Doctors say flip flops have some serious flaws

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

Nothing says summer like some freedom for your feet.

"They're cute and fun and really easy to wear," say local flip flop fans.

"No socks, no tying shoes, just put those flip flops on and you're good to go," said a Xavier student.

Flip flops are out in full force these days.

" I like them because they're cool, they keep my feet cool in the hot weather, and they're comfortable and easy to throw on,"

How often do you slip on those summer favorites?

"Four times out of the week," said a Xavier student.

But the comfort comes at a cost.

"It makes your foot work twice as hard," said Dr. Anthony Dallalio of the Podiatry Associates of Cincinnati.

That's because there's no support for your soles

"I personally try to get my daughters not to wear them, but they still wear them because they're very attractive and they're cute and easy to wear," Dallalio said.

He says most flips flops have no cushion and no contour to the foot, so you're feet are literally flipping and flopping around town on a flimsy base.

"A lot of times, it's calf pain, at the end of the day, you have tightness or cramping in the back of your calf, and that's because you've been over using those muscles," Dallalio said.

More serious conditions that develop are plantar fasciitis, where the bottom of your foot can become inflamed or peroneal tendonitis where the tendon on the outside of your foot is overused.

"It's just too much stress and you'll get a stress fracture and then it'll present a swollen hot foot," Dallalio said.

I showed Dr. Dallalio a pair of my own flip flops.

"It's a piece of paper, or cardboard, there's no support in it," Dallalio said.

Needless to say they were a flop.

"They're all pretty much flat, they don't get much support," Dallalio said.

Dallalio says for the most part young people are in clear, but as you get older you can develop what he calls a "bad foot."

"Sometimes as you get older you get in your 30's, all of sudden you realize flip flops are really causing pain, calf pain, heel pain, arch pain," Dallalio said.

Dr Dallalio compares flip flops to shoes you've been wearing for nearly two years with the supports completely worn down, but if you just can't quit cold turkey he says wear them in moderation.

" If you're going to wear them, don't wear them when you're going to do something, be on your foot for a long period of time, if you're going to be out shopping running through the malls, it's best not to do that," Dallalio said.

Flip flop fanatics say it's the least they can do.

"If I'm going to be walking for a while I won't wear them," say flip flop fans.

So next time you go for the flip flops, keep the future of your feet in mind.

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