Monday, June 30, 2008

I Don’t Flip or Flop On This Issue

Summertime brings warmer weather, and cooler clothes. Big, bulky winter coats, are replaced with light t-shirts, long pants become shorts, and heavy winter boots become flip-flops.

Flip-flops are the worst innovation since The Pet Rock. When I’m out in public, certain parts of my body are always covered – not just because it would be illegal to show them off, but they could sustain severe injury.

Flip-flops fall into both categories – I don’t want to see some complete stranger’s stinky feet, and they offer no protection whatsoever.

People walking around in flip-flops might as well be walking barefoot – they’d put less stress on their feet. You actually put quite a bit of stress on your feet when you where these poor excuses for footwear, because you have to constantly flex your feet to keep them from falling off. This constant flexing of the feet can and does cause strain on feet, ankles, legs, calves, and even the lower back – because all those joints are connected. We’ve all heard the famed lyrics: the head bone is connected to the neck bone. . .

As for protection from rain, mud, dirt – there is none. I’ve seen the bottom of many a flip-flop wearer’s foot, and they all are disgustingly dirty. They look like they have just done a 10K run through the jungle in their bare feet. Their feet are muddy brown usually on the bottom – and seeing as other than Mother Nature, no one else generally cleans outside – whatever grime is on the ground, is probably growing on those dirty feet.


Flip-flops certainly don’t provide protection for basic “soft” penetrations – like rain, mud and dirt – so what if you walk through broken glass in them? Or happen to accidentally stumble upon a rusty nail? You might as well amputate the person’s foot now, and save them the pain of having it cut-off later – if flip-flops can’t keep out rain, they won’t stop a rusty nail either.

Maybe shoe makers are catching on to just how unsafe these things are – I’ve seen more rugged versions, which look like a hybrid between a mountain boot and a flip-flop. These “shoes” (if you can call them that) are still open-toed, but they at least have a thicker sole, more of a tread on the bottom, and usually have more straps and buckles to hold them onto the foot.

Still, these hybrids don’t offer much more safety, and still expose everyone to everyone else’s stinky feet. They still don’t stop the rain, and probably wouldn’t stop a rusty nail either. And do I really want to see someone’s hairy toes? I don’t think so!

I love summer fashions – everything is lighter and easier to carry and wear. Hey, being a guy, I don’t mind the shorter, more revealing outfits women toss on either. But not everything designed for summer fun really is all that fun.

Just because someone paints on several coats of nail polish on her toes, doesn’t mean I want to see her feet in public. It’s far more of a turn-off seeing bright red toes on the top, and a slick coat of mud and grease on the bottom. It’s like being teased by a shiny red sports car, only to peer into the windows, and see the inside totally trashed.

The only place flip-flops have a purpose is in a locker room, or at the beach or pool. There at least, you can rinse off your feet, and put on clean, proper shoes before going out into the real world. Whenever I go to the gym, I always wear proper footwear in the locker room – which just so happens to be flip-flops. Athlete’s Foot and other fungi and bacteria can easily latch onto bare feet – so the solution is to wear something which is designed for temporary, water-based wear – such as a rubber flip-flop.

I also wear the same rubber-based flip-flops to the pool – but in both cases, I shower from head to toe, and then toss on real shoes before hitting the real world.

Because I’ll never flip-flop in the great outdoors – because flip-flops just weren’t designed for that purpose – no matter how “cute” or “strong” they make them appear.

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