Now they're commonplace from the office to the subway.
But just because they're easy and comfortable for the summer doesn't mean they're always the best thing for your feet.
"They can be damaging because they don't provide support and protection to your foot. And they also don't provide support to the arch to allow you to support your foot as you go on your normal walking cycle of the foot," said Dr. Brian Donley with Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Donley says flip-flops are great because they are easy to get on and off, but you should avoid wearing them if you're going on a long walk.
He says you're better off having something that supports your feet from heel strike to toe push-off.
And flip-flops affect the way we walk because they have a tendency to slide or slip off our feet, so we automatically compensate for that.
Flip-flop wearers typically experience heel and arch pain if they're worn too long. So the best place to flaunt your flip-flops is poolside or the beach.
"I wear them; my family wears them, whenever you want to use them for short periods of time. Certainly at the pool, at the beach, you want to get your shoe on and off quickly, you don't want to waste time, but not ever for any extended use," said Dr. Donley.
Remember that flip-flops have a life span. Throw them away when they are obviously worn out.
And when shopping for a new pair, avoid those with soles that freely bend or twist.
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