• 1

    Wilson C: Men are toeing the sandal line. USA Today. April 18. ,2004. : Lifestyle.

  • 2

    No slowing down for surf industry. SIMA Web site. Available at: http://www.sima.com/news-information/news-detail/id/25.aspx. Accessed June 6. ,2008. .

  • 3

    Dash J: The flap over flip-flops: latest foot fashion is dividing more than toes in the office. .Baltimore Business Journal . Published June 30,2006. .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Popular flip-flop sandals linked to rising youth heel pain rate. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Website. Available at: http://www.acfas.org/Media/Content.aspx?id=103. Accessed January 16. ,2008. .

  • 5

    Carl TJ, Barrett SL: Computerized analysis of plantar pressure variation in flip-flops, athletic shoes, and bare feet. .JAPMA 98::374. ,2008. .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Pettitt R, Dolski A: Corrective neuromuscular approach to the treatment of iliotibial band friction syndrome: a case report. .J Athl Train 35::96. ,2000. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Renne JW: The iliotibial band friction syndrome. .J Bone Joint Surg Am 57::1110. ,1975. .

  • 8

    Majumdar D, Banerjee PK, Majumdar D, et al: Temporal spatial parameters of gait with barefoot, bathroom slippers and military boots. .Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 50::33. ,2006. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Oeffinger D, Brauch B, Cranfill S, et al: Comparison of gait with and without shoes in children. .Gait Posture 9::95. ,1999. .

  • 10

    Schaff PS, Cavanagh PR: Shoes for the insensitive foot: the effect of a “rocker bottom” shoe modification on plantar pressure distribution. .Foot Ankle 11::129. ,1990. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Kurz MJ, Stergiou N: The spanning set indicates that variability during the stance period of running is affected by footwear. .Gait Posture 17::132. ,2003. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Dananberg HJ, Guiliano M: Chronic low-back pain and its response to custom-made foot orthoses. .JAPMA 89::109. ,1999. .

  • 13

    Dananberg HJ: Functional hallux limitus and its relationship to gait efficiency. .JAPMA 76::648. ,1986. .

  • 14

    Kerrigan DC, Todd MK, Della Croce U: Gender differences in joint biomechanics during walking: normative study in young adults. .Am J Phys Med Rehabil 77::2. ,1998. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15

    Ferber R, Davis IM, Williams DS III: Gender differences in lower extremity mechanics during running. .Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 18::350. ,2003. .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16

    Cho SH, Park JM, Kwon OY: Gender differences in three dimensional gait analysis data from 98 healthy Korean adults. .Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 19::145. ,2004. .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Comparative Analysis of Human Gait While Wearing Thong-Style Flip-flops versus Sneakers

Justin F. Shroyer Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

Search for other papers by Justin F. Shroyer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD
and
Wendi H. Weimar Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

Search for other papers by Wendi H. Weimar in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD
Restricted access

Background: Flip-flops are becoming a common footwear option. Casual observation has indicated that individuals wear flip-flops beyond their structural limit and have a different gait while wearing flip-flops versus shoes. This alteration in gait may cause the anecdotal foot and lower-limb discomfort associated with wearing flip-flops.

Methods: To investigate the effect of sneakers versus thong-style flip-flops on gait kinematics and kinetics, 56 individuals (37 women and 19 men) were randomly assigned to a footwear order (flip-flops or sneakers first) and were asked to wear the assigned footwear on the day before and the day of testing. On each testing day, participants were videotaped as they walked at a self-selected pace across a force platform. A 2 (sex) × 2 (footwear) repeated-measures analysis of variance (P = .05) was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Significant interaction effects of footwear and sex were found for maximal anterior force, attack angle, and ankle angle during the swing phase. Footwear significantly affected stride length, ankle angle at the beginning of double support and during the swing phase, maximal braking impulse, and stance time. Flip-flops resulted in a shorter stride, a larger ankle angle at the beginning of double support and during the swing phase, a smaller braking impulse, and a shorter stance time compared with sneakers.

Conclusions: The effects of footwear on gait kinetics and kinematics is extensive, but there is limited research on the effect of thong-style flip-flops on gait. These results suggest that flip-flops have an effect on several kinetic and kinematic variables compared with sneakers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 251–257, 2010)

Corresponding author: Justin F. Shroyer, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, 2050 Memorial Coliseum, Auburn, AL 36849. (E-mail: shroyjf@auburn.edu)