(FOX 2) - For many of us, summer is flip flop season. Recently even our own Alan Longstreet took some heat for wearing what some consider pool-side sandals to work.
Podiatrist Joyce Patouhas, president of Michigan Podiatric Medical Association, says your foot needs help to carrying your body weight. So flip flop fans, choose wisely.
"It bends in half, so there's no support. Even if it looks like there's a little bit more," she shows us on a particular pair, pointing to the foot padding, "once your body weight is on there it completely flattens out." Flip flops aren't the only warm weather worry. Add wedges to the list.
"You don't want to wear it if you have a balance issue. You want to be careful about how high, you want to make sure you have a comfort level in the ones you're in; practice in them."
It's a lesson FOX 2 producer Jeanette Scheidemantel learned the hard way. She's usually fast on her feet, incorporating walks into her busy workday. At home she's keeping up with two teenage girls. So what happened? Her shoes.
"I still had my nice shoes on from the graduation party and as I was letting the dogs out going down the driveway, which was a little steep incline, I lost my footing and I rolled my foot. I couldn't stop myself and it completely twisted my foot," she says.
Her foot swelled and started turning blue. The pain was intense.
"The next day I couldn't even walk, so Monday morning I had to go to urgent care and get an x-ray. It was a sharp pain; it was really bad, plus it was turning blue. So I thought, better be safe than sorry and go get it checked out."
Turns out Jeanette had a serious sprain, not surprising to the doctor.
"You have 28 bones in your feet; you have multiple tendons coming down on both sides of your ankle that control your foot function. So when you twist that, you can really damage that and when you have your body weight thrown in, that can be a big problem," says Dr. Patouhas.
While wedges are a trendy shoe choice because of fashion and comfort, the doctor says they're not for everyone - or everyplace.
"If you are going to be walking on uneven ground, be careful. If you are going down a curve, be careful. You can sprain your ankle, you can cause a fracture, you can break your foot."
Sneakers are probably the best shoe for safety and support. But if it's sandals you want, just be smart.
"If you are going to choose a sandal you should choose one that is firm on the bottom with a rubber sole, that has somewhat of an arch support, sometimes a back strap is more supportive. But it probably is best to wear a closed shoe," Dr. Patouhas says.
And as for Jeanette? Well - she's done with the wedges for good.
"Oh I'm throwing those shoes away. I'm not wearing those," she laughs.
But Alan, is never giving up on his flip flops.
There is time and place for flip flops, doctors agree: public pools, public bathrooms, even hotel rooms. Flip flops can be a decent barrier to keep away bacteria, but do keep in mind then those flip flops can get real germy real quick.