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Flip-Flops a Foot Flop
The click-clack of flip-flops may be a summertime staple, but new research is proving the noisy footwear might be doing your feet and legs more harm than good.
Cries from faithful flip-floppers everywhere have been met by a study from Auburn University in Alabama that revealed the biomechanics of the thong-style shoe can result in sore feet, ankles and legs. In fact, researchers found people who wear flip-flops alter their gait, which can result in problems not only in the foot, but also extending into the lower back and hips.
The study also showed flip-flop wearers took shorter steps than people wearing athletic shoes, and they did not bring their toes up as much as their leg was swinging forward. All of these factors combined lead to a shorter stride length, a possible reason behind why people are prone to gripping flip-flops with their toes when walking.
But no one is snuffing out your summer flip-flop-wearing fun just yet. Researchers say to live healthier you don't have to stop wearing flip-flops altogether, but, instead, faithful wearers should consider wearing them for shorter lengths of time. Because one thing is for certain: The shoe is not designed to adequately support the foot and ankle during all-day wear.
We want to know: What is your favorite summer clothing item, accessory or footwear? [New York Times]