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Health Team

Study: Flip-flops are good for your knees

Posted April 12, 2010 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2010 6:20 p.m. EDT

Researchers have found that wearing flip-flops places 15 percent less load on the knees than other, more stable shoes.

The study, conducted at Rush University in Chicago, analyzed 31 people with osteoarthritis while they walked barefoot and with flip-flops. They then compared the information to people walking with Dansko clogs, often worn by doctors and nurses, and Brooks Addiction stability shoes.

Researchers said flip-flops are better for knees possibly because the natural flex of the foot reduces the impact on the joint.

“I would tend to agree that the more cushioned type of shoe, which these flip-flops are, could decrease the load to the knees,” said Dr. Steven Weinfeld, a foot and ankle surgeon at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Weinfeld warns that the study doesn’t mean everyone should wear flip-flops.

“The flip-flops offer no protection to the foot, no support to the arch,” he said.

Doctors warn that for some people, extensive walking in flip-flops can lead to foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendinitis and even sprained ankles if they trip.