They’re easy to put on, cool and cute, but podiatrists say spending to much time in flip flops can damage your feet. Wearing them can also be dangerous because you might drop something on your foot or stub your toe. Quoted in the Huffington Post, New York podiatrist Jackie Sutera reminds us that the feet are the foundation of the body and the base of the skeleton. If there’s trouble with the feet, the rest of the joints and bones have to compensate.
Your toes: Flip flops give them a real workout. They need to grip the shoe with each step to keep them on. Over time, repetitive gripping can lead to tendinitis, which is painful and causes tears or ruptures in the tendons. Overuse can also lead to hammer toes, in which toes bend abnormally and encourage bunions.
Your bones: Standing or walking too long in a thin, flat shoe can cause stress fractures in the small bones of your feet.
Bacteria: A report by the University of Miami shows that one pair of flip flops was home to 18,000 bacteria, including those from staph and fecal matter.
Your arches: The thick band of tissue that runs from the bottom of your heel to the ball of your foot is called the plantar fascia. Overuse can lead to an inflammation called plantar fasciitis, which can cause a great deal of pain. Lack of arch support can also cause the foot to pronate or flatten out. And it can cause heel pain. Open-backed flip flops cause the pain by allowing the back of the foot to repeatedly rise off the back of the shoe.