By Robert Preidt
(HealthDay News) — Americans love flip-flops. Just slip them on, and you’re
out the door.
But, the unstructured footwear can cause problems, one expert says. Especially
when worn for long periods of time.
“This time of year I frequently see patients with foot conditions related to
wearing flip-flops,” Dr. Christina Long, a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a center news release.
“Wearing flip-flops is better than going barefoot because they do provide some
protection for the bottoms of your feet, but that’s about it,” she said. “Flip-flops
don’t offer any arch or heel support, and you have to grip them with your toes to
keep them on.”
Flip-flops leave feet exposed and susceptible to cuts, puncture wounds, bruises,
torn nails, insect bites and sunburn. Walking in flip-flops also can alter your natural stride, resulting in shin splints, Achilles tendon problems and lower back pain.
It’s also easy to stub a toe or trip and fall while wearing flip-flops.
Wearing flip-flops too often can lead to minor problems such as chafing,
blisters, calluses, soreness to more serious issues such as plantar fasciitis
(inflammation of the band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot), hammer toes and stress fractures, Long said