Spring is here, and so is a warning about the favorite warm-weather footwear of the young and young-at-heart: Flip-flops can cause "serious injuries to feet, ankles, knees, hips and even our back," warns Discovery Channel medical expert Dr. John Whyte. "Over time these injuries can lead to serious bone, tendon, and joint damage," he writes, noting that research has found that people tend to grip the footwear with their toes, sending too much stress up their legs as they walk.
So if you must wear them, look for ones with arch support made of good materials (ie, not cheap foam), Whyte advises in the Huffington Post. "A good general rule is to try to bend the sole along its length. It should bend only slightly, and if it can almost touch the heel to the toe, you're definitely looking at the wrong material." Once you have your well-made pair (and you may need to spend as much as you would on a pair of sneakers, notes Whyte), wear them in moderation: Don other shoes "during all-day events, athletic activities, and especially during yard work."