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Flip-flops a flub?

May 18th, 2012
Zoe Sophos

Flip-flops may cause foot pain that even the most dexterous downward dog can’t stretch out, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Popular with yogis who want modest, breathable shoes that are easy to remove in the yoga studio, these simple sandals can do more harm than help to one’s overall health.

In a recent report, the APMA found that half of all Americans have experienced foot pain at some point in their lives. This pain is usually unnecessary and is the result of improper footwear, including many types of flip-flops that lack proper arch support or are made of unsavory materials.

“During the warmer months of the year, many podiatrists treat a greater number of foot problems that can be traced back to wearing flip-flops,” said Michael King, president of APMA. “However, people don’t have to give up wearing this type of footwear altogether. There are certain types of flip-flops that offer a superior amount of stability and support than others.”

A video posted on APMA’s website recommends finding flip flops that bend at the ball of the foot rather than in the middle, are made of high quality soft leather instead of plastic and have built-in cushioning for arch support. It also suggests discarding flip flops once they begin to crack or fray, as well as avoiding wearing them while doing yard work, playing sports or walking long distances. A complete list of flip-flop styles and brands approved by the APMA is available at