Is it Flip-flop or Slipper? Here’s What You Should Know
June 30, 2017
What is the difference between a flip-flop and a slipper?
1. Flip-flops are a casual footwear.
2. Slippers are an indoor footwear.
Most often, people consider flip flop and slippers as one and lavishly used them on a daily basis. To put an end to this misconception, flip flops and slippers are two different things. In fact, one is for indoor use and one is for outdoor use. But the question remains – which is which?
Well, here’s a few things that you should know to further understand the difference between these two great foot wears.
What’s a Flip-flop?
For starters, a flip-flop is an onomatopoeia, as the name was derived from the sound that the object made. To prove it, you can try walking for a while with the footwear and you will hear that flip flop sound when the rubber soles slap against the heel of your feet. In fact, these were even called “slaps” in Europe and North America, “jandals” in New Zealand, “thongs” in Australia, “plakkies” in South Africa, and in the other parts of the US, “clam diggers” in Texas, “zories” in the East Coast, and “slippers” in Hawaii.
Basically, flip flops are casual foot wears held on loosely by a Y-shaped strap or thong at the front passing from between the first and second toes and goes around both sides of the foot. It is usually used when going to beaches as they are comfortable, water resistant, and are made of rubber soles.
What’s a Slipper?
Slippers are exclusively worn indoors, and as the root word suggests, it is easy to slip your foot on and off these light material foot wears. Moreover, slippers are neither for fashion or style, as it is originally designed to provide comfort and warmth for older people.
A common instance of wearing slippers is in Japan, as it is a custom to remove shoes and shift into slippers before going indoors.
Where Did They Come from?
According to history, flip flops have originated from the Ancient Egyptians as evidenced in Egyptian murals way back in 4000 B.C. Back then, flip flops were made of papyrus and palm leaves, whereby a pair is currently preserved at the British Museum.
However, the modern flip-flops that people loved were popularized in the United States after the World War II. Soldiers from the said war brought home the Japanese flops called “zori,” and from there, various designs (with different patterns and colors) arose leading to the modern day flip-flops. In addition, the classic beach style where flip flops are hugely incorporated and something that people is continuously adapting actually began in the ‘60s.
On the other hand, slippers first appeared in the 12th century, as the first recorded reference came from a Southern Song Dynasty officer who described two types of slippers that he saw, “it had a thong that fits between the toes, or a leather strap that went across the foot and the outsoles that are made of leather.”
Slippers are strongly associated with the Eastern history, as back then, the slipper was a symbol of captivity. The Sultan’s harem would usually wear it for indoors, as it is easier to slip on and off especially before stepping on the expensive Persian carpets.
Furthermore, as everyone would’ve known, the Japanese have very well incorporated the use of slippers in their culture. Slipping off their shoes and slipping into their slippers before going indoors has been a common practice in all residences, as the Japanese believe that the feet should at least breathe after a long day at work.
Apparently, it was between the 16th and 17th century when slippers first made an appearance in Old Europe. However, it was only during the 18th century that slippers became remarkable. It was the golden era of slippers where only people from the rich and highest classes get to have a pair of them.
Given these points, it is important to realize that flip-flops and slippers are two different things, and only with thorough understanding will you be able to enjoy the comfort and of course, make proper use of these usable foot wears.