It may be summer time, but foot experts say—get rid of those flip flops!
According to a story on CNN Health.com, 78% of adults have experienced one or more foot problems in their lives.
And one common culprit of America's foot pain, especially during the summer, is the flip-flop.
Bob Thompson, executive director for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, says they are bad news.
According to Thompson, although feet were designed to walk barefoot on Earth's natural surfaces (grass, sand or gravel), they were not prepared to endure the concrete, asphalt and steel that many of us walk on every day.
Those surfaces are harsh on bare feet, and the thin rubber sole of many flip-flops does little to adequately absorb the shock they produce.
Whether you are standing still or in motion, your feet are your first point of contact with the ground. The way your feet are positioned provides the foundation for the body's skeletal alignment. A flat shoe provides little arch or lateral support and even slight shifts in stance over time could lead to misalignment, causing pain in the knees, hips and back.
With nothing to keep your foot in place, flip-flops can also lead to tumbles, twisted ankles and even broken bones.
Thompson says "You're taking your five toes and grabbing your shoe to make sure it doesn't slide out. That action of the toes grabbing the shoe on the toe box is not normal."
And because flip-flops offer virtually no protection, you’re more likely to get cuts, scrapes and bruises on your feet.
So ditch the flops this summer in favor of some comfortable athletic shoes.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.