Wear flip-flops with caution. According to doctors, here are 8 health risks of using flip flops

Despite being seen as a fashion faux-pas, the ubiquitous thwack-thwack-thwacking of flip flops can be heard anywhere from Florida beaches to gym locker rooms. However despite the comfort and ease of use of this flipping footwear, not many might know about the dangers present in wearing flip-flops. Whether or not these thongs are worth the pain in your heels they can cause over time, is a question you should be asking yourself now, especially after reading what kind of permanent damage you could be causing yourself without even knowing.

1) Trip, rattle and roll

Anyone who has ever tried to run in these defining shoes should know that catching anything in a pair of these is a pointless endeavor. Studies show that people who get accustomed to wearing flip-flops, often take shorter strides than they should, completely changing your gait.

2) Hard on your feet

The change of your gait can lead to some pretty painful podiatry problems over time, and even cause issues such as hammertoe, a dislocation of the joints of your toe, over time. The lack of sufficient arch support offered by most flip-flops can also lead shooting pains in your legs.

3) Bacteria beware

Aside from lack little in the way of physical support, flip-flops can also leave your toes exposed to the elements, including toxic bacteria. A study by the University of Miami’ mobile flip-flop lab found that flip-flops have significantly more bacteria than traditional shoes, especially when worn in public restrooms. Fungal infections and Staphylococcus can make their way into microabrasions or burst blisters in your feet, which would quickly end your beach plans.

5) Booming blisters

And speaking of blisters, most flip-flop straps can create massive amounts of friction on the top of your foot and your toes; leaving you to suffer more pain as you walk in search of better shoes.

6) Plantar Fasciitis, Bone Spurs and Poor Posture

Forgoing arch support can also lead to issues like Plantar Fasciitis and Metatarsalgia, two foot disorders that can lead to severe pain in the back and front of your foot, respectively. These issues sometimes require expensive surgeries to fix. The joint and ligament damage can also lead to bone spurs, painful bone growths on your joints.

7) Beware of Poisonous Plastics

Flip-flops are so simple to wear; people sometimes forget to think about the quality of materials used to make the shoes. Carcinogenic materials, such as latex or BPA, can be found in flip-flops and can have profound effects on one’s health, especially those with allergies to latex.

8) Exacerbated Bunions

Flip-flop wearers commonly use their toes to either gain traction while walking or as a way to keep the lightweight shoes from slipping right off their feet entirely. This extra friction is known to exacerbate your already aching bunions—yet another reason to skip the use of flip-flops altogether, instead stick to something with more support, like Birkenstocks.

Though flip-flops are cheap, simple, and fun, they might just be more trouble than they are worth. Consider at least limiting the amount of time that you wear flip-flops and choose shoes that give you more support for most day-to-day activities. Take care of your feet. You can’t get around without them.