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Luke Burbank
Flip flops-AP
Slate writer says you might as well walk around barefoot if you're deciding on flip-flops. (AP Photo)

Your flips-flops are grossing everyone out

If you're sporting a toe-wedgie right now, Dana Stevens' Slate article about flip-flops is for you.

Her tirade "Your Flip-Flops Are Grossing Me Out: They're unsightly, unhygienic, and unfit for public display" about the flappy, germ-magnets and their social contribution to too-casual attire has gained a lot of response. The piece from the movie critic might even be the pinnacle of her writing career, agrees Stevens.

"It's gotten a huge response. People feel so strongly, pro and con, about their flip-flops," she tells KIRO Radio's Luke Burbank Show.

Stevens explains there are a few solid reasons flip-flops should never be worn outside the pool, gym shower, or beach.

First off, there's just a thin piece of foam separating you from dog poop, human saliva, slug slime, tiny rocks, and all around street grime.

Have you ever noticed someone's grimy sole upon lift off, between steps? They're probably guilty of thinking 'Geez, I should probably wash my feet before I slip in between the sheets' at the end of the day.

"You're essentially barefoot half the day," complains Stevens.

But it's not just about the hygiene.

"They're not safe shoes to walk around in," she says.

Stevens quotes a couple of doctors in her story who agree that there's basically no support for the foot while slapping around in flip-flops. Some people's heels are even half off the soles, hitting the pavement with every step. And what if you have to chase down your dog or carry a box up a flight of stairs? Even driving your car could pose a problem - six inches of bended foam preventing you from hitting the brakes.

And lastly, Stevens thinks flip-flops are slightly too casual. What gives you the right to be 90 percent barefoot while at the office? The rest of us are jammed into stilettos and Oxfords, trying to dress to impress.

Luke, who really only wears shorts at the beach, agrees it's "not that hard to put a shoe on."

But lady, you say, 'you're too high-strung and can get away with it on the relaxed West Coast.' Stevens says, even in Seattle, flip-flops are over the top for an all day commuter-type of wear.

If anything, Stevens says it's been interesting to expose the social flip-flop divide and let these flip-floppers know that they're being judged in their dirty, slappy "shoes."

Stephanie Klein, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Stephanie joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).
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