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Kids Should Be Banned from Wearing Flip-Flops

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Momlogic's Momstrosity: It is my opinion that flip-flops are the world's most dangerous footwear -- right up there with any shoe designed by the late Alexander McQueen.

The shoes (if you can call them that) used to be de rigueur only on the beach, but over the years they have infiltrated everyday life. I've seen them worn at every occasion -- once I even saw them at a funeral! 

Besides being a fashion faux pas, the darn things are not in the least practical. Take today's news for example, wherein an 11-year-old boy wearing flip-flops mowed the lawn for the first time ever and accidentally cut off three of his toes.

I do not blame the mower in this situation. I blame the shoes.

Although my kids' toes are intact, my flip-flop-wearing preschooler succumbed to the dangers of her flips this past weekend when, while running up our walkway, one of her flip-flops got caught under itself and she careened into our concrete steps. Much crying and Neosporin followed.

I do not blame the concrete stairs. I blame the shoes. 

At my little girl's preschool, there's a rule: No open-toed shoes allowed. A better policy I cannot imagine. When I've shown up at "outdoor" playtime, the playground is overrun with running, hopping, skipping children, each of them bouncing off the walls with pent-up energy. Sure, they still hurt themselves, but the whole tripping-over-their-own-shoes variable has left the equation. 

To have young children who are still working out their coordination running around in barely there rubbery shoes is just plain dumb. Even preschooler teachers know that. So why don't we follow that advice at home? In my opinion, footwear should be consistent with the activity, and playing should always require closed-toed shoes. And last time I checked, kids are always at play. I personally don't go to the gym in high heels, so why are kids playing tag in flip-flops? Before you lament the fact that your kid should be able to wear sandals in the summer, how about considering some of the sturdy, arch-supporting closed-toe sandals that are out there ... like these made by Keen - or one of the many much cheaper knock-offs? 

I know a real ban is silly but maybe they should be limited to beach?

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42 comments so far | Post a comment now
Robyn July 19, 2010, 4:02 PM

You’re totally on your own. My 4 year old wears flip flops sometimes and its no big deal… why don’t you find something real to complain about?

Anonymous July 19, 2010, 4:08 PM

thank you for this. I have often considered that flip flops are dangerous.

catherina July 19, 2010, 4:10 PM

I don’t know about a ban, but common sense and wearing the right shoe for the right occasion/activity. But yes, for the 3 or 4 and under set, better covered toes than sorry. My 3-year-old is constantly running and rough-housing, so to minimize injuries in summer, we go w/ closed toe sandals too (though more reasonably priced than those Keen ones — we went with Old Navy’s $20 ones that are almost exactly the same as the Keen ones you linked). I do think those tiny flops are cute, and envy moms w/ kids who can negotiate them (particularly those cute girls’ ones w/ embellishments!), but that’s not an option for us.

Mk July 19, 2010, 4:15 PM

Get a grip.

Susan July 19, 2010, 4:56 PM

I don’t blame the mower or the shoes for the loss of that child’s toes, I blame the parent who did not supervise a child mowing the lawn for the first time and explaining the proper attire in which to do it.

Can’t afford Keen’s, much as I like them. We’ve done knockoffs for the summer for hiking, etc. (BTW, my husband completely agrees with you about flipflops, but as a family of six, we are not about to pony up $50-$85/pair for Keen’s).

Back to money. During the summer, my three adolescent boys seem to be growing about an inch a day. At 2/$5, flipflops from Old Navy go long way.

Set rules. We require closed-toed shoes for many activities: bike riding, lawn mowing, rock climbing. For just walking down the street, a pair of flipflops is fine, especially this summer, when we’ve had weeks of hot, hot, hot.

Kristin July 19, 2010, 5:38 PM

My 3 year old and 19 month old “nieces” wear flip-flops. They are fine. I wear them year-round. I’m fine. I don’t see any problems with that.

catherina July 19, 2010, 6:53 PM

Mk, don’t know if you’re telling me or author to get a grip, but to clarify, I have no problem with others letting their kids wearing flops at the right time; I see kids all the time negotiating them w/o falling on their fact. My kid would not be in that category yet. : D

Teri July 19, 2010, 7:17 PM

I have always lived in flip flops sometimes in the snow I only wear shoes when I have to my barefeet is how you find me most of the time I don’t feel the shoes had anything to do with the loss of toes I used to even mow in my barefeet you had to be taught the safe way to do things like this.

catherina July 19, 2010, 7:40 PM

*face, that is. ( : And flip-flop ban only when those hideous garden shoes, crocs, are also banned for all!

