Woman Receives Severe Chemical Burns From Flip Flops, Walmart Tells Her To Complain To Manufacturer

A woman from Florida claims to have purchased some flip flops from Walmart, put them on her feet… only to suffer some sort of severe chemical burn along the lines where the straps of the flip flop met her feet.

She’s been documenting the process as the chemical burns get worse and worse… and oh my god. It’s horrible. First it’s just a red angry burn, but soon blisters appear and then break open. It’s just getting worse and worse.

Kerry writes:

Well, after wearing them my feet would be red and sort of tingly, but I figured that it was just because it was first flip flops of the year so my feet need to get used to them. Blabity blabity… Well I have now had this chemical burn for 11 days, (As of July 3rd) I really thought it would just go away on it’s own. It is absolutely going away very well at all…this started on June 22nd 2007 and has just gotten worse basically. I have only worn those shoes 15 minutes here, half an hour there, hour there…and so on, NOT enough time to burn my feet like this!

She’s tried to contact Walmart to ask them to stop selling the flip flops, but their response was to tell her to contact the manufacturer in China.

Kerry describes her attempts to warn Walmart about the shoes:

I called the home office and nicely explained that I used to be an employee, and I bought the shoes, and I just want to make sure that no kids were hurt…bla bla. The home office was pretty decent about the entire thing. Then the store in Summerfield called, July 2nd 1:44 pm and left a voicemail, They told me I had to come in. The GM (Richard) told me who to talk with the training manager (Mike Sidel) and

when he would be in. He (Richard) seems to be a nice guy. I went in 15 minutes to a half an hour after getting the voicemail. I thought it was important to go in there.

I couldn’t believe how rude and mean, and obnoxious Mike was to me, he acted like I was making it all up, I tried to show him my injuries so he would take it a bit more seriously

& he turned his head away so that he could say he never saw it. Infact, everyone in the office was acting as if I were the “bad guy” I told him the details and he filled out a report. He asked me,

“well, what do you want me to do about this?” I told him that “if there was infact a problem with the shoes that I wanted to make sure someone knows so this doesn’t happen to anyone else” .

He told me “well, nothing will come of this because you bought them in April and you are just now reporting this?”

When I tried to explain the timeline to him he didn’t want to listen and turned his back on me so I just quit talking.

Here’s the letter Walmart sent:

And here’s a photo of Kerry’s feet. The entire progression of the burn is documented on her site.


If this is a hoax it’s the most crazy, painful, scary hoax ever. Kerry is asking that people help her get the flip flops recalled and we don’t blame her.

Has this happened to anyone else? Kerry says another woman emailed her to say she also had chemical burns on her feet from the flip flops. Anyone else? Both woman supposedly bought the flip flops from Walmart in April.

Please let us know.


UPDATE: Kerry’s site went down, so we mirrored her photos here.


Edit Your Comment

  1. hoo_foot says:

    Yikes, I’m never going to wear new flip flops ever again. I hope she contacts a doctor and a good lawyer.

  2. ivieso says:

    I just look at the last picture. I think I am gonna throw up …and it is not because of the burns.

  3. EtherealStrife says:

    Wow that is just disgusting.

    Queue China haters, Wal-Mart haters, “that’s what you get when…” and “you should have known better than…” comments in 3…2…1…

  4. 7livesleft says:

    I’m not questioning the effects of something, obviously, but maybe she should seek out a dermatologist. Perhaps she’s alergic to something she used to clean the flipflops with. If she hasn’t cleaned them, then there’s no telling what she’s come in contact with either. Also, there’s the chance that she’s alergic to the dyes used to color the straps.

  5. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Well it can’t possibly be wallymart’s fault. I mean look at the caring and thoughtful way they handled it. And @EtherealStrife: I have good reasons for hating wallyworld, not the least of which is that they are costing Americans jobs.

  6. iMike says:

    Burns aside, those are some ugly dogs. I don’t blame the manager for averting his eyes.

    As for her claim, not at all sure why she decided to keep wearing the thongs.

  7. formergr says:

    Yeah, why in the world would she keep wearing them, even if it was just for “1/2 an hour here, or 15 minutes there”.

  8. Roundonbothends says:

    From the alignment of big toes, it looks like she NEEDS to be wearing flip-flops. It probably took YEARS in the wrong shoes to produce that.

  9. DocRaf says:

    I’m an MD.

    That’s not a chemical burn. That’s allergic contact dermatitis. Of course it’s not gonna go away even after 11 days, because you keep wearing them. Stop putting them on, and it’ll go away.

    Consult a dermatologist and he/she will say the same thing.

