For many of us, flip-flops are the equivalent of comfort-food for the sole.
But 50 percent of Americans have experienced foot pain or discomfort at some point, and improper footwear is a leading cause, according to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
But it is possible to find stylish varieties that feel great and are healthful for your feet. The APMA offers these tips for choosing flip-flops:
* Choose a flip-flop that bends only at the ball of the foot. You shouldn't be able to bend your flip-flop in half.
* Look for flip-flops made of high-quality, soft leather for the thong and a sturdy, comfortable, supportive base.
* Choose flip-flops in the correct size so your toes or heels don't hang off the edge of the sole.
* Replace last year's worn flip-flops if they show signs of wear. Cracked or frayed shoes may cause foot irritation and provide inadequate support.
* Wear your supportive flip-flops at the pool, at the beach or at dinner. Don’t wear them while doing yard work, playing sports or walking for a long time. Athletic shoes or supportive sandals make better choices for those occasions.