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How your favorite summer shoe may be wrecking your feet

Flip-flops are great for schlepping to the beach or wearing at public pools and showers, but when it comes to extensive walking, foot pain experts urge you to put on some real shoes.

Flips-flops are especially a bad idea for playing sports, hiking trails, or wearing on long urban walks, experts say. Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.

In a recent news release, orthopedic doctors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York warned that the lack of shock absorption in flip-flops can lead to pain in the feet, legs, hips, and back. Even worse, wearing them can lead to sprained ankles, broken toes and toenails, plantar fasciitis, and nerve problems.

WebMD also noted that flip-flops can impair a driver’s control if they slip off your foot and lodge under the brake or gas pedal, according to Bill Van Tassel, of the American Automobile Association. “Whatever you wear on your feet, make sure it’s not so loose that it pops off and interferes with the pedals,” he told WebMD.

HealthDay noted on July 5 that sun damage is another potential hazard with flip-flops and sandals. Whenever you expose your bare feet during the daytime, be sure to slather on sunscreen to reduce your risk for skin cancer.

Read more tips on dos and don’t when wearing flip-flops: http://www.apma.org/learn/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1353

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