    Here’s a link to the American Academy of Dermatology: [www.aad.org]

    Money Quote:
    “What Allergic Contact Dermatitis Looks Like:

    In initial (acute) severe cases such as poison ivy, the skin gets red, itchy, swollen, and develops tiny blisters, which may break and leave crusts and scales. The skin becomes thick, red, and scaly with long-term (chronic) exposure to an allergen. Later the skin may darken and become leathery and cracked.”

  10. bravo369 says:

    I asked myself what I would do if this happened to me. I don’t think I would complain to Walmart. These shoes are going to be in Walmart, Target, Sears etc so why would it matter what Walmart does? I would have gone straight to the company that makes them and it would be up to them to recall their product. It just seems like that would be the logical progression. I mean think about it. If a customer came into ShopRite and said they bought a box of Lucky Charms and got sick a month later, do you really think you’d take down every box of Lucky Charms off the shelf?

  11. 3ZKL says:

    i just threw up in my mouth a little. . .
    now who should i sue — walmart, china, or this womans feet?

    answer : ALL THREE FTW!!!

  12. Harlan says:

    Looks like she might have excema due to an allergic reaction to something in the rubber. Not that uncommon. Walmart is no more liable than a pet store is for selling a cat that makes you sneeze.

    If she throws away the flip-flops and starts applying lots of moisturizer and topical hydrocortisone, it’ll probably go away. And if that doesn’t help, a dermotologist shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out what will.

  13. FreakyStyley says:

    Oftentimes, after discovering something hurts me, I will continue doing it just to show it who’s boss.

  14. Kierst_thara says:

    Although it’s a horrible thing to have happen in the first place, it seems strange to me that this woman’s first priority was to start fighting with Wal-Mart, rather than getting herself to a doctor ASAP.

    How does she know that they’re chemical burns, rather than some individual reaction? Just because you’ve never had an allergic reaction to a substance before doesn’t mean it can’t happen. And even if it is something widespread with the shoes, Wal-Mart is probably going to want more than a random ‘chemical burns’ declaration from a woman who hasn’t even seen a professional about it yet.

  15. ckilgore says:

    I know plenty of people are allergic to latex – it seems like a similar reaction here. And just because this is the first time it has happened to her doesn’t mean it’s a chemical burn, allergies develop receed throughout life. My suggestion his to get herself to her damn doctor for an actual diagnosis and then decide whether to go after wal-mart for selling Death Shoes.

  16. @formergr: It says in the first paragraph “I figured that it was just because it was first flip flops of the year so my feet need to get used to them”. She probably thought it was the pressure of the straps causing the redness and tingling. She didn’t realize it was a chemical burn until later.

    @Harlan: That’s not the worst picture of her feet. On her site the wounds are weeping in the last few photos.

    @Kierst_thara: She’s been to a doctor who told her it’s “definitely from the flip flops”. She also got an e-mail from someone who says it happened to them so it might not just be her.

  17. jdelamater says:

    As a law student, I can tell you that Walmart is liable for this. Get an attorney. Strict Products Liability tells us that the manufacturer and the dealer are both liable when the product has entered the stream of commerce in a defective condition. I doubt that Walmart added this chemical to the sandals, so obviously it entered commerce in a defective state. Your state may have adopted a different rule, but it’s a good general statement of the law! Check it out. OK, bar exam is in a few days…gotta go.

  18. ihearttacos says:

    Walmart gave me chlamydia.

  19. acambras says:

    Ow, it hurts to look at those photos. At first I thought it would be localized redness, like a 1st-degree burn. But no.

    I saw those flip-flops at Wallyworld. Ended up going with different ones, and didn’t have any problems, fortunately.

    Sadly, given WalMart’s track record in pulling recalled items from the shelves, I don’t think anything is going to happen.

  20. Steve518 says:

    C’mon, if you’re gonna shop at WalMart, you should expect to get chemical burns and permanent scarring. You get what you pay for!

  21. kimsama says:

    @Harlan: I agree — as someone who developed contact dermatitis to mangoes (mangoes, for chrissakes), and who is now sensitive to freakin’ everything, that looks an awful lot like a severe case of eczema or contact dermatitis to me. I am not a dermatologist or immunologist, but it’s likely that she wasn’t previously allergic, and now is (it can happen any time, a fact she doesn’t appear aware of).

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the precipitating factor was the chafing of the rubber on the top of her feet. That could have irritated the skin enough to cause sensitization, which turned into an allergic reaction.

    Bottom line: her ridiculous clinic visit (um, sorry? “It’s your shoes” is not a diagnosis) needs to be followed up with a visit to a dermatologist. I suspect topical corticosteroids and careful avoidance of latex are all she needs to make this go away. Sucks to get sensitized to a common material, though.

    If she really wants to proceed with any sort of (worthless, ridiculous) lawsuit, she’ll need to have a good dermatologist look at her feet anyway (not to mention having the flip flops tested). Oh, but she’s too poor to go to a dermatologist (but not too poor to hire an attorney, sadly).

