Cheap flip-flops could cost wearers a doctor's bill - FOX Carolina 21

Cheap flip-flops could cost wearers a doctor's bill

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Almost 80 percent of adults have had at least one foot problem according to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment. A Greenville foot specialist said a lot of adult foot problems are caused by flip-flops.

Dr. Richard Braun, a foot specialist at Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas said flimsy sandals are going to cost their wearers in the long run.

"Flip-flops are being increasingly seen in my office, and injuries associated with them are also increasingly seen at a higher rate than almost any other shoe," said Braun.

Braun said even a journey on foot in the summer shoe might seem a little longer.

"You take smaller steps and are more hesitant with your steps, that adds a lot of steps per mile," said Braun. "It stresses the foot and increases likelihood of injury."

Some of the complications are clear, like abrasions and lacerations because the feet are very exposed. Other injuries may cause a long-term heel or foot ache.

"People don't realize when you wear a flip-flop, there's nothing but foam and rubber between them and the ground," said Braun. "It creates a lot of stress on the foot, especially in the heel and arch."

Braun said that's especially problematic for those with high arches. If you're wearing the same worn-out pair from years ago, it's even worse.

"Your foot recesses into the flip-flop and it wears away the material." said Braun. "You start out with only a half an inch of padding and you've worn it down on the pressure points so you have even less protection."

Braun's treatment for most of his flip-flop cases is to ditch the shoes, but in some cases long-term flip-flop wear could cause more serious problems with knees, hips and back.

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