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Flip flops have a bad reputation for messing up your feet. But, it turns out, there are plenty of flip-flops out there that can be supportive and comfortable.
"Flip flops have come a long way," Melissa Lockwood, DPM, a podiatrist at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates in Bloomington, Ill., tells Yahoo Life. "There are some really good ones out there now that don't look orthopedic, but still give you good arch support."
If you're looking for a new pair of flip flops, Lockwood recommends steering clear of ones that don't have a strong bottom. Meaning, if you can easily bend the base of your flip flop, that's an issue. "That will be almost like you're walking barefoot," she says.
Instead, look for flip flops with at least a quarter to a half inch of arch support on the bottom. "They should not be completely flat," Lockwood says. Ideally, you also want something with a thick, sturdy thong, too, to help your toes get a comfortable grip.
Not sure where to look? Lockwood says these brands are great.
In case you're not familiar with the brand, Vionic shoes were founded by a podiatrist who wanted to craft comfortable, stylish and supportive shoes for his patients. These particular sandals have received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, meaning they're good for your feet. They have a podiatrist-designed footbed built in to promote stability, and they come in a range of colors. "Vionic shoes are amazing," Lockwood says. "I tell everyone to go for them."
This flip-flop features Oofoam technology to help cushion your foot while you walk. The brand's special tech also absorbs 37 percent more impact that regular footwear foam. A patented footbed cradles your arches to minimize stress on your feet, knees and back. "These are my latest favorite," Lockwood says. "They last a long time and have a great footbed."
Lockwood gives Birkenstocks the thumbs up for their support. These flip flops have a cork sole for extra cushioning and strong grips on the bottom to help you trek just about everywhere. A couple more perks: They're waterproof and washable.
These flip flops can take you anywhere. They're lightweight and fun, and have a massage-pod footbed to give your tired feet a little therapy while you walk. The sandals also feature Croslite foam for all-day support, which gets the thumbs up from Lockwood. They're even waterproof, so you can use them as water shoes.
These flip flops have a pretty perforated upper for a dressier look, and come in a range of colors. They also feature the brand's Vio-Motion support and next-level arch support for a feel you probably haven't had in flip flops before. "Vionics are stylish—and they give you support," Lockwood says.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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