Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by Martina McKeough
If there is one type of summer footwear that causes more problems than any others it is the flip flop. Wearing flip flops seems to be the right thing to do in the beautiful weather until the painful rubbing starts and you are faced with blisters. Learning how to stop flip flops hurting between toes isn’t difficult so we thought we would give you our best hacks to help you get rid of the discomfort and pain.
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Why Do Flip Flops Hurt My Feet?
Flip flops are the ultimate summer sandals but they are not supportive footwear. They usually lack arch support, have little shock absorption and have no way of supporting your feet properly as you walk. This design issue means that they are more likely to hurt your feet than many other types of sandals.
In addition, flip flops are generally not designed to be worn for extended periods of time. Yet people insist on wearing them when they play sports or when they are walking for significant periods of time. This is a bad idea as they are not great at protecting your feet. The friction or slipping from the flip flops just causes foot pain, irritation and discomfort.
Ideally, you should think about wearing your flip flops for only short periods of time at the beach or around a pool and wear sandals with more support at other times.
How Can I Stop My Flip Flops From Rubbing?
Learning how to stop flip flops hurting between toes or rubbing isn’t difficult. Some solutions involve thinking about the style of flip flops you are going to buy in the first place whilst others involve simple tips that can help to stop your skin from getting blisters.
We always believe that the best place to start resolving the problem is by thinking about the style of thongs that you want to buy in the first place.
Choosing the right footwear at the store which can help to protect your feet from the very start can save you a considerable amount of pain and hassle.
Buying Flip Flops That Don’t Hurt Between The Toes
If you are thinking about wearing flip-flops this year then think about quality over cheap ones that are going to hurt your feet.
There are brands on the market now such as Vionics or Fitflops that offer more support and are designed for comfort. These brands tend to have more cushioning and arch support which helps to keep your feet comfortable.
When you are buying your footwear make sure you pick the right size and style to minimise any problems. If you are wearing a size that is too small then that causes problems in the toe area.
Then have a look at the plastic bit on the toes between flip-flops. Does it look hard and have problematic edges or is it softer and smoother? The material of the toe posts matters as does the thickness. Some companies create cushioned toe posts or make them out of fabric instead. Try and look at the material carefully before purchasing.
Also, make sure you try them on properly in the store first before buying them. If they hurt when you are walking try a different brand.
Remember that you can buy flip flops with ankle straps that can help to prevent movement which may be a better solution.
Wearing In Your Flip Flops
The next important factor to protect your feet is to wear your flip-flops in first before you try and wear them outside. This is especially important for a new pair of flip-flops or after a winter of wearing other types of shoes.
Remember that your feet sometimes need to get used to thongs especially if your feet have been cocooned in more supportive shoes for most of the year.
Your skin is not toughened especially between the toe area of your feet after a long period of wearing shoes and boots. So practice wearing your flip-flops for an hour or two every day until you feel as if you can walk in them without any problems.
Even when you are going to wear them outside do it for short periods of time, especially at the start and then slowly wear them for a little longer each time. This can go a long way to avoiding blisters, heel pain and discomfort.
Don’t Walk Miles in Your Thongs
Try and use some common sense when it comes to walking and wearing your flip-flops. This kind of sandal was never designed for you to wear for long periods of time and if you do you are going to find that they are going to be uncomfortable.
Even worse if you do persist in trying to wear your favorite pair everywhere you go then you are likely to cause more problems with your feet and toes. People who wear thong sandals can end up with more serious foot problems than just blisters such as plantar fasciitis.
Wear your flip-flops at the beach and for short walks only. When you need to walk further think about having an alternative pair of open-toed shoes with ankle support available.
Stop Wearing Flip Flops That are Wet
Moisture can be a big problem when it comes to flip-flops and your skin. This is because the water creates friction and that in turn causes the toe post to rub against your foot and cause blisters.
Even though flip-flops are designed to be worn at the beach or even by the pool try and make sure that you dry them before placing them on your feet and walking anywhere.
