The FitFlop Craze: Fashion or Fitness?
Experts give their take on the FitFlop -- a shoe that aims for muscle toning and comfort.
FitFlops: What the Experts Say
While FitFlops certainly have their fans, not everyone is sold on their
"The intentions are good, but these shoes are not all they are cracked up to
be," says Fabio Comana, MA, MS, an exercise physiologist for the American
Council on Exercise in San Diego.
"It has a nice thick shock-absorbing heel that tends to prevent
overpronating, which in theory is a good thing," he says. In people who
overpronate, the foot continues to roll in when it should be pushing off,
twisting the foot, shin, and knee -- and causing pain.
But, he says, "I would rather take someone who is overpronating and train or
teach them how to position their foot or recommend orthotics," he says.
"FitFlops are a temporary solution. What happens when you take them off?"
Comana's bottom line? "FitFlops are a comfortable shoe to stand or walk in,
so go ahead and use them," he says. "If you feel that when you stand in the
shoe, the glutes and calf muscles are firing more, wear the shoe but don't
Cary M. Golub, DPM, a podiatrist in private practice in Long Beach, N.Y.,
thinks FitFlop shoes have their proper place in certain people's shoe
collections. But "they are not meant for everybody, especially the person with
flat feet," says Golub. "For these people, it's like sticking a rock in the
arch, which pushes the arch up, creating calf pain," he says, adding that he
has seen several patients reporting such complaints.
For people who can wear FitFlops, "I recommend breaking them in by wearing
them for an hour a day and increasing it by an hour each day," he says.