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Why Flip Flops Are Bad for Your Feet

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If you’re like many Americans, you spend much of the summer wearing the season’s favorite footwear — flip flops. While they're stylish and keep your feet cool, you may also notice aches and pains in your feet.

Wearing flip flops can cause or worsen a number of foot problems.

Here are some reasons why you want to limit time spent walking in them:

Plantar Fasciitis

Your toes tend to over-grip when you wear flip flops, because the thin straps don’t securely hold your shoes in place. This over-gripping, along with a lack of arch support, can lead to inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament along the bottom side of your foot.

Known as plantar fasciitis, this is one of the most common – and painful – results of over-wearing flip flops.

Learn about risk factors for plantar fasciitis, as well as symptoms and treatment options >

Heel Pain

With no cushioning between your heel and the ground, flip-flop wearers may find their heels aching after too much time spent walking around. That’s because your heel takes the brunt of the pressure with each step you take – and if there’s no cushioning or shock absorption under that heel strike, pain results.

Ankle Sprains

Wearing flip flops can also cause ankle sprains. This is because of the lack of support, increasing your chances of tripping or falling.

Read these symptoms of ankle sprains and when to seek help >

Other Types of Foot Pain

Flip flops can also exacerbate other types of foot pain, from bunions and hammertoes to tendonitis. And since your feet aren’t covered or well-protected, you’re at greater risk for stubbed toes, cuts, insect bites and infection.

When It's Time to Make the Switch

Flip flops are an acceptable shoe choice when heading to the beach or lounging by the pool. It's alright to wear them in moderation and when you’re not walking too much.

But if your feet are aching, it’s time to ditch the flip flops and make the switch to a more supportive shoe.

If you're experiencing foot pain that isn't going away, schedule a visit with a Temple orthopaedic specialist today. Call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) or request an appointment.

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