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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why don't you ever see athletes wearing flip flops when they compete?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) July 13th, 2016

I mean, any athlete, be it a pro or a Sunday pick up game. You never see any adult running a marathon or a foot race in flip flops. Nor rock climbing, basketball, football, hiking, whatever. They always wear well fitting, all encompassing tennis shoes of some kind. Almost always. Occasionally they’re barefoot.

Why don’t they wear flip flops? Or sandals?

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15 Answers

ucme's avatar

Because it would be bloody stupid
Your next question must be, “but why is it stupid?”

Performance enhancing
Injury prevention

Dutchess_III's avatar

So you think they could get injured wearing them? How?

ucme's avatar

I don’t think, I know
The technology that goes into designing footwear for pro sportspeople is massively advanced, even from as little as 10yrs ago, the reasons are as listed above.
Flip flops on an athlete would be like thigh boots with a 6” heel on a ballet dancer

Dutchess_III's avatar

If they just wore regular flip flops, like from Walmart, and tried running and climbing, would it be stupid?

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, it would be stupid.

Ever notice how Teva sandals have a strap tha goes around the ankle? That’s to keep the sandal on the sole of the foot.

I lived in flip flops for years when I went to school in Santa Barbara (home of Deckers!). One will regularly smash one’s toes if one attempts to run more than about ten yards.

And, flip flops provide no support for the foot or the ankle. Land slightly off center, have your foot slide off the flip flop, flip flop catches and your ankle twists, no more competition for that athlete for at least four weeks.

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Google flip-flop injuries. The list of reports is legion. I live in a beach town, all summer the news carries stories, the immediate care clinics workers are interviewed, there are usually x-rays featured that show dislocated toes and broken meta-tarsals and stuff.

dxs's avatar

They should be more like Jesus and wear sandals.

gondwanalon's avatar

I compete in Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe paddling races and most of the athletes wear flip-flops to and from the canoes. They take the flip-flops off when in the canoes and paddle barefoot. I’ve found this to be true even with world class paddling athletes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, they’re good for walking, like, to and from and event. Or for walking on hot sand. It’s a bitch trying to get through hot sand barefooted! Although I have done it on numerous occasions.

I’m Googling…found this

”...found that while wearing flip-flops, participants in his study took shorter steps. He hypothesized that this was because the wearer was trying to get his or her foot on the ground faster, to prevent the shoe from flying off. Also, flip-flop wearers did not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase because they tended to grip the sandals with their toes.

“Your toe flexors are fighting what you’re naturally trying to do,” Shroyer says. “It’s kind of an antagonistic push-pull, tug-of-war going on, and it’s not happening in running shoes or bare feet.”

The researchers speculated that the altered gait could result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.

He articulated what I couldn’t seem to. I can feel this when I’m walking in them, just couldn’t explain it like that. I can’t imagine trying to run or climb in them. In fact, when I’m called to do something beyond walking, like helping to carry something heavy, I kick them off. They make me too unbalanced.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: If you can’t imagine trying to run or climb in them, why would you think an athlete could wear them when they compete?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just wanted to see what the consensus was. I believe the consensus is, “That would be really stupid. Not only would it affect their performance, they could really hurt themselves trying to run or climb while wearing flip flops.”

Am I reading that right?

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, @Dutchess_III , you are reading that correctly.

SmartAZ's avatar

If you try to do anything unusual, your foot goes sideways and the sandal twists. It’s much worse than being barefoot.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Correct, quite dumb. I personally hate even wearing them to get from the parking lot to the beach. I’ll wear fully supported sandals though

jca's avatar

I never wear the cheap, dime store style flip flops. I have a pair, for “just in case” but normally I wear a “slide” which I’d describe as being like a Dr. Scholl’s style sandal (for those who remember the popular 1970’s style) or an imitation Birkenstock sandal (not attractive but very comfortable).

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