  22. @EtherealStrife: the haters took longer than expected to show up. I thought there would be 10 comments at most between your’s and one like that.

  23. Gopher bond says:

    Did she pay a doctor to say “it’s definitely from the shoes”? Really Doc? I never would have guessed that since the irritation is localized completely in the area of where the strap to the sandals are located. That’s like having a bone sticking through your skin and having a doctor say, “Yep, you have a broken bone.”

    Walmart has a problem if there is a nasty chemical on these shoes. But if you look for latex allergy photos, this looks a lot like those. She needs to have an allergy test done and I’m afraid the results it will let Walmart off the hook.

  24. rockergal says:

    she went to a doc who said it was the flip flops (looking at the pic I would not need a medical degree to asses the same thing)

    BTW flip flops are FUGLY. people do not want to see your deformed/ugly/hairy feet!

    why would anyone want to wear “shoes” that only separate your feet with dirty cement with only a half inch of rubber YUCK! Half the time I see people wearing these horrible things, their feet are half on the ground other half on the flip flop. (I hope they all step on glass)

  25. Echomatrix says:

    doest statue of limitations occur when you first realize theres a problem?

    And the fact that they flat out don’t care and are just worried about their bottom line again.

  26. Steve518 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: did you think I was being serious?

  27. enm4r says:

    @jdelamater: Giving out law advice before the bar? Tisk tisk. I expected “This does not constitute legal advice” at the top, not “I’m a law student so do the following.”

    And maybe I’m missing it here, but WHY WOULD YOU KEEP WEARING THE SHOES? I shudder to think what happens if she figured out that pepper spray actually hurts, or that a nail through the palm will bleed…that idiocy has nothing to do with Walmart.

    And the last time I went to a doctor with a broken bone/torn ligaments/major damage, they didn’t say “yep, it was the car accident” and leave it at that. She should get a real diagnosis and take it from there. “It was definitely the shoes” doesn’t cut it.

    Sounds like a case of good intentions, bad execution.

  28. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I want to know if her diagnosis of “chemical burn” came from a board-certified physician, or whether she deduced that from her tenure at Walmart. My guess is she hasn’t gone to the doctor, since she “figured it would go away on its own”, so why is she throwing around serious terms like “chemical burn”?

    My point is she’s got a latex allergy/contact dermatitis which would be easily resolved with some topical steroids. But she would’ve known that if she’d gone to the doctor.

    But instead, she’s flying over to Walmart, asking them to take something off the shelf that really might not deserve it.

    Get yourself to a dermatologist and quit fighting with Walmart.

  29. @Steve518: Nope. I got the sarcasm. I just really did think a post like that, serious or silly, would have shown up faster.

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Your guess would be wrong.

    @enm4r: Who said she’s still wearing the shoes? She said she only wore them for short periods before realizing the redness was something serious. She didn’t say she’s still wearing them. I also don’t get why you’re assuming she didn’t get a diagnosis from the doctor.

  30. Ok, I’m bookmarking this story to show the next person who rags on me for buying expensive shoes.

    Seriously, though, I really feel for her. But why did she KEEP wearing them after she had the initial reaction?

  31. alohanico says:


    Exactly most people have no idea that they’re allergic to latex/cheap rubber until something like this happens. My initial reaction before even having seen the pictures was that she was having an allergic reaction.

    Something very similar happens to me when I wear cheap flip-flops (seriously, this only happened once and I learned my lesson) or try to wear my Vans SlipOns without socks.

    Get thee to a dermatologist lady, instead of a lawyer’s office.

  32. uberbitter says:

    Please stop bashing her. The questions posters keep raising have all been answered by here already: the problem wasn’t severe at the beginning and so she attributed it to breaking in new flip flops; she called around to get a doctor’s appointment and hard a hard time finding one that would take a new patient or take her soon; the doctor, right or wrong, attributed it to a chemical burn rather than an allergy because the irritation had not spread.

    Argue the accuracy of th medical information if you are in fact a doctor, but read the post before commenting and attacking.

  33. Kornkob says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: @pinkbunnyslippers: Your guess would be wrong.
    I dunno– her description of the doctor’s visit is really rich in details right up until there’s talk about the diagnosis, at which point the details become really scarce.

    His guess might be right.

  34. Groovymarlin says:

    I’m really disappointed that people are so quick to blame the victim here, obviously without having read the entire story on her site. To whit:
    – She only wore the flip-flops a few times over a weekend, and then stopped when she noticed the redness/irritation.
    – She went to a health clinic when the irritation did not go away quickly, within a matter of a few days (one of the really sad aspects of this story is that this woman has NO health insurance, and getting a doctor to see her has been a challenge).
    – The health clinic incorrectly assumed it was a rash and gave her a “cream” to apply, which did not help.
    – Her feet got worse and worse (and she was NOT wearing the shoes anymore) and she eventually was able to see another doctor, who prescribed antibiotics and steroids.

