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Last month, Gothamist reported that a battle royale was raging on NYC streets over one thing: Flip-flops, should men wear them in the summertime? The heated debate came to a close with an eloquent-ish defense of a man's right to be-flop their feet and everything calmed down. But that wasn't the final word. It turns out there are reasons besides questionable style choices for why both men and women might want to trade out the summer staple for sturdier footwear. After the jump, find everything that's wrong with flip-flops.
The list of dangers mostly stems from the footwear's limited arch support coupled with the way toes have to grip that thin slab of material between you and the sidewalk to, you know, stay on. Basically, prolonged wear can actually change the way we walk thanks to the strain on calf muscles and pinched nerves in the hips and back. Then there are the issues of burned feet, broken toes and toenails, nasty germiness, between-the-toe blister infections, and the terrifying sounding semi-permanent toe jam. Yikes.
Thankfully, the American Podiatric Medical Association has some pointers for avoiding all of the above. Their recommendations include no-brainers like avoiding open-toe anything while wielding weed whackers or other lawn tools that could double as toe amputators. Likewise, intense games of badminton and other sports are not flop-appropriate activities.
Also the APMA suggests you only buy "high-quality, soft leather" to cut down on blister dangers (sorry $3 plastic flip-flop enthusiasts) and trade them up after a year of wear. Finally, there is this trick that applies to all shoes, not just the flimsy variety: "gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half." Noted.
The one shining positive in this sea of footwear buzzkill? There has never been a better opportunity to shop chic loafers, sandals, and flats for summer—just be sure to get you some arch support.
· Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet? [Ecouterre]
· Here Are All of the Ways High Heels Are Ruining Your Body [Racked]
· Flat Sandals: 20 Reasons To Get A Pedicure Right Now [Racked]