What are Fitflops&Trade;?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 December 2019
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Fitflops™ are a type of flip-flop shoe developed in England in the mid to late 2000s. They began to immediately grow in popularity in England due to certain claims regarding their use. Principally, these claims included that they would provide the legs with a better workout, helping to tone the body, and especially the hips and upper legs, while doing things like alleviating back pain, more so than would other pairs of shoes. These health benefits were attributed to the design of the shoe, which has a very soft sole that could slightly change the way people walk.

Such popularity was also established quickly in the United States. Well-known celebrities like Oprah Winfrey discussed Fitflops™ on her talk show. Many people who follow fashion, fitness or footware, certainly were aware of these new products by the late 2000s.

One of the big differences between flip flops and Fitflops™ is price. The average pair of Fitflops® is typically at least $50 US Dollars (USD), and sometimes more for fancier styles. The design is also slightly different, and the newer Fitflop™ has a higher footbed, and is made in more fashionable colors and styles. There are shoe styles for women and men based on Fitflop™ design principles.


There has been much questioning as to whether claims about Fitflops™ are true, and here some investigation has suggested that not only may claims be untrue but that some people might have great discomfort if they chose the shoes for walking. In particular the US television show 20/20, tested claims about these shoes in 2008. Those wearing them showed no difference or changes to physical dimensions after a week’s trial, and two people wearing them experienced discomfort wearing the shoes. The host of the particular program was asked not to wear them because they caused incorrect positioning of the feet, which could lead to back or knee problems.

Though the 20/20 tests are no more conclusive than tests run by the Fitflops™ company, due to small samples and lack of double blind trials, the claims made by this shoe company need to be taken with a grain of salt. Searching on the Internet, people will find great fans of the shoes. Yet they’ll also find reviews of the shoes that are not at all favorable and speak of discomfort, blisters, back and leg pain, and other issues developed from wearing them.

The jury may be out on the benefits of Fitflops™, but the shoes have remained popular. They are sold in a number of locations, though many of these are online stores, which may make it difficult to try on the shoes first. People purchasing them may want to look for stores that sell them that offer liberal return policies in case the shoes are not a good fit or are greatly uncomfortable.


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