Flip flops are a type of sandal that is made up of a flat sole which is loosely held by a Y-shaped strap referred to as a toe thong. The toe thong passes between the big toe and the second toe and around either side of the foot. Usually, flip flops do not have a strap around the heel. Despite their simple design, flip flops are increasingly becoming popular. Read on to find out why.
Why are flip flops so popular? Flip flops are the most popular type of footwear in the summer when the weather is warm. In 2009, it was estimated that the flip flop industry was worth around $20 billion. Considering how cheap they are, this figure is absolutely remarkable.
Flip flops are a style of sandals that have been worn by many cultures around the world for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated from the ancient Egyptians as early as 4000 years ago who wore flip flops made from papyrus leaves and palm leaves. Other communities known to have worn the earlier version of flip flops include the Masai of East Africa, who made them out of rawhide, the ancient Japanese and Chinese who made them from rice straws, native Mexicans who used the yucca plant, and native South Americans who made them from the sisal plant.
The modern design of flip flops originated from the Japanese Zori and was widely popularized after World War II after the United States soldiers fighting in Japan brought them back after the war. The earliest people to adopt flip flops in the United States were American housewives. Soon, they were also being worn by children. They gained popularity in the 1950s with numerous designs coming out. By the 1960s flip flops were associated with the Californian beach lifestyle. Fast forward to today, flip flops are still as popular if not even more popular.
The reasons why they are so popular
1. They are cheap
Flip flops are made with popular materials such as rubber, which is the most common, leather, plastic, and foam. They are therefore readily available and you can find them at very cheap rates. The fact that they are cheap makes them very popular since just about anyone can afford a pair of flip flops.
The prices of flip flops vary depending on their design and materials used to make them. Some flip flops are made out of expensive materials such as suede and fabric. Flip flops made from these materials may be more expensive when compared to other flip flops, but they are still cheaper than other footwear made from the same material.
2. They are easily accessible
Flip flops are the most readily available type of footwear. You will always find flip flops when you go to any general store. They can also be found in abundance in online stores. This ease of access makes flip flops become increasingly popular.
3. They are easy to use
Flip flops are light in weight which makes them very popular among many people. You do not have to use any zippers or deal with tying any laces which can be very annoying at times. Also, it is not a must to put on any socks in order to use them as is the case with some type of footwear. You can choose to put them on with socks but it is not a must. They have a very simple design which makes them easy to navigate. All you have to do is put them on and you will be ready to walk in them. This makes them ideal to be used by people of any age, even young kids who are yet to learn how to tie their own shoelaces.
3. They allow more freedom for your feet than regular shoes
Flip flops ensure that your feet have more freedom compared to regular shoes. With flip flops, you are able to wiggle your toes every now and then without any restrictions. You can even decide to put them on halfway or take them off whenever you like.
Flip flops are very convenient especially for occasions that require you to slip out of shoes such as when visiting the beach, a swimming pool, or a dressing room at a clothing store.
4. They are comfortable
Despite their very simple design, flip flops are more comfortable than you think they are. Unlike other types of footwear, your toes are not restricted and can move freely. Good quality flip flops are designed to have an arch on each foot. This enables them to support your feet reducing the risk of your feet being cramped.
Also, there is nothing more uncomfortable than your feet itching while wearing an enclosed pair of shoes. Since flip flops expose the feet, you can scratch them whenever you like. Most flip flops are made from sturdy rubber which by itself is a comfortable material. This makes them popular since they keep your feet comfortable.
5. They are available in many styles and designs
Although flip flops have a relatively simple overall design, they are available in many styles and designs to cater to your needs. Flip flops are available in many colors, so you are always guaranteed to find flip flops that are in your favorite color. The designs are also different. Most of them have the basic thong design, others are designed to have two solid straps across the front, others have several straps, others have a strap that loops above the big toe, among many other designs.
There are flip flops designed for various activities. There are flip flops that are designed for sports which have added support common to athletic footwear. Some flip flops are designed with jewelry for special occasions. They come in flashy colors, have impressive artwork, have funky designs on them. The many designs and styles ensure that the buyer has a wide range of flip flops to choose from. It is normal for people to have several flip flops for different purposes.
6. They are all round
Flip flops can be worn anywhere and by anyone. Men, women, and children wear flip flops. Flip flops can be worn in just about any occasion especially in summer. They are not only restricted to sunny beach days. You can wear flip flops to school without facing any judgment. Some people even wear flip flops to work. Most people wear them on casual occasions, but they are increasingly becoming popular even on formal occasions.
In 2005, some members of the Northwestern University lacrosse team, who were the national champions, visited the White House wearing flip flops. Even the former president of the United States, Barrack Obama, has been photographed wearing a pair of flip flops. That is how versatile they are. The ability to wear flip flops on any occasion makes them very popular.
7. They are relaxing
One of the factors that make flip flops very popular is how relaxing they are. There is no feeling more relaxing than being able to slip into a pair of flip flops after spending a long day in uncomfortable shoes. Flip flops have a unique design that ensures that the wearer feels relaxed in them. They create the feeling that you are not wearing anything on your feet at all and I cannot imagine a more relaxing feeling. The thought alone makes you yearn for a busy day to end so that you can kick off your hot sweaty shoes and slip into the flip flops. Relaxation of the feet is important since your mind also relaxes. Some researchers from the department of cognitive psychology at Northwestern University, United States have found a parallel between the apparel and psyche. This means that wearing flip flops can be beneficial to your overall psyche as well.
8. They allow your feet to breathe
Flip flops have a design that exposes your feet. This is very convenient since unlike boots and other closed-toed shoes, your feet get to breathe. Your feet having breathing space is very ideal since you will not experience the problem of having smelly or sweaty feet as experienced by those wearing closed-toed shoes. In addition, your feet get exposed to sunlight which can be very satisfying. Air flows through your feet ensuring that they remain fresh free of sweat. This ensures that you are safe from getting your feet infected with any bacterial or fungal infection. This aspect makes flip flops very popular.
Apart from the reasons given, there are countless other reasons why flip flops are so popular. They ensure that your feet are cozy and well relaxed which generally has a positive effect on your mental well-being. In this way, they not only relax your feet but also your mind. They have become a necessity to have in your closet because they are so beneficial and can be worn almost anywhere. So, if you are yet to own a pair of flip flops, go get one to experience the miracle that they are!