Flip-Flops: Bad for Politicians, Even Worse for Your Feet

Footwear favorite alters gait, puts stress on limbs
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2008 3:51 PM CDT
A woman wearing flip-flops walks through a pile of hail after a storm in downtown Denver on Tuesday afternoon, May 29, 2007.    (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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(Newser) – Flip-flops—the lightweight footwear appearing farther afield than just the beach these days—may be damaging to your health, Newsweek reports. Flip-flop wearers take shorter steps, need more movements to go the same distance they would with regular shoes, and, a study shows, face higher risk of muscle and joint pain in the legs.

Auburn University researchers wondered when students coming back from summer vacation complained of foot pain. Moderation is key, researchers say, as is knowing when to retire a used pair. "Usually people break their shoes in so they become more comfortable," one says. With flip-flops, he adds, "that is probably the point where you need to get rid of them."