Researchers from Auburn University in Alabama said wearers' tendency to claw their feet to maintain grip could potentially have debilitating effects.
The researchers studied the biomechanics of the footwear and determined that wearing them long-term can result in sore feet, ankles and legs.
The study found jandal-wearers altered their gait - which could produce problems and pain from the foot up to the hips and lower back.
John Miller of New Zealand podiatry clinic Foot Mechanics told the Dominion Post he was not surprised by the findings.
"People don't associate their feet necessarily with "effects" further up the body."
Long-term wear could lead to toe deformities or clawed feet.
The American study, of 39 college-age men and women alternately wearing athletic shoes and flip-flops (jandals), showed wearers took shorter steps and their heels hit the ground with less vertical force than when the same walkers wore athletic shoes.
Gary Moller comments:
There is no evidence that jandals harm feet. Studies like the one quoted prove nothing - only "potential" and draw a very long bow with their conclusions.
And then the news report quotes podiatrist, John Miller, the same expert who put his name to the press release that spawned the TV3 news item about the dangers of running about barefoot. Go here to view the item and my response.
He might like to repeat what he is saying to the millions of people of Africa, India, Asia and the South Pacific.