Flip flops, the seemingly harmless warm-weather sport shoes which were originally designed for social wear to the beach or the pool, have they’re not so harmless consequences.

Think about all the students that wear them full time on hard floors all day long. They say there is a time and a place for everything. But these rubber shoes create vulnerability for trauma, cuts, bumps and ankle sprains.

They lack arch support, shock absorption and most importantly, there is no stability for foot protection. Arch pain, tendonitis and sprained ankles are just a few of the problems that flip flops can cause.

With no heel stability or arch support, the weight rolling toward the arch (inward) and big toe can also cause foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain. It is not uncommon in wet weather conditions (with slippery surfaces) to twist and possibly fracture a bone.

In many cases, where there are pre-existing problems, it can reactivate plantar fasciitis with or without a heel spur. Remember to wear flip flops in moderation - there is a definite time and place for this type of footwear.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathon & has a practice in Darien; affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle. For info visit his Web site at www.stamford

healthmedicalgroup.org, and find a Physician-Dr. Robert F. Weiss.