Flip-flops are a type of sandal, typically worn as a form of casual wear. They consist of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap known as a toe thong that passes between the first and second toes and around both sides of the foot or can be a hard base with a strap across all the toes (these can also be called sliders).
This style of footwear has been worn by the people of many cultures throughout the world, originating as early as the ancient Egyptians in 1,500 B.C.
In the United States the flip-flop descends from the Japanese zōri, which became popular after World War II as soldiers brought them back from Japan. They became popular unisex summer footwearstarting in the 1960s.
The term flip-flop has been used in American and British English since the 1960s to describe the thong or no-heel-strap sandal. It is an onomatopoeia of the sound made by the sandals when walking in them.They are called thongs (sometimes pluggers ) in Australia, jandals (originally a trademarked name derived from "Japanese sandals") in New Zealand, slops or “visplakkies” in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and tsinelas or step-in in the Philippines (or, in some Visayan localities, "smagol", from the word smuggled).
This footwear has a number of other names around the world. The Japanese wear similarly designed, traditional straw sandals known as zōri.Throughout the world, they are known by a variety of other names, including dép tông or dép xỏ ngón in Vietnam, chinelos in Brazil, japonki in Poland, dacas in Somalia, sayonares (σαγιονάρες) in Greece, slippers in Hawaii, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands, infradito in Italy, djapanki (джапанки) in Bulgaria,"charlie wote" in Ghana, "japanke" in Croatia and vietnamki in Russia and Ukraine, yezenes in Latvia. They were introduced by Bata in India under the brand name Hawaii slippers and are extremely popular throughout the country.
Thong sandals have been worn for thousands of years, dating back to pictures of them in ancient Egyptian murals from 4,000 BC. A pair found in Europe was made of papyrus leaves and dated to be approximately 1,500 years old. These early versions of flip-flops were made from a wide variety of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made from papyrus and palm leaves. The Masai of Africa made them out of rawhide. In India, they were made from wood. In China and Japan, rice straw was used. The leaves of the sisal plant were used to make twine for sandals in South America, while the natives of Mexico used the yucca plant.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans wore versions of flip-flops as well. In Greek sandals, the toe strap was worn between the first and second toes, while Roman sandals had the strap between the second and third toes. These differ from the sandals worn by the Mesopotamians, with the strap between the third and fourth toes. In India, a related chappal ("toe knob") sandal was common, with no straps but a small knob sitting between the first and second toes. They are known as Padukas.
The modern flip-flop became popular in the United States as soldiers returning from World War II brought Japanese zōri with them. It caught on in the 1950s during the postwar boom and after the end of hostilities of the Korean War. As they became adopted into American popular culture, the sandals were redesigned and changed into the bright colors that dominated 1950s design.They quickly became popular due to their convenience and comfort, and were popular in beach-themed stores and as summer shoes. During the 1960s, flip-flops became firmly associated with the beach lifestyle of California. As such, they were promoted as primarily a casual accessory, typically worn with shorts, bathing suits, or summer dresses. As they became more popular, some people started wearing them for dressier or more formal occasions.
In 1962, Alpargatas marketed a version of flip-flops known as Havaianas in Brazil. By 2010, more than 150 million pairs of Havaianas were produced each year.Flip-flops quickly became popular as casual footwear of young adults. Girls would often decorate their flip-flops with metallic finishes, charms, chains, beads, rhinestones, or other jewelry. High-end flip-flops made of leather or sophisticated synthetic materials are commonly worn in place of sneakers or loafers as the standard, everyday article of casual footwear, particularly among teenagers and young adults, although it is not unusual to see older people wearing playful, thick-soled flip-flops in brilliant colors. Platform and high-heel variants began to appear in the 1990s.
A minor controversy erupted in 2005 when some members of Northwestern University's national champion women's lacrosse team visited the White House wearing flip-flops. The team responded to critics by auctioning off their flip-flops on eBay, raising $1,653 USD for young cancer patient, Jaclyn Murphy of Hopewell Junction, New York, who was befriended by the team. — many youth feel that flip-flops are dressier and can be worn in a variety of social contexts, while older generations feel that wearing them at formal occasions signifies laziness and comfort over style. In 2011, while vacationing in his native Hawaii, Barack Obama became the first President of the United States to be photographed wearing a pair of flip-flops. The Dalai Lama of Tibet is also a frequent wearer of flip-flops and has met with several U.S. presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, while wearing the sandals.There is still a debate over whether this signaled a fundamental change in American culture
While exact sales figures for flip-flops are difficult to obtain due to the large number of stores and manufacturers involved, the Atlanta-based company Flip Flop Shops claimed that the shoes were responsible for a $20 billion industry in 2009. Furthermore, sales of flip-flops exceeded those of sneakers for the first time in 2006. If these figures are accurate, it is remarkable considering the low cost of most flip-flops.
