Stories tagged foot health

Aug
25
2007

Trouble afoot?: Flip-flops are a popular type of shoe these days, especially in the warmer weather. But can they be causing some long-term foot damage? Some podiatrists think so. (Flickr photo by bridgetd517)
Trouble afoot?: Flip-flops are a popular type of shoe these days, especially in the warmer weather. But can they be causing some long-term foot damage? Some podiatrists think so. (Flickr photo by bridgetd517)
Just in time for the end of summer, I saw this report on ABC’s Good Morning America the other day. The ever-popular flip-flop sandals are a growing concern among podiatrists and other doctors.

A New York podiatrist was quoted: “Flip-flops have single handedly caused more problems with people’s feet in the last couple of years than any other type of shoe.” He went on to say he sees five to ten cases of flip-flop related foot problems a week at his office.

Testimonials were also given by those who’ve had medical problems due to flip-flops. One woman told how she slipped on wet pavement and broke ankle. Another said that she stepped on spilled cottage cheese at a grocery store and snapped her foot after an embarrassing fall.

The big problem with flip-flops, the experts reported, is that they give absolutely no support to the bottom of a foot. Without that support, the foot is able to twist and turn any which way, leading to sprains, breaks and falls. Also, the thin, flat soles of flip-flops provide virtually no shock-absorbing qualities to feet and legs while walking. Sustained wearing of flip-flops can lead to nerve damage in the foot and ankle area.

One other warning from the foot doctor, don’t wear flip-flops while driving a car. Since they’re barely connected to your feet, it’s possible and easy for them to slip off and get lodged in the gas or brake pedals of a car.

One other item to keep in mind, the doctor pointed out: It’s a good practice to vary your footwear from day to day. The variety of soles and shapes will keep your feet healthier and more comfortable each day.

What do you think about flip-flops and their potential dangers? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.