Get the latest information about UL Lafayette's continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You are here

UL Lafayette Expert Weighs In On Flip Flop Debate

Top Stories

Leadership changes announced in College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Dr. Melinda Oberleitner is ending her service as dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Dr. Lisa Broussard will be interim dean.

Read More ➝

Registration under way for online continuing education courses

Registration is underway for online summer courses being offered by UL Lafayette’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education. Courses begin July 5.

Read More ➝

UL Lafayette announces leadership changes in its College of Education

Dr. Nathan Roberts, dean of UL Lafayette’s College of Education, is ending his service effective July 1. Dr. Paula Montgomery will be interim dean.

Read More ➝

Are you a flip-flop fashionista?

If so, you may find that wearing your favorite summer footwear can cause your legs to ache.

USA Today recently turned to a UL Lafayette expert, Dr. Justin Shroyer, for some advice.

“ The less flip in your flop, the better it is for your feet and legs,” Shroyer told USA Today. He recommends flip-flops with features such as heel cups and arches, to give feet as much support as possible.

Shroyer, an assistant professor of kinesiology, has studied the biomechanical performance and safety of the popular summer sandal. He’s evaluated more than 100 flip-flop wearers to find out how the shoes affect legs and feet. He recently presented some of his research at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

Shroyer’s research shows that people walk differently when wearing flip-flops than when they are barefoot. They take shorter steps and use their toes to grip the shoes as they walk. They also hold their ankles at a different angle. As a result, the muscles on the front of their shins work harder, causing leg pain.

He began exploring flip-flop effects in 2007, while earning his doctoral degree at Auburn University. When he presented the initial findings at the ACSM’s 2008 convention, he set off a media flip-flop frenzy. He received requests for interviews from Newsweek, the BBC and ABC’s Good Morning America, among others.

Two years later, media outlets are still calling. “I’ve become ‘The Flip-Flop Guy,’ not because I can’t make a decision, but because of my research,” he joked.

Stroyer’s research is focused on human movement. “Anywhere I go, I’m always analyzing the way people walk.”

Shroyer is collaborating with researchers at Auburn, studying the biomechanical effects of a new shoe, Vibrum FiveFingers®. The shoes have with rubber soles and separate compartments for each toe. The manufacturer says wearing the shoes is similar to going barefoot.

He had five people wear the shoes as much as possible for six months. “In developed countries, where people wear shoes almost from birth, there is a high prevalence of people with flat feet,” he explained.

“ We’re looking at the shoes’ effects on balance and stability – and measuring whether the arch structure in their feet improved.”

Stroyer said the data-collection phase of the study is complete. “We don’t know the answers yet, because we still have to crunch the numbers.”

SHARE THIS |