The modern flip-flop has a very simple design, consisting of a thin rubber sole with two straps running in a Y shape from the sides of the foot to the gap between the big toe and the one beside it. They typically do not have a strap around the heel, although heeled varieties are available, as well as flip-flops designed for sports, which come with added support common to athletic shoes, with the thong between the toes. Most modern flip-flops are inexpensive, costing as little as $5 USD, or less in some parts of the world.
They are made from a wide variety of materials, as were the ancient thong sandals. The modern sandals are made of more modern materials, such as rubber, foam, plastic, leather, suede, and even fabric.Thongs made of polyurethane have caused some environmental concerns; because polyurethane is a number 7 resin, they can't be easily discarded, and they persist in landfills for a very long time. In response to these concerns, some companies have begun selling flip-flops made from recycled rubber, such as that from used bicycle tires, or even hemp, and some offer a recycling program for used flip flops.
Because of the strap between the toes, flip-flops are typically not worn with socks. In colder weather, however, some people wear flip-flops with toe socks.The Japanese commonly wear tabi, a type of sock with a single slot for the thong, with their zōri.
While flip-flops do provide the wearer with some mild protection from hazards on the ground, such as hot sand at the beach, glass, thumb tacks or even fungi and wart-causing viruses in locker rooms or community pools, their simple design is responsible for a host of other injuries of the foot and lower leg.
Walking for long periods in flip-flops can be very tough on the feet, resulting in pain in the ankles, legs, and feet.A 2009 study at Auburn University found that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps and their heels hit the ground with less vertical force than those wearing athletic shoes. Individuals with flat feet or other foot issues are advised to wear a shoe with better support.
The lack of support provided by thong sandals is thought by some to be a major cause of injuries. Some flip-flops have a spongy sole, causing the foot to roll further inward than normal when it hits the ground (over-pronation). Flip-flops can cause a person to overuse the tendons in their feet, resulting in tendonitis.
Ankle sprains or broken bones are also common injuries, due to stepping off a curb or tumbling; the ankle bends, but the flip-flop neither holds on to nor supports it.The straps of the flip-flop may cause frictional issues, such as rubbing, during walking. The open-toed nature of the thongs may result in cuts, scrapes, bruises, or stubbed toes. Despite all of these issues, flip-flops do not have to be avoided completely. Many podiatrists recommend avoiding the inexpensive, drug store varieties and spending more on sandals with thick-cushioned soles, as well as ones that have a strap that's not canvas and that comes back almost to the ankle.
A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration and fashion. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally, fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear in the 2010s varies widely in style, complexity and cost. Basic sandals may consist of only a thin sole and simple strap and be sold for a low cost. High fashion shoes made by famous designers may be made of expensive materials, use complex construction and sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars a pair. Some shoes are designed for specific purposes, such as boots designed specifically for mountaineering or skiing.
Footwear refers to garments worn on the feet, which originally serves to purpose of protection against adversities of the environment, usually regarding ground textures and temperature. Footwear in the manner of shoes therefore primarily serves the purpose to ease the locomotion and prevent injuries. Secondly footwear can also be used for fashion and adornment as well as to indicate the status or rank of the person within a social structure. Socks and other hosiery are typically worn additionally between the feet and other footwear for further comfort and relief.
A boot, plural boots, is a type of specific footwear. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle, while some also cover some part of the lower calf. Some boots extend up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece. Traditionally made of leather or rubber, modern boots are made from a variety of materials. Boots are worn both for their functionality – protecting the foot and leg from water, extreme cold, mud or hazards or providing additional ankle support for strenuous activities with added traction requirements, or may have hobnails on their undersides to protect against wear and to get better grip; and for reasons of style and fashion.
Tabi (足袋) are traditional Japanese socks worn with thonged footwear dating back to the 15th century.
Clogs are a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood. Clogs are used worldwide and although the form may vary by culture, within a culture the form often remained unchanged for centuries.
Slippers are light footwear that are easy to put on and off and are intended to be worn indoors, particularly at home.
Zōri (草履) are flat and thonged Japanese sandals made of rice straw or cloth, lacquered wood, leather, rubber, or, most commonly, synthetic materials.
Geta (下駄) are a form of traditional Japanese footwear that resemble clogs and flip-flops. They are a kind of sandal with an elevated wooden base held onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep the foot well above the ground.
