With 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons in each foot, there are plenty of things that can cause problems with your feet. Your choice of footwear can certainly make a difference when it comes to keeping your feet healthy — or putting you at risk of damaging your feet.

Flip-flops are certainly the go-to footwear of choice during the hot summer months. They are a convenient and comfortable alternative to gym shoes or dress shoes, and — with so many colors, styles and heel heights to choose from — can make quite a fashion statement. But when not worn in moderation, flip-flops or sandals also may contribute to a wide range of foot problems.

  • Toes – The repetitive gripping of toes to keep the shoes on can cause overuse of the muscle, which might lead to tendinitis or hammer toes, or make bunions worse.
  • Bones – Too much time in flip-flops could cause fractures in foot bones due to repetitive trauma without any cushioning or shock absorption.
  • Skin – Bare skin can rub against sandal material and cause blisters.

You can wear flip-flops for short jaunts without causing harm. Here are some tips about choosing a better pair so you can keep your feet healthy.

  • Avoid one-size-fits-all sandals. Choose ones that fit properly, without the heel or toes hanging over the edge.
  • Choose shoes that bend at the balls of the feet, not in half.
  • Select ones with a thicker sole, little bump in the middle for arch support, and have a strap across the back.
  • Shop for ones made of soft leather, not materials that can cause irritation or blisters.

To learn more about how to take good care of your feet, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Photo credit: Blend Images/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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