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A woman in a blue dress holding flip flops at a shoe store

Flip-flops: while comfortable and convenient, they may be causing problems for your feet.

It’s summertime, which means the footwear of choice for many people are flip-flops. They used to be reserved for activities such as washing your car or going to the beach. But nowadays, they’re worn year around and on many occasions. They’ve also gotten fancier to–coming adorned with spangles, flowers, and logos.

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Fun and fashionable, flip-flops have their place in your shoe closet, experts say. But they’re not meant to be worn without taking precaution–or else you may find yourself in a world of foot pain.

Flip-Flops: Good & Bad

Flip-flops and sandals during the summer are very common and very popular.

What’s their best purpose? They give you some basic protection to the bottom of your foot to walk around poolside or on a surface that may be warm during the summer. They can also help prevent you from catching athlete’s foot or plantar warts in public showers, according to foot specialists.

In contrast, it’s a bad idea to play sports or hike trails in flip-flops. Here’s a quick primer on flip-flop safety:

No Foot Support Leads to Foot Pain

Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Wearers can suffer foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendinitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip.

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