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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/bettyx1138

No one should ever wear flip-flops in New York

By Heather Corcoran
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One long-ago afternoon, when the city was firmly in the grip of summer heat, an NYU freshman said these irresistible words: “Get a load of this!”

RECOMMENDED: See more New York rants

We crowded around as she lifted her foot before our stunned eyes. The flesh below her ankle, hot to the touch, had swollen to the size of an elephant’s leg, and a flimsy flip-flop dangled from her distended toes. A blister caused from breaking in her thongs had become majorly infected, and when she finally saw a doctor, she needed an IV drip of antibiotics. Had she waited longer, she might have lost her foot. Sure, it’s a dramatic example, but the lesson is simple: Don’t wear flip-flops in New York City.

Flip-flops breed strong opinions like steaming summer street puddles breed bacteria. Those opposed will say no one wants to see your disgusting feet, that open-toed shoes are a privilege of those with pedicures. Some argue that wearing rubber shoes is for children or that the thwack-thwack sound they make is noise pollution. But fashion and propriety aside, common sense begs you to think twice before walking around the city basically barefoot.

Have you ever seen a smashed rat in the middle of the street? One that’s flat as a pancake, insides on the outside, its tail the only indication that it was once a living rodent? Have you smelled a mysterious pool of liquid you’ve instinctually known wasn’t water or gotten a metal shard stuck in your shoe? Probably. Remember these scenarios next time you’re tempted to slip on a pair of Havaianas and take a leisurely stroll to the nearest bodega. Save the flip-flops for the beach!

Your feet—and your fellow city-dwellers—will thank you.

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