Are You Serious? July 19, 2010, 8:33 PM


What kind of a world do you want to live in ???
Where EVERYTHINGS Banned ?

Give It A rest…and what a waste of typeset on this topic anyways.

OH NOS…I cant think for myself….please ban things to save me.
Completely ridiculous

Rita July 19, 2010, 10:58 PM

Lol @are you serious I see the authors point, but yeah its the parents responsibility to make sure their kids are wearing the proper shoes for any given activity. JC Penney’s has great kids sandals that are thick and sturdy with glitter and other embellishments the girls love. Best part? They’re very inexpensive and seem to last forever.

But you seem to want to ban everything that may be dangerous. News flash: Living is dangerous, but most of us have common sense. Use it

Oh, btw, the high school called. They want their drama back.

PartlySunny July 20, 2010, 12:16 AM

I’m not a big fan of banning things unless you’d have to be dumber than a doorknob to not know they’re inappropriate (like padded bikini tops for 7-year-olds). That said, if you want to talk dangerous or wrong, forget the flip flops — what about high heels for little kids? And I’m not talking about the kind they use for dress up. I’ve seen little girls, who can hardly handle walking normally, in everyday shoes with heels. Not to mention, what are we doing to these kids?

Brandi July 20, 2010, 6:03 AM

I agree with the article. I hate flip flops and think they should be worn as swimwear- they are not work wear or casual wear……come on people

Raceanne July 25, 2010, 5:21 PM

I couldnt agree more - mind you there are some fantastic sandal alternatives. In addition, on preschoolers and little ones - they are often not designed with the child’s foot in mind and can cause blisters and other issues - Here in Australia - we have a huge import of them from the asian market and many of these are made substandard and the plastics can also burn and blister the skins. Traditionally, they are beachwear - My kids have NEVER had a pair - instead we always opted for a sturdy pair of well made sandals that go over the toes and sling securely around the heel so they dont slip off. Flip-flops for kids is simply, yet another instance of a grown up fashion being modelled for the kiddie market - throw them out with the bras for 3 year old and the 4 year old bikinis!

jen July 26, 2010, 7:13 AM

you are on your own- as another poster said. my 7 yr old wears flip flops all the time and has no problem with coordination. maybe it’s not the shoes, but rather the kid. if your kid isn’t coordinated enough to wear them, don’t put them on your kid. don’t flip out about everyone else. side note: yard work is a different matter- that is not play, that’s work. so you should wear work related shoes.

Faith July 26, 2010, 11:23 AM

Ridiculous. Blame the flip flops for severed toes by the lawnmower? First off, you are blaming an inanimate object that can do nothing on its own. How about the parents for allowing the 11-year-old to mow the yard in flip flops? Maybe the kid and parents need a dose of common sense. Hey, we should ban lawnmowers too. I read lawnmowers can cut off your toes. I bet living in a bubble would be amazing.

Lynn @ mathgirlgames August 6, 2010, 8:45 AM

We live in Hawaii. “Slippas” are $2.99. We all abandon them at the door, at the beach, and on the playground. When my kids were little, keeping track of them was the problem. We’d have 10 right-footed flipflops at the door when it was time to go to school. Our first soccer shoes were an experience!
There are great slippas and there are junk ones. They can be in cute colors and styles but then stretch, fall apart, and trip you up. We stick to old favorite local brands and carefully try out anything new.

ItsHere September 12, 2010, 12:33 PM

Are you kidding? “Accidently” cut off three toes? He purposely did. Anyone with a BRAIN knows not to cut the lawn with BARE FEET.

These flip flops and flip flop “people” should be banned. If you’re going to FORCE ME to wear seatbelts because it affects the insurance values of other drivers IF I GET HURT, then we need to FORCE people to wear closed-toe footwear.

My God people. Not only will you NOT be able to run in and emergency, people dont want to see your ratty toes while they’re eating. Its disgusting. Maybe 1/2 of 1% of the people in your city will have “decent” looking feet. Everyone else - your feet are horrendous looking.

And, the kid in that picture is going to hurt themselves because those flip flops DONT EVEN FIT THEIR FOOT SIZE!

I am surrounded by idiots.

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