From the poolside to an evening out on the town, for many people, flip-flops have
become a summer staple. This popular style of footwear, however, may not be the
best choice for every situation, an expert warns.
"While flip-flops are perfectly fine - and far better than going barefoot -
in a number of settings, they do have some drawbacks," says Dr Christina Sigur,
a podiatrist and instructor in orthopaedics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical
"They really don't offer too much support or protection. Wearing them too
often or for certain intensive activities can lead to a variety of foot
problems," she explained in a Wake Forest news release.
The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these flip-flop safety
- Look for leather. Flip-flops made of high-quality leather
are less likely to cause blisters and other types of irritation.
- Sturdy is better. Avoid flimsy flip-flops that you can bend
in half. Instead, opt for a pair that bends at the ball of the foot. This is
particularly important when you are at the beach, in hotel rooms or locker room
areas and walking around a public pool.
- Consider fit. Your foot should not hang over the edge of the
- Watch for signs of wear. It's not a good idea to wear the
same pair of flip-flops year after year. Once they show significant signs of
wear, it's time to get a new pair.
- Pay attention to your feet. Do not ignore irritation
between toes, which can lead to blisters and possible infections.
The American Podiatric Medical Association noted that flip-flops are not
appropriate footwear for all situations. The group advised that people do not wear
flip-flops when walking long distances, doing yard work or playing sports
because these shoes do not offer much shock absorption or arch support, and
do not fully protect the feet.
"I specialise in foot and ankle medicine and surgery, and prevention is a big
part of my practice," Sigur noted. "When it comes to flip-flops, all it really
takes is a little common sense to avoid injuries."
The American Podiatric Medical Association provides more flip-flop