Danger could be at your heels with your favorite summer shoes

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - They're so easy, convenient, and comfortable, plus they're just fun to wear! However, disease could be right on your heels when you are wearing flip flops.

"You tend to have to crunch your toes up more and when you crunch your toes up for extended periods of time it creates a deformity called Hammer Toe which eventually will need surgical correction," said Podiatrist Dr. Clint Warren.

Warren said there's about the same amount of bacteria in flip-flops as closed toed shoes, but because your feet are out in the open, you are more susceptible to infection.

"Drying of the skin, fissuring around the skin is what I typically see around the heels," Warren explained. "What people don't realize is that it dries the skin out because you don't wear an enclosed shoe that keeps it warm and moist."

He said with more flip-flopping in the summer, comes more pain.

"People with heel pains, tendon pains because the arch isn't supported correctly in a flip-flop," Warren said. "Now, a lot of people will go and get flip-flops that have more of an arch support and they'll say, 'Well, now I'm getting that support,' but without a heel counter controlling the foot, you're not getting the support that you need."

However, regardless of whether or not they're good or bad for you, some people say, when all you have to do is slip into them, they're just convenient.

"I like wearing flip-flops because they're comfortable and cool," said Twynisha Shaw.

"They're easy to throw on when you're ready to go somewhere," said Barbara Lewis.

So, if flip flops are so bad for you, what should you wear?

"Sandals are okay as long as we have a strap around the back that will hold the heel counter down, that is your best bet," Warren said. "Still, not a preference of mine, closed in shoes will always out-beat sandals and flip-flops."

Warren said you can also get arthritis in your toes from holding onto your flip-flops when you walk.

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