Flip-flop fail: Reasons to avoid the shoes this summer

Paula Wolfson, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Flip-flops are part of the summer uniform. But there are good reasons to avoid them.

“Flip-flops are great for our business as podiatrists, but they are very bad for people’s feet,” says podiatrist Dr. Arnold Ravick of Capital Podiatry in D.C.

The cheap, thin flip-flops sold at discount stores are the culprits. They can cause blistering because they are so rubbery — and that’s just the beginning.

“They bend and fold so there is no control,” Ravick says. “People fall out of them. People injure themselves. They are not made for a lot of walking and they are not made for support.”

He says the shoes are made to be worn on a hot pool deck or in a gym shower, and nothing more.

Ravick says he has seen injuries where people try to mow the lawn wearing flip-flops “and roll over their foot with a lawn mower or have a rock or a piece of glass hit them.”

Accidents on Metro are far more common.

“People in Metro get their flip-flops and toes caught in the escalator. That happens usually in the summer a lot,” he says.

And then there are the nagging injuries that come from walking long distances in flip-flops. Ravick says tendinitis is common.

“The other thing you see with flip-flops is your toes buckle or pull a lot,” he says. “That is how you keep the shoe on. That is how you make your foot go forward, by gripping of the toes, and that leads to hammer toes and bunions and things like that.”

Ravick says while some flip-flops may be cheap, people pay in the long run with injuries. He says there are alternatives that cost more, but are definitely worth it.

For a list of sandals and flip-flops approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, follow this link.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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