Why are Flip-Flop Slippers so Popular?
Once broken down to its bare structure, flip-flop slippers are really just soles that are being held loosely by the feet through the help of a Y-shaped strap. This strap is usually placed in a way that it passes through the second and first toe and around the two sides of the foot. It’s thanks to this smart placement of the strap that allows people to walk confidently and comfortably.
Essentially, flip flops are like sandals without the extra strap at the back. For this reason, they are being used even more casually than your regular sandals. Most of the time, they are worn at home, outside when you are on a simple errand, or at the beach. Although some may choose to wear it on a simple day or night out with friends, especially when the place they’re visiting is not considered as a formal setting.
Want to get to know more about this form of slippers? Then, have a read below to find out more!
The Ancient History of the Flip-Flop Slipper
The murals seen in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians have shown that a similar footwear to flip-flop slippers originated in 4000 B.C. – which was 6000 years ago! Found here are drawings and paintings portraying humans to be wearing what looked like thong sandals.
A pair of this was even found in a tomb in Europe. It was dated to be approximately 1,500 years old, meaning it was made around the year 500. Seemingly, this pair was created from papyrus leaves; though later discoveries point out that more of these were actually fabricated from palm leaves and reeds.
Truth be told, it’s quite hard to imagine one could get proper protection by wearing these materials, but the Egyptians made it work. They did so by weaving the material together to be thicker, eventually providing enough protection to prevent injuries from happening to their feet.
In Africa, they used rawhides for their early sandals. The Masai opted to go with this because of how durable they are; the Indians used wood; the Chinese used straw; the South Americans used sisal plants; and the Mexicans used yucca plant. The Japanese had their own style with their early footwear, but that will be discussed later on in this article.
It was also discovered that the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Mesopotamians also had their versions of the ancient sandals. However, the difference mainly was the placement of the strap. The Greeks had it in between the first and second toe; the Romans had it between the second and third; the Mesopotamians had it in between the third and fourth.
The Ancient Indians, on the other hand, had early sandals that were a little more eccentric. These were called Padukas featuring a chappal, which means “toe knob.” This was a fitting name because the sandal had no strap. Instead, there was a small knob position to go in between the first and second toe, which would hold the sandal to the wearer’s feet.
However, most of these early flip-flop slippers came in a form that is unfamiliar to us today. What we know now actually descends from the zōri. This is a traditional footwear in Japan used to train children to walk. It is very similar to the modern day slippers. However, the strap was originally made from straw or a similar cloth or fiber, and the sole was made from lacquered wood and leather. This changed during World War II; the Japanese began going into rubber production. They started using them for the soles of their zōri. Today, the zōri is still being used, but uses synthetic materials for its materials, instead of wood and leather.
American Adaptation and Birth of the Flip-Flop Slipper
Flip-flop slippers were introduced to the American shores during World War II. Their soldiers were intrigued by them and decided to bring them to the United States of America as souvenirs from the war. The Japanese, then, started exporting rubber slippers to the Americans as their very first export after the war. American housewives of that time loved wearing these in the shower.
By the 1960s, they became a staple summer wear for both males and females. They were even firmly associated with California’s beach life. These were typically worn with bathing suits, summer dresses, and shorts. But as they grew in popularity, they started to be worn for dressier yet casual occasions.
Where did the Term “Flip-Flop” Slippers Come From?
The term flip-flops came about during the 1970s. Basically, it’s just an onomatopoeia to describe it. For those that don’t know, an onomatopoeia is a word that derives its name from the sound it makes. One may wonder, how slippers make this ‘flip’ and ‘flop’ sound. It usually happens when they would slap the bottom of the wearer’s feet as he/she is walking.
This term, however, was mostly used by the USA and by Britain. Other countries came up with other names for them. Some examples are the following:
- Australia: Thongs
- South Africa: Slops
- New Zealand: Jandals
- Japan: Zōri
- India and Pakistan: Hawai Chappal
- Vietnam: Dép tông or Dép xỏ ngón
- Brazil: Chinelos
- Poland: Japonki
- Somalia: Dacas
- Greece: Sayonares
- Austria: Schlapfen
- Italy: Infradito
- Bulgaria: Djapanki
- Ghana: “Charlie Wrote”
- Russia and Ukraine: Vietnamki
- Philippines: Tsinelas
- Hawaii, Trinidad, and Tobago, and the Netherlands: Slippers
The Popularity of Flip-Flop Slippers Today
Fast forward to the 21st century, the flip-flop slippers have remained to be a staple in trendy footwear. Nowadays, it is especially popular as casual wear for many young adults, who wear the slippers under their pants. They pull this off by wearing more high-end versions made from leather or other sophisticated materials.
