Problems With Wearing Flip-Flops

Flip-flops can be hazardous for your safety.
Flip-flops can be hazardous for your safety. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Flip-flops are described as a type of sandal with a thong that goes between the first and second toe to keep it on the foot. Flip-flops provide very little support, and your gait will change in an effort to keep them on your feet. While they might be suitable for a short spell, they shouldn't be worn for long periods of time, as they can cause problems.

Orthopedic Problems

Wearing flip-flops can result in aching feet, ankles and legs, according to a 2008 study by Auburn University. When you walk in flop-flops, you have to grip the rubber bottom with your toes, which could change the way you walk, resulting in pain that can travel from the foot to the pelvic area. Flip-flops have a purpose, such as if you're walking on sand, but should never be used for long-term walking.

Safety Problems

Because there's no support in the flip-flop, the foot can move around in any direction, which has a negative effect on its ability to absorb shock. Slips, falls and twisted ankles are more common with people who've been wearing flip-flops, according to a 2007 interview ABC News had with podiatrist Dr. Rock Positano of New York's Hospital for Special Surgery. Avoid wearing flip-flops when driving, as they could slip off and go under one of the pedals, causing you to lose control of your vehicle.

Flat Feet and High Arches

People with high arches and flat feet could have serious foot trouble that could send them to a doctor if they frequently wear flip-flops. Flip-flops don't usually supply them with the support they need for their foot architecture, so they could develop chronic tendinitis after wearing flip-flops for an extended period of time. They may also experience problems with their knees, hips, ankles and knees.

Children and Teenagers

Children and teenagers are at special risk for long-term injuries due to wearing flip-flops because their feet are still growing, according to Dr. Andre Williams, a Florida foot surgeon. Because there's no cushion for the heel, the repetitive stress from placing the foot on the ground can damage its bone growth. Pain or tenderness in children's and teens' feet or ankles should never be ignored. Other problems doctors often see in youths who wear flip-flops are cuts, scrapes, sprained or broken toes, athlete's foot, and plantar warts.

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