    So yes, she was seeing a doctor about this, not just thinking of suing Walmart. She states repeatedly that her main concern was getting Walmart to remove the shoes from their shelves, since there is something obviously wrong with them, and she was concerned that others would be similarly hurt. And what do you know? It looks like other people have had the same problem…

    I don’t know this poor woman at all, I just think it’s ridiculously unfair for people to jump on her case and quickly blame her for this. I would think that readers of a consumer-oriented website like The Consumerist would, I don’t know, be a little more sympathetic to a fellow consumer?

  35. Huntergreene says:

    Finally, an argument FOR socks with sandals.

  36. niteflytes says:

    I hope her feet heal ok and she doesn’t end up with sandal strap scars.

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s almost amusing. I wondered to myself, as I clicked, if (ha – I kid! I mean WHEN) I’d discover it was a Chinese product. Paragraph four. Yay!

    I guess poisoning is old hat to them. Now they’re moving on to chemical warfare. Excellent!

    PS: those are blaming the victim, put your money where your mouth is. From here on out, use only Chinese condoms. C’mon. Put up or shut up. Hmm?

  38. bonzombiekitty says:


    The fact that the injury did not spread is not an indication of a chemical burn. If she is allergic to the latex, she would only see the injury around where the latex was in contact with her skin. Unless the latex entered her blood stream, there would be no reason for the reaction to spread elsewhere.

  39. mac-phisto says:

    @FreakyStyley: for real. i’m glad i’m not the only one who does that.

  40. Malethos says:

    As to the doctor saying “Its the shoes”. It very obviously is the shoes. My guess is that she went to the doctor about this, he told her “its the shoes you are wearing, stop wearing them” in a clasic “Doctor it hurts when I do this” moment. As to whether he diagnised it as a burn/ dermatitis/ contact alergy, whatever we do not have that information. If it is a legit burn I hope that she gets her day in court. OTOH, it could easily be a case of her deliberately assembling “facts” to fit her version of “reality”.

  41. suburbancowboy says:

    I only wear leather flip-flops now. I have read so many bad things about the chemicals in the plastic they use to make flip-flops, that there is no way I will let them touch me.
    The effects on men are pretty bad. Some claim that plastic is making men more feminine because the plastic mimics estrogen as it is absorbed into your body. Simply touching plastic causes compounds to be absorbed into your body. This may be why more and more men have fertility problems and ED.

  42. Milesthecat says:

    The same thing happened to me last year with a pair of sandels I bought from WalMart. I had them on for about 15 minutes before I felt my feet burning where it touched the straps. I took them off and never wore them again (but still have them). The tops of my feet got very red and irritated (not as bad as the ones in this story) and it took WEEKS for the red marks to go away. My friends thought I was crazy and that I just had a bad reaction to the cheap shoes.

  43. kimsama says:

    I missed the part about her going to another doctor after the clinic visit, but it confirms my theory that it was contact dermatitis. This woman is just dangerously stupid. on her webpage she says: “I was given 10 days worth of antibiotics, and a script for steroids which I will have filled tomorrow…Holly pointed something interesting out to me, This is not a rash, it is a burn, but if this were a rash, it would have spread beyond the lines of the straps by now, so far, the only skin affected by this ‘reaction’ is exactly where the straps were. A rash simply does not behave this way.


    1. She is accepting medical advice from “Holly” (not her doctor, who should have explained why he/she was prescribing the steroid/antibiotic combo). Contact dermatitis is usually limited to the area which was exposed to the sensitizing agent. Gosh, surprised “Holly” didn’t know that.
    2. Even a very limited perusal of the contraindications for topical corticosteroids would indicate that it works by impairing immune response. That is why she was prescribed antibiotics (often used in conjunction with corticosteroids to prevent infection of steroid-caused compromise of immunity). No doctor would ever prescribe steroids without diagnosing that the symptoms were from an allergic reaction/derangement of the immune system. Frankly, prescribing steroids to someone with chemical burn would be madness (shutting down the skin’s immune response after having a chemical burn would make things demonstrably worse, the opposite of which is shown in her pictures, in which her feet begin to heal with the application of the cream).

    Frankly, this woman was probably clearly told that this was an immune response (contact dermatitis) when she was prescribed the corticosteroids. Her continuing refusal to believe it’s anything other than a chemical burn demonstrates nothing but ignorance and the desire to win the lawsuit lottery.

  44. Clever_Username_Here says:

    @Huntergreene: Only dads are allowed to do that.

  45. Groovymarlin says:

    @kimsama: I agree about prescribing steroids for an allergic-type reaction. But this woman states she has worn rubber/latex flip-flops before with no reaction, so we can assume at the very least that she is not normally allergic to latex. It was probably something that coated or was a part of these Chinese flip-flops that caused the reaction. Maybe the material only causes a reaction in a few people, and she’s just one of the unlucky ones.