Waraji (草鞋) are sandals made from straw rope that in the past were the standard footwear of the common people in Japan.
Platform shoes are shoes, boots, or sandals with an obvious thick sole, usually in the range of 3–10 cm (1–4 in). Platform shoes may also be high heels, in which case the heel is raised significantly higher than the ball of the foot. Extreme heights, of both the sole and heel, can be found in fetish footwear such as ballet boots, where the sole may be up to 20 cm (8 in) high, and the heels up to 40 cm (16 in) and more. The sole of a platform shoe can have a continuous uniform thickness, have a wedge, a separate block or a stiletto heel. Raising the ankle increases the risk of a sprained ankle.
Sandals are an open type of footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps going over the instep and, sometimes, around the ankle. Sandals can also have a heel. While the distinction between sandals and other types of footwear can sometimes be blurry, the common understanding is that a sandal leaves all or most of the foot exposed. People may choose to wear sandals for several reasons, among them comfort in warm weather, economy, and as a fashion choice.
A slider is a form of footwear. They are backless and open-toed, essentially an open-toed mule. Slides can be high-heeled, flat-heeled or somewhere in between, and may cover nearly the entire foot from ankle to toe, or may have only one or two narrow straps. They usually include a single strap or a sequence of straps across the toes and the lower half of the foot to hold the shoe on the foot. The term is descriptive in that this shoe is easy to 'slide' on and off the foot when the wearer wants to do so. Slides do not have a “Y” shaped strap, like the flip flop. Slides are currently trending because of the desire for a more comfortable shoe that still allows participation in activities and sports.
Opanci are traditional peasant shoes worn in Southeastern Europe. The attributes of the Opanci are: a construction of leather, lack of laces, durable, and various ending on toes. In Serbia, the design of the horn-like ending on toes indicates the region of origin. The Opanci are considered a national symbol of Serbia, and the traditional peasant footwear for people in the Balkan region.
The jutti or Punjabi Jutti is a type of footwear common in North India and neighboring regions. They are traditionally made up of leather and with extensive embroidery, in real gold and silver thread as inspired by Indian royalty over 400 years ago. Prior to that, Rajputs of the northwest used to wear leather juttis. Now with changing times different juti with rubber soles are made available. Besides Punjabi jutti, there are various local styles as well. Today Amritsar and Patiala are important trade centers for handcrafted juttis, from where they are exported all over the world to Punjabi diaspora. Closely related to mojaris. Juttis have evolved into several localized design variations, even depending upon the shoemaker. However by large, they have no left or right distinction, and over time take the shape of the foot. They usually have flat sole, and are similar in design for both women and men, except for men they have a sharp extended tip, nokh curved upwards like traditional mustaches, and are also called khussa, and some women’s juttis have no back part, near the ankle. Even with changing times juttis have remained part of ceremonial attire, especially at weddings, the unembellished juttis are used for everyday use for both men and women in most of Punjab mostly called Jalsa Jutti which is blackish in color.
Toe socks are socks that have been knitted so that each toe is individually encased the same way as fingers within a glove.
A dress shoe is a shoe to be worn at smart casual or more formal events. A dress shoe is typically contrasted to an athletic shoe.
Hnyat-phanat is a Burmese traditional sandal, similar to flip-flops. Although it refers to almost any sandal worn by the people of Myanmar, it is mostly used to refer to the traditional Mandalay velvet slippers that originate in Upper Burma (Myanmar).
Havaianas is a Brazilian brand of flip-flop sandals created and patented in 1962. It is currently owned by Brazilian manufacturing company Alpargatas S.A.. Inspired by Japanese zori sandals, Robert Fraser became the first to mass-produce flip-flops out of rubber. The name Havaianas is derived from the feminine form of the Portuguese word for "Hawaiians", and the pattern on the soles of the sandals is designed to resemble the straw soles of zori. Originally, all Havaianas featured white insoles with colored outsoles and straps. Because of their simplicity and low price, the sandals became popular with Brazil's lowest social classes.
Peshawari Chappal is a traditional footwear of Pakistan, worn especially by Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. The shoe takes its name from the city of Peshawar, where it originates from, while chappal is the local word for flip-flops, or sandals. People in Peshawar -- the locals -- call the Peshawari Chappal Kherian. Peshawari Chappal is worn by men casually or formally, usually with the Shalwar Kameez dress. Because of its comfort, it is used in place of sandal or slipper in Pakistan.
Huaraches are an open type of outdoor footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps passing over the instep and around the ankle. The common understanding is that these sandals were a variant of traditional Mexican huaraches, the difference being in design and construction.