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Flip-Flops Can Cause Long-Term Health Problems

New Study Shows Summer's Most Popular Footwear May Be Taking the Spring Out of Your Step

ABC News--Good Morning America—June 6, 2008

Walking in flip-flops is a possible cause of aches and pains all over the body, according to a new study from the American College of Sports Medicine.

In fact, podiatrists say that summer's favorite footwear is responsible for more health problems than any other type of shoes, even high heels.

With the average American taking between 10,000 and 20,000 steps each day, the small changes in one's gait can add up to serious injury.

"The major shock absorption occurs back on the heel, and if the surface between the heel and the ground is not supported it does not allow the heel to absorb shock as well as it should. Which means the foot works harder than it should and people tend to develop overuse injuries such as tendonitis, or in this case, lower leg, knee, hip and back problems," explained Dr. Rock Positano from Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Fortunately for flip-flop fanatics, Positano says you don't have to throw away those thong sandals quite yet.

"Look, this is not an attack on a flip-flop or a flip-flop like shoe. Once again, it has to do with when you wear the flip-flop. If it's for hanging out around the swimming pool, or hanging out around the beach, or hanging out with your friends, they're fine," he said.

This story originally appeared at ABCNews.com.


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