  46. vladthepaler says:

    If she bought them that long ago, and there were a systematic problem with the manufacture of the sandals, it seems likely that other people would have complained by now. If she’s the only one complaining, then it’s difficult to see how a recall would be warranted.

    That said, isn’t it illegal to sell a product that isn’t fit for its intended use? “Lemon laws”, something like that?

  47. crichardson79 says:

    What a dumb user. Once they burn take them off and never wear them again you dumbass. Don’t blame Walmart blame yourself and sue the manufacture of the flip flop. Sometime people get what they deserve.

  48. crichardson79 says:

    @crichardson79: Ps that lady has some nasty feet

  49. kimsama says:

    @Groovymarlin: No, actually, you can become allergic to pretty much anything at pretty much any point in your life. All it takes is a sensitizing event (I learned this the hard way when I developed contact dermatitis to mangoes, which I had eaten for years prior to developing allergies. Sadly, I can’t tolerate the urushiol in mangoes anymore, thought I used to be able to).

    Unfortunately, it can happen at any time. It’s always best to see a dermatologist right away whenever you develop a big reaction like this. That can help limit the freak-out your body has, and some sensitizations fade after a few years without exposure (though when she kept wearing the shoes, she probably sensitized herself for life).

  50. bnuk013 says:

    guys, you are getting so obssessed with saying it is an allergic reaction/ no its a “chemical burn”. It doesn’t matter what the mechanism is. What does matter is whether they used a chemical that unapproved for human contact.

    My guess would be it is some (possibly non-TSCA) substance that is used in the chinese factory and for some reason it didn’t get washed off of a batch.

  51. SOhp101 says:

    Wal-Mart is a monster that cares only for its own survival and could care less about its customers, and as long as people continue to shop there they will continue to not care.

    I sympathize with the woman BUT I understand the manager’s reaction no matter how cold/cruel it may have seemed. He likely interpreted her complaint as a threat to sue and because of corporate policy (in most companies) he did not acknowledge that he saw the rash and that it could have possibly occurred due to the slippers. It’s called covering their ass.


  52. LTS! says:

    Where do people keep going with their comments? Good lord. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence stated in the comments that this is contact dermatitis caused by an allergic reaction. I think we know it’s not a chemical burn.

    Now, this is one persons report, if these shoes were sold at thousands of Wal-Marts to the millions of trash that shop there and they were using a chemical not fit for contact with human flesh don’t you think there would be more reports?

    So, we are left with this. She had an allergic reaction, her personal situation in life delayed appropriate medical treatment. She’s mad that Wal-mart did not handle it properly (surprise). Wal-mart is not liable for you being allergic to somethind and still purchasing it (even if you did not know). The only thing they are guilty of here is being insensitive to her situation, which, honestly is simply her word and one that has been proven to be just a tad on the ignorant side to begin with.

    So, why do we persist in posting comments that have been clearly countered already?

    My vote? Contact dermatitis and stupidity ftw!

  53. buckwheaton says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding is, in the abstract, WalMart, as a seller of the product, is strictly liable for this. Any agreement they have with the manufacturer has zero to do with the customer’s right against them. And any bullcrap they shovel your way to the contrary should be ignored. Get a lawyer, file a claim, make it their problem ASAP instead of yours….the law is there to protect everyone, not just the big companies…

  54. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I’m just confused as to why everyone’s freaking out over this lady’s ugly feet. They’re feet, people. Feet aren’t made to be pretty. It’s not like these feet are filthy, or riddled with nail fungus, or anything — so what’s the deal?

  55. alk509 says:

    @suburbancowboy: So that’s how I grew these tits!

  56. Buran says:

    @Groovymarlin: Of course not. This is the Internet where it’s always the victim’s fault. I got yelled at by a moderator on another website, which remains nameless, for actually daring to not give in to “blame the victim” crap… I got violence threatened on me several times for posting things people didn’t like, which is just plain unacceptable even if it’s “just how the internet is” and I was the one who got blamed for refusing to just take it.

    So yeah. Don’t be shocked when people blame the victim. Or if you get the same treatment. But don’t give in, either.

  57. Buran says:

    @SOhp101: It’s called sympathy for your fellow human. How would this jerk feel if he ran off the road, were trapped in his car, someone came by, and when he called for help getting out, the person turned away and then spewed bland BS and walked away? I have no sympathy for this guy.

    The woman explicitly stated that she just didn’t want anyone else hurt.

  58. miborovsky says:

    Should have tagged it with “Chinese toxic chemicals train” or something like that… eh?

