For some, flip-flops are as essential to summertime as cookouts and beach balls, but Richmond podiatrist David Weiss says patients hobble into his office daily with flip-flop-related foot pain, blisters and cuts from stepping on glass or jagged rocks.
"The problems, essentially, are that there's no arch support and there's no strap on the back," Weiss says of the ubiquitous thong sandals. Without a back strap, the toes have to work harder to balance the foot, increasing the risk of stress fractures and heel pain. Birkenstocks or similar sandals are better, Weiss says, because the molded foot bed supports arches in the feet.
Weiss says flip-flops are OK for short distances for most people, but those with diabetes, poor circulation or nerve damage shouldn't wear them.