(NewsUSA) - Experts warn that while those sassy summer sandals may be simple to slip on and easy on the pocketbook, they also come with their own inherent problems.
"Flip-flops offer little in terms of arch support, foot protection and shock absorption. Tendonitis, arch pain and sprained ankles are just some of the problems flip-flops can cause," said Dr. Christian Robertozzi, president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
In fact, most industry experts agree that flip-flops and sandals were never meant to be worn as everyday shoes, but instead were meant to be worn from the locker room to the pool or in the shower.
However, if you can't bear the thought of foregoing those sassy, strappy sandals, APMA offers this advice that can provide some tender loving care for your tootsies, while still showing off your toes:
* Consider whether the shoes are made for walking. Flats and slides shouldn't be worn for long periods of time or when walking long distances. Instead, select a sole that doesn't bend or twist excessively, to avoid arch and heel pain.
* Choose the source of material carefully. Flip-flops and sandals that are made of natural material, such as soft, supple leather, will prevent calluses and dead skin buildup around the heels.
* Watch the height. Most fashion magazines tout minimum 2-inch heels as a way of lengthening the leg and looking slimmer. However, anything higher changes the way the foot functions and causes the foot to wobble. Rather, look for sandals with lower, wider heels and a stable sole to offer greater support and balance, reducing pressure on the toes and ball of the foot.
* Don't forget the lotion. It's easy to forget to apply sunscreen to your feet and ankles, but doing so will ensure sunburn. In addition, reapply after getting out of the water.
* Wear shoes specific to the activity. Although the high wedges may look fabulous, they are of little help in a volleyball game or Frisbee tournament. To avoid toe and ankle injuries, wear appropriate footwear.
For more information, visit www.apma.org.