  59. Buran says:

    @LTS!: Are you her doctor? No. I suggest you and everyone else stop trying to diagnose other peoples’ maladies unless you are qualified to do so and have examined her. You aren’t qualified, so I suggest you lay off it.

  60. Jordan Lund says:

    “Doctor it hurts when I wear these flip flops!”

    “Well, stop wearing the flip-flops!”

  61. kimsama says:

    @buckwheaton: I don’t think Walmart is liable for allergic reactions that an individual consumer may suffer after wearing a product they are allergic to. If you check the standards for product liability law (you did, didn’t you?) I don’t even think they could be liable by the “defects in marketing” standard, let alone any other standard, considering it’s a defect with the consumer’s immune system that caused the problem. Hmm, unless you want warnings on everything (“Caution: Don’t use this if you’re allergic to it, dumbass”)…?

  62. antialias02 says:

    It’s easy to blame Wal-Mart for problems that could have been avoided by using more common sense (and a better physician). That doesn’t make it Wal-Mart’s fault in the slightest.

    Granted, it’s a sad (and painful-sounding) tale, but human error is human error, and this time I’d say it lies with the consumer.

  63. Ncisfan says:

    @bravo369: no actually if you look at the tag on them it will say : Distributed By The Walmart Cooperation, or something similar to that and as the distributer it is their Responsibility to recall the item and to notify the CPSC of the recall.

  64. Ncisfan says:

    @Ncisfan: * Corporation

  65. vanilla-fro says:

    @ Kimsama: That is exactly where we are headed. Warining: you may be hurt by this product in one way or another.

    I’ve said it before: I bought a thermos and it had a warning on it that the contents may be hot. It was an empty, packaged thermos that I would be filling. Way to litigious these days.

    BTW, the contents were hot and yummy.

  66. bonzombiekitty says:

    @bnuk013: Maybe I missed something, but where did you get that the shoes were made with something that was not approved for human contact?

  67. SOhp101 says:

    @Buran: It appears that you have never worked in a customer service/management position that involves dealing with customers that hint at potential lawsuits.

    Blame whoever you want, but whenever a customer requests compensation for damage to health or threatens to sue, you are required to immediately cease any communication with the customer because what you say can make the company liable. You represent the company and you can unknowingly admit fault on behalf of the company.

    She should have contacted a lawyer specializing in product safety so he/she could judge the situation and, if the manufacturer/retailer appears to be at fault, arrange to obtain a chemical analysis to see if there were any hazardous chemicals on the slipper, or she could have attempted to get an analysis at a lab herself.

  68. Caveat says:

    I bought flip flops at Wal-Mart in Honolulu (not the same kind as the ones mentioned). I found the uncomfortable the first time I wore them. I stopped wearing them, but I was too busy to return them while enjoying my vacation. So, when I returned to California I returned them to Wal-Mart where I was given a refund with no problems.

    The bottom line is that people need to use common sense and take responsibility for their own actions. For any shoes, if they feel uncomfortable, STOP wearing them and return them. Don’t try to shift the blame on some other party. For most people peanuts are perfectly safe. Does that mean that if you find you are allergic to peanuts you keep eating them you sue the retailer or the grower? I don’t think so.

    Flip flops are bad for feet if worn regularly-PERIOD. See this article

  69. uberbitter says:


    That’s fine if one has the experise to know that the doctor is wrong. The point is not that people shouldn’t question the validity of the doctor’s assessment, but rather that people should not tear her apart for trusting a doctor’s opinion – that’s why we go to them.

  70. Raachie says:

    The manager was an asshole. No surprise to me. Walmart is the asshole of america.

  71. DocRaf says:


    I am an MD as I stated before. Her pictures and description of her symptomatology (tingling, redness, cracking, continued & worsening condition in light of her continued wearing of the flip-flops) make it plain to me that this is Allergic Contact Dermatitis as much as a knife sticking out of her would lead anyone to say she suffered a stab wound.

    Before her site went down I saw that she claimed that this is no rash since it was limited to the area of the straps. This in itself is one of the hallmarks of ACD since it is the only the exposed areas that are affected.

    Also, I seriously question the decision of the doctor that she consulted to give her antibiotics. Antibiotics should only be given in cases of proven or suspected bacterial infection. Looks like in this case, her MD just gave them out wily-nily. (And once again, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has moved another stop forward unfortunately)

  72. DocRaf says:




    I agree with bonzombiekitty. Just because a person developed contact dermatitis (which all of her signs & symptoms, and her pictures point me to) doesn’t necessarily mean it was caused by a chemical not fit for human contact. It could be a chemical that is otherwise safe or inert to nonsensitized humans that is causing this, such as a dye or other ingredient in the straps.

  73. formergr says:

    @Buran: You’re “suggesting” we all do a lot of things. I suggest instead you stop telling us what the hell to do.

  74. stevekal says:

    The sandals were probably made by grinding up and re-forming the melamine dog food. Chinese foiled again!