Use Moleskin to Help
If you do find that no matter what your try and do your flip flops are still causing you problems think about using some moleskin to help.
Moleskin is a cotton woven fabric that can be used to create a barrier between your skin and the toe post so that you don’t develop blisters.
The great thing about moleskin is that it can be bought in different shapes and sizes or even be cut to size so it fits your pair of flip-flops. As most moleskin is self-adhesive you can just place it in the areas that are causing problems to protect your feet.
Use Silicone Toe Post Protectors For Flip Flops
Learning how to stop flip flops hurting between toes is made even easier by specialist products that have been specifically designed to solve the problem.
Silicone toe post protectors are gel products that have been created to prevent blisters and stop friction from your footwear. These devices are usually made from a clear gel which means that they are invisible when you place them in a thong.
You just need to stick the toe post protectors to the sole of the flip-flop and they can help to cushion that sensitive area.
If you want to get more sophisticated you can also buy them with a ball of the foot cushion as well. This helps to protect your feet as you are walking from pain at the bottom of your foot.
DIY Thong Sandal Toe Protectors
If you are a dab hand at DIY solutions then you can of course create products yourself that can help.
Sewing soft material around the toe post is great at cushioning your feet in open footwear. We have even seen some people who have crocheted around the toe post with wool to provide protection.
An easier solution is to use a plaster or band-aid to wrap around the post so that your feet are protected.
Wear a Foam Toe Cushion to Protect Your Feet
If you are still at the stage where you are wearing in your flip flops and you want to protect your big toe or second toe then you could think about wearing a foam toe cushion.
These are simple foam tube devices that can be cut to size and slotted in over your toes. Usually, you would wear the cushion on your second toe.
The cushioning helps to prevent any rubbing or friction and will enable you to protect your foot whilst you are getting used to the new flip-flops.
Stop Flip-Flop Blisters Between Toes With a Friction Stick for Feet
If you have a pair of flip-flops or even a pair of shoes that are causing you problems such as blisters then it makes sense to carry about a friction stick with you to help the problem.
An anti-friction blister stick is a simple product but highly effective on a thong that is causing irritation. You just rub a small amount onto the area that is feeling uncomfortable and your feet should now be able to glide across the area without pain.
You can also use them on your heels or other problem areas where your shoes or sandals are rubbing and irritating your feet.
Buy Some Flip Flop Socks
Our next solution may not exactly be the most elegant solution or be considered fashionable but it can work if you need to talk in your flip-flops for longer than you expected.
You just need to buy a pair of flip-flop socks. These are usually moisture-wicking socks that have a gap between the big toe and the rest of the foot. Just slip them on your feet and then wear your flip-flops with them to stop your toe from hurting.
You might get some strange looks but if it stops any pain then it is probably worth it.
Use Vaseline to Prevent Friction
Vaseline is a cheap and really simple solution to prevent the toe rub that you sometimes get when you wear flip-flops.
Just dab some either on your skin in between your toes to help stop the toe post from hurting or place the petroleum Jelly on the actual post itself.
You can buy Vaseline in relatively small tins now which means it is the perfect product to place in your pocket or bag.
Try Using Baby Powder to Stop Your Flip Flops Rubbing
Wearing baby powder on your feet can also help with the problems with toe rub. You don’t even need to use the baby powder all over your feet but just in the area where you are experiencing the problem.
If you want to protect your feet from fungal infections you could try a medicated foot powder as well. That way you have resolved the problem of the uncomfortable toe post and helped to keep your feet protected from more serious infections.
Use Clear Gel Antiperspirant on The Toe Post
Using clear gel antiperspirant on the toe post of your flip flops is another way to help prevent toe rub and keep your feet pain-free.
It acts in a similar way to the blister stick as it allows your foot to glide across the toe post instead of rubbing. As the antiperspirant stick can also help with moisture it means that you have a way to keep your feet sweat-free as well.
More Solutions For Summer Foot Care
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