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Ditch the Flip Flops


Now I know that during the summer a lot of ladies love their flip flops, but there are several convincing reasons not to wear them.

I think the most important reason is that they cause you to take short strides and increase your chances of tripping and falling (or being trampled in a crowd). I have heard too many stories about tumbles down subway stairs caused by flip flops. Because your toes need to work extra hard to keep the shoe on your foot, flip flops can also cause permanent damage to your toes and over time can cause hammertoes, which is when the knuckles of your toes bend.

They expose your fee to bacteria, viral, and fungal infections. Any time your feet get particularly filthy (i.e., any time you wear your flip-flops in public), they're likely covered in some nasty things likes Staphylococcus, a bacteria that can irritate the skin on your foot in the best case or lead to amputation in the worst-case scenarios. (It depends on whether you have open wounds, like microwounds from exfoliation during a recent pedicure, or actual cuts, and your state of health when you pick up the bacteria.)

Because your heels hit the ground with more force when there's nothing but a thin piece of foam separating your foot from the ground, walking in flip-flops accentuates the heel-strike impact, which could end up causing pain — especially if you stand or walk in them for extended periods of time.

They can exacerbate bunions. Because your toes have to work so hard to keep flip-flops on your feet, over-gripping can aggravate people with unsightly and painful bunions, a bump at the big toe joint.

And finally, they could be made of toxic materials. Plastic straps may be made of latex, which many people are allergic to, or plastic that contains BPA, a toxin linked to various cancers.

Here are 20 alternatives to flips flops that are not only more stylish, but healthier. Options like Birkenstocks and Tevas, which happen to be more on-trend than flip-flops offer more support and are made of safer materials.

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