  75. straddy says:

    I cannot BELIEVE that everyone is complaining about her feet. If you want to bitch about someone’s feet, go to the Sally Hansen website, for crying out loud. This is the Consumerist. I have a seriously hard time believing that all of your feet are so much more attractive. If you care that much, send her a gift certificate to a pedicurist.

  76. synergy says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Not that I’m complaining about her feet, but at least one nail, the right big toe, is yellow. Looks like fungus to me.

  77. Trackback says:

    A story recently surfaced about a Florida woman who bought a pair of flip-flops at Wal-Mart. She bought them a few months ago, but when she started wearing them for the first time recently they began to burn her feet quite badly. You can read her story on her website.

  78. KAMEDLIN says:

    My mom has the same pair of flip flops and has blisters appearing on her feet. She believed that it was poison ivy, but is now going to the doctor for a chemical burn as well.

  79. lmcdaniel37923 says:

    It is rapidly coming to light that Chinese manufacturers are only interested in the bottom line… think dog food. Since the US Government remains content to import Chinese products, regardless of their lack of safety controls, I’ve decided to police my purchases more carefully. It stops being a bargain when you incur medical or funeral expenses.

  80. fatal616 says:

    HMM and shes the ONLY one who made this claim. I smell a scam.

  81. fatal616 says:


    You do realize leather has just as many chemicals as plastic does right?

  82. my_opinion_counts says:

    I definately feel bad for this girls hurting feet. I think the comments regarding “getting what you pay for” are ridiculous. I can hardly believe this poor girl and others went to Walmart saying I think I’ll buy a chemical burn, reaction, what ever may cause these markings for this bargain price of under $3! It is the responsiblity of the company and business selling these items to provide safe products. Her intentions are good, she wants to protect others. I hope she gets what she deserves, respect and compensation! There’s no excuse for the way she has been treated throughout this ordeal!

  83. johnpjones says:

    It’s not surprising that this Florida woman could have a serious reaction to the straps on the sandals (flip-flops) she got from Walmart. We’ve all smelled the odor from certain vinyl or soft PVC plastics. Plastics are made from hundreds of different chemicals. They contain chemical plasticizers to keep them flexible. They all “off-gas”. This means they release toxic chemicals into the environment. Since virtually all plastics are made from petro-chemicals, they can (to varying degrees) release certain carcinogenic VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). It seems that some of the cheaper Chinese imports exhibit the worst off-gassing. Ever gone into a 99 Cents Only Store and seen the cheap vinyl-covered cable locks for bikes? The smell of the off-gassing is unbearable. This type of smell is common in Chinese imported car steering wheel covers, flip-flops, sandals, vinyl binders, and numerous other plastic products.

    Use your nose! A product with no odor is no guarantee that it’s not off-gassing, but you should avoid products with strong “chemical” odors.

  84. EddieD125 says:

    Wait, China wouldn’t put out something that would be bad for you. Just look at all the great dog food and doggie treats they sent the US. Didn’t do nothing bad, just killed a lot of pets. I think if I bought anything from China (and I do) then first thing would be to sterilize them if at all possible. I believe the poor girl, and she isn’t a high level scientist but of normal people and this needs to be addressed. She definitely contacted something, so if nothing else people need to be forewarned about the proper processes one should do before putting on goods made by a foreign country especially China, god only knows who handled them before finally getting on the shelves.

  85. Trackback says:

    Looks like Wal-Mart is not being forthright with consumers, again. As if customers would not notice if their usual dog treats were no longer on the shelves. Why is it that this is happening again and again and again and again?

  86. skullaria says:

    I am an RN and a shoe allergy sufferer. I am not allergic to latex. This lady has written back to me and seems stuck on the “I’m not allergic to latex though!” train. Well, neither am I. But a lot of shoes will break me out terribly – cheap or not.

    This looks like my first severe contact dermatitis from shoes – it happened all at once. I am allergic to a resin that is in many shoes – it is not that common. There are about 4 common shoe allergies, although shoe allergies themselves are not common.

    When I wear shoes with PTBP used to make them – I do the same thing – and the pattern will only be where the shoes touch my feet.

    What this lady is missing is that a severe allergy contact dermatitis can look exactly LIKE a chemical burn. For the allergy sufferer, they are the same – but that doesn’t mean that everyone that wears the shoes will have this happen, or that anyone is at fault.

    It would be very nice though – for those few of us that do have severe allergies like this – if the use of this or the 4 or 5 other common allergens involved in shoe allergies would be listed on the label.

    She should not have kept wearing the shoes after the redness and rash started. Big mistake.

