Doctors Warn About Flip-Flops

HOUSTON - A popular summer staple can also be the season's most fashionable health hazard. Some podiatrists are issuing a warning about flip-flop injuries.

Dr. Howard Ostermann has been practicing in Washington, D.C. for 20 years and has seen his fair share of cases.

"I will see a patient a day with a flip-flop injury from now until September," said Ostermann.

A common cause is overuse, which leads to stress fractures and tendinitis.

Sue Ellen Tindle admitted she didn't learn her lesson when she got her first stress fracture last summer.

"I started wearing my flip-flops again because I just figured, it was kind of, it wouldn?t happen again," said Tindle.

It did and now Tindle is revamping her shoe collection.

"I'm going to just go get the ones that are right for me cause when your feet hurt, your life is miserable," added Tindle.

Some podiatrists warn that the support you need may not come with the cheapest flip-flops.

"You spend less on your flip flops, but the downside is you can make it up in co-pays to your doctor," said Ostermann.

The American Podiatric Medical Association has rated the best and worst models for your feet and has tips on what you should look for before you buy your next pair of flip flops.

Ostermann said some keys to look for are a thick-cushioned sole, one that has a strap that's not canvas, and one that has a strap that comes back almost to the ankle.

Scientists believe leg muscles move differently when walking in flip-flops and that could be the root of the injuries. However, Ostermann said flip flops don't have to be avoided entirely.

"I think flip-flops in moderation are excellent," said Ostermann.

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