Here's Why You Should Skip the Cheap Flip-Flops This Summer

iStock
iStock

After a long winter of wearing wool socks and waterproof boots, it can be tempting to slip into a pair of flip-flops at the first sign of warm weather. But before setting your toes free, pause to consider the impact your footwear has on the health of your feet.

In the video below, podiatric surgeon Dr. Jacqueline Sutera explains to Business Insider why flip-flops are a podiatrist’s worst nightmare. The sole itself offers little support or stability, which can lead to inflammation, tendonitis, and ankle sprain. Then there’s the strap holding it to your foot: Even if you’re not aware that it’s happening, this flimsy set-up causes your foot to over-grip, potentially spurring foot cramps and bunions.

A day of traipsing down the boardwalk in your flip-flops can be harmful, but the shoes you squeeze into before going out at night can cause even more damage. Wearing high heels regularly is connected to problems ranging from weak ankles to lower back pain. Whether your shoes are built at a 45-degree angle or are as flat as the ground beneath them, there are some steps you can take to ensure they don’t cause long-term issues.

The easiest way to protect your feet is to mix up your footwear. It doesn’t hurt to wear flip-flops to the beach or heels to the club, but don’t forget to pack some sneakers in your bag for when you hit the pavement. When you do shop for flip-flops or heels, it helps to choose shoes with supportive arches and plenty of cushion. And if you still find swelling, blisters, or bunions on your feet after all that, a 15 minute soak in warm water should relieve some pain.

[h/t Business Insider]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

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You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

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Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

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America's Top 25 Colleges and Universities for 2021

Harvard University's Memorial Hall.
Harvard University's Memorial Hall.

Deciding what makes a certain college more desirable than another is highly subjective. Some prospective students might think a championship-winning football team and a massive student body are major selling points, while others prize a small, tightly knit community above all else.

To try to come as close as possible to identifying objectively great colleges and universities around the country, WalletHub analyzed a whopping 30 factors in seven categories, from student selectivity and cost to campus experience and career outcomes. These encompass basic metrics—admissions rate and average class size, for example—as well as more specific considerations, like study abroad programs, on-campus employment opportunities, and the median salaries of recent graduates.

Of all 1008 schools included in the study, the Ivy League ones continue to reign supreme. Harvard University ranked first, with a score of 78.6 across all 30 metrics, edging out Yale by just .03 points. Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Brown also made the top 25. With low acceptance rates and high graduation rates—not to mention huge endowments—these stately old institutions are rather difficult to compete with, but they’re definitely not the only esteemed places to get a four-year education.

As a testament to the continuing success of the tech industry, three technology institutes made WalletHub’s list: Massachusetts in third place, California in fifth, and Georgia in 11th. Those three schools ranked in the top five for return on educational investment, meaning that graduates make high starting salaries compared to how much their education actually cost.

Geographically, New England (and the East coast in general) is home to a majority of the top schools, though five from California alone did chart, too: Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; Pomona College; and Claremont McKenna College, in addition to the aforementioned California Institute of Technology.

Check out the top 25 below, and see where your alma mater ranks on WalletHub’s full list here.

  1. Harvard University // 78.6
  1. Yale University // 78.57
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology // 78.44
  1. Princeton University // 78.41
  1. California Institute of Technology // 77.65
  1. Stanford University // 77.12
  1. Rice University // 76.96
  1. Northwestern University // 75.4
  1. Duke University // 75.18
  1. University of Pennsylvania // 74.95
  1. Georgia Institute of Technology // 74.92
  1. Vanderbilt University // 74.66
  1. University of California, Berkeley // 74.54
  1. Columbia University // 74.51
  1. Johns Hopkins University // 74.37
  1. University of Chicago // 73.59
  1. Dartmouth College // 73.43
  1. Williams College // 73.19
  1. Brown University // 73.17
  1. Carnegie Mellon University // 73.11
  1. Washington and Lee University // 73.08
  1. Swarthmore College // 73.08
  1. Pomona College // 72.92
  1. Claremont McKenna College // 72.84
  1. Amherst College // 72.83