How to Fix Flip Flops That Hurt Between Your Toes

Flip-flops are super versatile and can be worn everywhere from the beach to a backyard barbecue, or just around the house.

But aside from choosing flip-flops with good arch support and cushioning, you need to make sure that your flip-flops are also comfortable.

The worst thing is buying a pair of flip-flops you like and discovering later that they hurt!

If this has happened to you, we’re going to show you how to fix flip-flops that hurt between your toes. You’ll be able to keep your current pair and wear them more comfortably.

What Causes flip-flops to Hurt Between Your Toes?

Friction is the most likely reason for pain between your toes when wearing flip-flops. Any time skin and part of the flip-flop touch and rub against each other, your skin can become inflamed and painful.

The skin between your toes is soft and sensitive. It doesn’t often come into contact with anything other than the toe next to it, so when you start wearing flip-flops with a toe post, that sensitive skin can easily become inflamed.

How to Prevent flip-flops Hurting Between Your Toes

If you’re wondering how to prevent flip-flops from hurting between your toes, there are several steps you can take to help. You may need to try a few things before finding the right one.

Use Moleskin

Moleskin is a soft, cotton fabric with one adhesive side that can be used to reduce friction. You can buy it by the roll, like Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus Padding Roll, and simply cut a small piece at a time and wrap it around the toe post.

It’s soft and should prevent friction between your toes and the toe post. Use your discretion when replacing the moleskin—if your feet sweat or get wet, you’ll need to replace the moleskin piece before you wear them again.

Use a Toe Post Protector

These handy gel protectors fit right over the toe post of your flip-flops, and they’re transparent, so nobody will even see them on your shoes. They’re adhesive, so all you need to do is stick it in the right place on your shoe, and it should provide protection against chafing.

You can get silicone protectors that only cover the toe post, or those that include a flat platform that provides some cushioning to the ball of the foot.

Those sensitive to silicone may want to consider a foam cushion instead. You may be able to find a small cushion tube that you can slip around the toe post, or you may have to settle for a foam toe cushion that goes over your toe instead.

This may feel strange initially, but it can help reduce chafing and make your experience of wearing flip-flops much more comfortable.

Use Blister Protector

You can use a blister protector specifically for the feet, like the BodyGlide Foot Anti-Blister Balm. It’s easy to use by simply rubbing it on the parts of your foot prone to blisters before wearing your shoes.

In this case, you would rub the anti-blister balm between your toes before putting on your flip-flops. It can significantly reduce chafing; most brands are formulated to minimize inflammation.

If you’re heading to the beach or somewhere casual, it’s easy to slip into your bag and take with you so you can reapply it during the day if necessary.

Use Flip Flop Socks

Flip-flop socks are designed with a space for the toe post. You can try these if you’re wearing flip-flops in slightly cooler weather or want to make a fashion statement!

The layer of fabric between your skin and the toe post can help to reduce chafing and keep your feet more comfortable. Make sure you choose a sock that’s soft and comfortable.

Tips for Wearing flip-flops More Comfortably

Break Them In

Like any shoes, flip-flops should be broken in to ensure the highest level of comfort. Wear them for a short while each day for the first few days after you get them. Slowly increase the time you wear them every day, until you’re comfortable.

You may need to be patient with this process. The skin between your toes is sensitive and may need longer than you expect to get used to having a toe post.

Wear Them For Short Periods of Time

It’s not advised to wear flip-flops for very long periods of time. They’re suitable for short outings, like going to the store, meeting a friend, or going to the beach, where you’re likely to be barefoot most of the time.

Spending a long period of time on your feet increases your risk of pain and discomfort. But if you only wear them for a short time and you pair that with some of the measures above, your chances of being comfortable increase noticeably.

Choose Fabric, Not Plastic

While many flip-flop manufacturers have a plastic toe post, some are now bringing out flip-flops featuring fabric toe posts instead. These can make a big difference to the comfort of the flip-flops, so buy fabric if possible.

If you already have plastic toe posts, it’s a good idea to check them. Does it have hard or rough edges? Is there a way for you to smooth it out or soften it? If not, you can always cover it with fabric to make it more comfortable.

Don’t Get Your flip-flops Wet

When your flip-flops get wet, there’s a higher chance of the toe post-chafing against your skin. Although flip-flops are water-resistant and designed for wearing on the beach or by the pool, getting them wet and continuing to walk in them may increase your chance of being chafed.

Make sure to dry your flip-flops thoroughly before continuing to walk in them. Most flip-flops are made of moisture-wicking, quick-drying materials.

As a Last Resort… Choose Slides

If none of the above measures help reduce the pain you feel from the toe post in flip-flops, you may consider switching to a pair of slide sandals. These don’t have a toe post and rely on a thick strap across the top of the foot.

This reduces chafing between the toes, which can significantly improve your comfort level. However, you should still be aware that these kinds of shoes can chafe on the top of your foot, so you may still want to invest in a blister protector or moleskin roll.