They’re a summer staple, but—believe it or not—they’re actually hard on your feet. “Pancake-flat flip flops are fine for around the pool, beach or hotel room so you don’t step on anything or pick up plantar warts or athlete’s foot,” says Krista Archer, D.P.M, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “But they’re not meant for long walks because they have zero support, which can lead to heel or arch pain and tendonitis.”
The solution: Toss last year’s worn pair and look for a new pair with built-in arches and a slight wedge or thicker heel, such as FitFlops. A good test of quality: Bend the shoe to test its sturdiness; it should flex at the ball of the foot but not fold completely in half.