  87. drea2711 says:

    The website I received about this is [www.lamanaphotography.com]

  88. mimiswiti says:

    I can understand complaining for something expensive. Walmart gave me a hard time about my glasses and my sons contact lenses. After arguing with them for over a month, they gave me a new pair of glasses. My glasses at Walmart’s were almost $200.00. For a pair of thongs, the Cleveland word for flipflops, for $2.49, get real. Throw them out, or just give them the sandals back. $2.50 is not $250.00. If you want to get a pair of Sandals with a guarantee, you are going to have to pay for it. It sounds to me, you are asking for a free ride. Excuse me a ride for $2.49 plus tax. That looks like an allergic reaction. Next time you want cheap sandals,the more expensive stores like Kohls and Penny’s have their name brands on sale for no more than $5.00 a pair. Then you will get what you paid for.

  89. Texasisgrand says:

    Okay everybody. Enough is enough. Didn’t she say in the beginning she was just telling Wal-mart so no one else would be hurt by this. Weather it is a chemical burn or allergic reaction, so be it. Give the girl a break. This isn’t about how her feet look. It’s the principal of the situation. She isn’t out to file a law suit. If it is due to the flip flops, at least she did her part by telling Wal-mart. I agree, go the maufacturer and let them document your reaction. Get medical attention and always wash flip flops before you put them on your bare feet. Everyone is guilty of thhis. Who knows who tried them on before you. Good luck and I hope your feet heal soon.

  90. The_auditor says:

    Ok, I’ve purchased shoes from different stores in different price ranges. I have a few pair of flip-flops/thongs, two of which came from good ol’ Wallyworld. One pair is pretty reliable, but I can’t wear it long-term because the pair would start irritating the area between my toes. The other pair I can’t wear at all because it caused a friction burn in the first wear, which cleared up within a week.

    The pair I wear most frequently are Sketchers…they are very comfortable and worth the extra cost. I never plan to buy anymore flip-flops from Wal-Mart since I discovered how much more comfortable the name-brand pair was.

  91. Kathy-with-Red-Feet says:

    This is a strange deal. I had purchased a pair of painted flip flops from Eddie Bauer Outlet (not WalMart). Both the strap area and the bottoms of my feet got bright red and burned like you wouldn’t believe. At first, I thought I had walked in some sort of fertilized area or something. I washed them really well and put them on again for a day. Same thing happened. I tried to call the Eddie Bauer store, but they said because I had worn them, they couldn’t take them back. No biggie, I thought because they weren’t that expensive. However, I feel this must have come from the same place. This could be a problem.

  92. scarred4lifebyshoes says:

    @7livesleft: LET ME SAY SHE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE HERE THAT GOT THIS. I have also been affected by these shoes. I wore my shoes for awhile. I thought maybe i got bit by fireants and my feet looked like this womans but actually worse. I live in florida and have owned several dozen of “rubber” flip flops and this never happened to me. When i got this problem i continued to wear the flip flops because when i put on socks or wore tennis shoes my feet sores would stick to the shoe or sock and not heal. I ended up most days putting a bandage on my foot with lots of hydrocortizone but it took over two months to heal but only after my customer gave me some maryjane shoes (open foot). The day she did that i threw my flip flops in my trunk and did not wear them again until 6 days ago. Still not knowing that my shoes caused this condition i put them on and again i got severe blisters on my feet within hours of wearing them. My friend looked at my feet and said stop wearing those shoes and forwarded me an email on Kerry’s condition. THANK GOD! I immediately went to the emergency room wear I was prescribed steroids and also medicine to stop me from itching. I have not worn the shoes since and i am continue to blister worse and worse by the day. Today i went to the dermatologist and was told whatever was in the shoe destroyed my melanites so even when i do heal i will have 2 hedious strap mark scars on my feet. I am very upset by peoples response on here. No one goes to buy shoes even if they are cheap and thinks oh i am taking a chance at being hideously scarred if i buy these cheap shoes. I am not addicted to rubber or latex. I have tons of other rubber flip flops and this did not happen with them. Also, walmart supposibly pulled the shoes in an involuntary recall. Well, i went to the store the other day and they are now selling the shoes under a new label “no boundaries”. So really they dont care that much. Meanwhile, unsuspecting people like me continue to rack up doctor bills from these shoes. Let me also mention i took a picture of the inside of the strap and it looks as if their is bubbles protruding out of the shoe of some chemical trying to make its way out of my shoe. Along with this is some sort of white chemical which looks like acid. Also, my dermatologist stated i do have dermatitius. He said i am allergic to the chemical used to make the shoe. How is walmart not responsible. Its is total products liablility.If the product you are selling is making people sick you should pull it from the shelf permanently. Not put it back on the shelf and rename it a differnt brand name. I am scarred 4 life because of shoes this should never have happenend to to me and its gross.Here is a picgture of my foot.

    [www.imageno.com] spare me that my feet are ugly.I am now to embarrassd to go in and get my regular pedicures.