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What are Foot Thongs?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 21, 2024
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Foot thongs are a type of footwear used for accessorizing or dancing. They are designed quite differently for either purpose, but the general idea is to make it appear as if one is barefoot. Dancers frequently use foot thongs during performances, to keep their lines looking clean and professional while still slightly protecting the feet. Though flip-flops are sometimes referred to as thongs, they are generally never referred to as foot thongs.

Foot thongs for dancing are typically nude or flesh-colored, and slip over the toes. They generally just have one or two simple straps on top, which rest on the front of the foot just above the toes. The foot thong will have a slightly padded area that rests underneath the ball of the foot. This padded area is what serves to protect the ball of the foot from blisters or scrapes, such as when pirouetting during a dance routine, as the ball of the foot is often the only area that touches the floor.

There are many different brands of foot thongs available for dancers. They may be ordered online, or found in most dance supply stores, and are typically fairly inexpensive. Many dancers keep more than one pair on hand for practices and performances.

The other type of foot thongs are those used for accessorizing, and are not used for dancing. These look like anklets, with a single string that wraps around the ankle, stretches down over the top of the foot, and generally wraps around the first or second toe. They are often beaded with eye-catching, colorful beads, or crocheted with brightly colored string. Some have are more elaborate, with thicker bands that stretch across the tops of the feet; they are available in virtually any design that is desired.

These foot thongs provide virtually no protection for the soles of the feet at all, and are generally only worn when one would otherwise go barefoot, such as when at the beach or at home during the summer. They are not substitutes for shoes. These also range in price depending on the materials used, and must generally be ordered online as they are slightly difficult to find in stores.

It is relatively simple to make decorative foot thongs such as these with just a few materials. Instructions may be found online. This way, the user can customize the accessories to match outfits or other pieces of jewelry for a complete look.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1003672 — On Aug 11, 2020

A very informative article on foot thongs and the difference between foot thongs and thongs (Flip flops). I am going to buy one now.

By Mor — On Jun 15, 2011

I've never heard of foot thongs before. At least, not the ones that are supposed to make you look like you are barefoot when you really aren't.

I suppose they get used in films a lot. There are often characters that act bohemian and go barefoot in unlikely places. I imagine the actors playing the characters don't particularly want to expose their feet to that.

Not to mention walking barefoot in some places can lead to parasites.

Hookworms can get into your bloodstream through your feet and they can be picked up from the ground. Usually not the beach, because I don't think they like the salt, but in other sandy places, bare feet can lead to a nasty infection.

By lluviaporos — On Jun 12, 2011

The decorative foot thongs are quite gorgeous and I like wearing them at the beach.

I'm not sure where else you'd be able to wear them, as they really don't act like shoes at all. They just look like a pretty sandle without any kind of foot protection.

But, on the beach or on the grass they will look as pretty as wearing a nice strappy shoe without having to actually wear one.

As walking around barefoot is supposed to be very good for your feet, it might be worth looking into using them as a substitute.

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