Flip Flops for Bunions that are effective.

Additional Care for Bunions:

The good news is you can find orthotics of any size. The customized ones are better suited because they match the dimensions of your arch and Bunions. Other methods can help you with pain and in regaining the natural anatomy of feet:

    • Wider shoes to decrease pressure.
    • Use of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs.
    • Topical and parenteral corticosteroids are common.
    • Moleskin or glue filled pads for the bunion area.
    • Toe separates to help joints regain their shape.
    •  for straightening the anatomy of bunions.
    • Icing method.
    • Foot exercises for energizing ligaments and tendons around bunions.
    • Orthotic shoes are worn with supportive shoe inserts.


The type of shoe you wear causes an impact on Bunions. You do not have to let go of Flip Flops completely. However, if you change some points and take steps to care for your Bunion, you are good to go. Besides, there are a dozen better shoe options to explore!

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