Are the arch supporting flip flops any good?
People with foot problems like to ask this a lot. Can those flip flops with an arch support built into them be used instead of foot orthotics? The amount of arch support that they have is similar to the amount that you get from an over-the-counter type foot supports that are widely available, so it is reasonable to assume that they will have some use. They could be used to supplement and be an adjunct to foot orthotic therapy when the wearing of foot orthotics can be compromised by the choice of footwear to accommodate foot orthotics. This is often the case in warmer climates when closed in shoes which are needed for foot orthotics are not worn that often. They may be an alternative to foot orthotics if the problem is minor and the patient spends the bulk of their time in this type of footwear and they have the need for an average type arch support. The amount of support would not be the same as you would get from a custom made device that is specific for the individual.
Athletes often like to use them as recovery footwear. After a hard workout, the feet and legs need a rest to help recover, so an arch supporting cushioned type of footwear is probably going to help that. The flip flop type footwear also ‘frees’ the toes from the constrictive toe box of typical shoes, so this can also be useful for use for a period of time by athletes.
One brand that is getting a lot of attention is the Archie brand from Australia, where it is widely stocked by podiatry clinics. In Australia, they call flip-flops, thongs, so you do need to be careful about the terminology of this footwear genre. You often see comments from Podiatrists in Australia, just how much patients like these with almost all who try them on buying them. There are many other brands on the market that are worth considering.