It's official: Summer 2016 is the season of slides. They're chic and they're effortless, both in wear and in aesthetic. Unfortunately, slides also happen to be the worst sandal type for your feet. Podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal first alerted us to this fun little fact last summer when she pointed out how unhealthy flip-flops are: "Since they're not attached to the foot, your toes grip onto them when you move, which changes the way you walk." The healthy sandals? The ones that lock around the ankle.
As logic would dictate, the same theory-slash-medical diagnosis would apply to slides, because, let's be honest, they're essentially a chicer version of flip-flops. We called up Splichal, who confirmed it and went on to add that they also "pose the risk of instability or missteps leading to foot injury." Um, yikes. Not even orthopedic-approved sandals, like Birkenstocks, are exempt from these alarming circumstances.
But if you're not one to be deterred from something like a silly injury, it's at least beneficial to know which slides you should wear and which to avoid. Not all of them are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. We gave Splichal a list of different backless styles, from Adidas shower slides to Gucci's loafer slides, and she ranked them from the "healthiest" (as in, the lesser of the evils) to the unhealthiest (just plain evil). Scroll through to see which styles fall where in order of healthiness.