Monday, June 30, 2008

Brand Immersion: Fit Flopped

Heed the warnings? Who me? Come on.

I’m in shape.

Well at least my legs have always been in shape.

That’s what I thought when I got my new shoes home and ripped off the tags, cavalierly discarding them without paying any notice to the yellow one with the ominous black stripes and the word WARNING in bold caps.

Photo courtesy of

Once I donned my Fit Flops, my feet started singing. Really. Well I mean if feet could sing that is. Mine were not just humming a little ditty. It was a full blown Hallelujah chorus.

So, after putting them on, I didn’t take them off for two weeks (except to sleep, and that was with some reluctance).

And then, it started. A nagging little pain in my lower back. But of course, I blamed that on Lisa D’s too soft bed at the Vineyard. I figured the pain would go away. But the nagging moved up to whining and I could no longer blame it on Lisa’s generosity, so I honed in on to the crap desk chair I sit in all day. After bending over and wincing in pain, I changed the chair but things continued to worsen। It finally dawned on me that somewhere I saw something about not overdoing it with the shoes.

So I went online and searched “lower back pain”+”Fit Flops”. And of course I found it. Fit Flops CURE lower back pain. So I read on about how, within the soft and supple soles that nurtured the soles (and the souls) of my feet, there is a wobble board designed to make the muscles in the buttocks twitch and work hard to produce the rock hard results we so desire.

I was twitching and twitching and my buttocks finally seized up like a block of concrete – taking my lower back with it.

How do I know all this?

With great reluctance, I left my sole caressing Fit Flops at home and have spent the last two days in my not so hip Birkenstocks.

My back is making a remarkably fast recovery but my feet are in mourning.

Never has there been as comfortable a shoe as my Fit Flops. But because I abused the privilege, and because I also value walking upright and sitting in a chair, I’m afraid the Flops of Fitness must be retired for the season. I’ll try again next spring – in moderation.

UPDATE 8Jul: The pain in my back actually got worse and worse. It wasn't my back - it was my sacroiliac - that spot where the thigh bone connects into the hip socket. It became totally inflamed and caused spasms to the lower back. After a week of prescription strength analgesics to control pain, added to a muscle relaxer to control back spasms, I'm starting to feel just plain sore. So go-ahead, commute in your Fit Flops - but heed the warnings. These little wobblers pack a might mean punch.

UPDATE 24Aug: The saga continues. I continued to have pain in my hip so I went to an orthopedist. A nerve test and MRI confirmed a herniated disk in L5. I went on two courses of steroid treatments to reduce the swelling in the disk. After the second course of steroids I saw steady improvement for 3 weeks. Then, while walking on the beach I got a back spasm and terrible pains in my leg - like all my muscles shrank instantaneously. This was paired with really severe pain in my heel and arch. I'll be starting physical therapy this week and will likely get an epidural to once again attempt to reduce the swelling in my disk. Trust me ladies, just say no to Fit Flops!


Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with the Fit Flops. They gave me terrible back pain and it took awhile to figure out the culprit. I don't think I will be wearing mine again. Fit Flips are for those people who are perfectly aligned (no scoliosis etc. except no one is perfectly aligned!). In short, they cause pain and just not worth it. Thanks for letting me know I was not alone!

Jackie said...

The same thing happened to me. I got the Fit Flops early in the summer and wore them for weeks - I was in love! But my hip started hurting..a lot. I was convinced I had arthritis! I'd lie down at night and I could feel something was off (did I go to the chiropractor? No). So I decided to stop wearing the Fit Flops because I also noticed that my plantar fasciitis seemed to flare up on the same side as the hip. Within two days I began feeling better! I stayed away from them for a week with greatly reduced hip pain and then I wore them today (in a fit of weakness) and now I'm on the couch with terrible hip pain.

Damn, I loved those shoes. How sad. I should also mention that I have very flat feet, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I believe the same has happened to me... fit flops are the comfiest shoes Ive ever worn, so I wore them all the time. Yesterday I went for a big shopping spree in the city and started feeling almost crippled with lower back pain to the point that I nearly passed out. Came home lay down for a while and felt better. Wore the shoes today again and noticed about an hour ago the back pain started again and continued to get wose. I took off the shoes and thought Id have a look online and see if anyone else had had the same problem... The only other time Ive felt pain in back like this was with a kidney infection so I was starting to get concerned altho other than back pin Im feeling great. Thanks guys for posting your stories, I'm certainly hanging up the fit flops now... Hope I feel less sore tomorow