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Foot-Friendly Flip Flops

Posted in: Preventative Health // 14 Comments

When it comes to flip flops, not all pairs are created equal. The wrong flip-flops are more than just uncomfortable – they can actually damage your feet.

To help keep you on the go this summer, the doctors at North Florida Foot and Ankle Center have listed some common foot problems caused by flip flops along with tips for avoiding them.

flipflop

Problem
Stress fractures. Standing or walking in thin, unpadded flip flops can cause hairline cracks in the small bones of the foot.

Solution
Bend test. Look for cushioned flip flops that bend only at the ball of the foot when you walk. Shoes that easily bend exactly in the middle don’t provide adequate support. Also, avoid walking long distances in flip flops.

Problem
Germ growth. Wearing flip flops exposes your feet to all kinds of cringe-worthy germs. When scientists from the University of Miami tested a 6-year-old pair of flip flops, they discovered more than 18,000 bacteria on the shoes, including some from fecal matter.

Solution
Replace. Instead of rummaging in the closet for last year’s leftovers, spring for a new pair of flip flops each summer. Bacteria can accumulate in cracks and tears of older shoes.

Problem
Plantar fasciitis. Inadequate arch support and lack of a heel strap causes feet to slip and stretch and can lead to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch.

Solution Offer support. Look for flip flops with a slight heel lift and better cushioning.
Longer, sturdier straps may also help the shoe stay on the foot better. Give feet a rest by rotating between flip flops and sturdier shoes.

Problem
Blisters. The toe thong can cause irritation and skin breakdown.

Solution
Go natural. Opt for high-quality soft leather flip flops that are more comfortable and less irritating to feet.

For more tips on healthy summer feet, visit http://www.nffac.com .

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