These products are a popular alternative for the young generation in their everyday wear; some of them even consider it to be a near-equivalent of sneakers and loafers. However, it’s not uncommon to see the thicker and brighter versions worn casually. In fact, there are so many versions of the flip-flop slippers for many types of occasions. You can often see them used in shopping malls and even formal events! Probably because, now, there are slippers with heels!
Women, who are between the ages of 18-35, have shown a particular fondness to these kinds of slippers. Oftentimes, they would decorate theirs with jewelry such as charms, chains, beads, or rhinestones.
Unfortunately, the trend of using slippers in dressier occasions has been met with much criticism. This reached its peak in a minor controversy in 2005. This happened when the Northwestern University’s Women’s Lacrosse Team – the then national champions of the sport – visited the White House while wearing flip-flop slippers. Many people and critics, especially from the older generations deemed it as disrespectful and bashed the people involved in the incident. In response to this, the team decided to auction off those same flip-flops on eBay. They raised a total of $1,653.00; they donated their earnings to their friend, Jaclyn Murphy, for her cancer treatment.
Even with the issue long forgotten, there is still debate about the use of flip-flop slippers in more formal occasions. The younger generations feel that the more stylish versions of them can be used in many social events. Meanwhile, the older generations are adamant that this practice is disrespectful and signifies laziness.
The 14th and current Dalai Lama of Tibet – Tenzin Gyatso – may disagree with the belief of the older generation. In his visits to the White House to meet George W. Bush and Barack Obama, he always wore his flip-flop slippers. Speaking of Obama, he was also the first U.S. President to be photographed wearing slippers. This happened while he was on vacation in his hometown, Hawaii. This goes to show that even some of the world’s leaders (both past and current) are embracing the comfortable and convenient footwear – whether they will be used for formal or informal occasions.
What is the Common Design of a Flip-Flop Slipper?
As mentioned before, the flip-flop slipper’s design is very simple. Most modern designs just have a rubber sole with a Y-shaped strap. Nowadays, this strap runs between the first and second toe – just like in Ancient Greek sandals – and to the sides of the feet. Typically, slippers do not have straps anymore at the heels; but it’s not uncommon to find varieties with them that aren’t considered sandals. There are also versions designed for sports that have support between the strap and the toes.
As with the ancient sandals, the flip-flop slippers were made with a variety of materials. Most modern slipper soles are made from rubber, foam, plastic, leather, suede, and even fabric. The straps are made from either polyurethane, rubber, or hemp.
Because of the strap placement, it’s not recommended to wear regular socks with slippers. This makes it a somewhat problematic footwear to use during the colder seasons. The solution to this is to either wear toe socks or the Japanese tabi. The tabi is basically like a normal sock except it has a single slot between the first and second toe. The Japanese used this, along with their zōri.
Where Should You Buy Your Flip-Flop Slippers?
Where else would you buy your flip-flop slippers other than from the best manufacturers of it? If you’re wondering who the best is, then the answer you’re looking for is Minal Footwear! We at Minal Footwear are a manufacturing company, which hailed all the way from India, that produces quality footwear. Our expertise is in producing flip-flop slippers that are not only comfortable but very fashionable as well. We are extremely successful in our native land and we aim to provide our stylish and quality footwear to the people in the Philippines.
Our slippers are made out of polyurethane, which is a light and durable material. This ensures that our slippers are non-slip while remaining to be classy, fashionable, and trendy. In short, this is the perfect slipper to wear at casual gatherings and dressier occasions. We also aim to provide this perfect footwear for our customers at very affordable prices.
What Are the Products that Minal Footwear Offers?
We offer a wide selection of slippers from India with diverse styles and designs. The different styles available are under three distinct categories:
To look at the complete catalogue of products available, you can look into this page. If you are looking into buying wholesale, then you may go and visit this page. No matter what you choose – buying a single unit or in bulk – we ensure that no single unit of the product you wish to purchase will vary in quality. We also make sure that it is of the best quality before it leaves our production line.
How can you be a distributor of Minal Footwear?
By becoming a distributor of Minal Footwear, you are ensured that you are providing your fellow Filipinos quality footwear and promoting products that are successful and trusted. For inquiries about distributing Minal Footwear products or setting up your own store, you can check this page for further information.
How Do You Know That You Are Purchasing a Quality Product?
Minal Footwear only uses quality materials. We make certain that these products pass the company’s standards. If you are curious as to what customers are saying about Minal Footwear’s slippers, you can check their testimonials on this page.
Other than providing the country with quality footwear, we are also donating a portion of our earnings to a selected number of charities. This is our own way of giving back to the community.
One of the goals of Minal Footwear is to be a company known for its Integrity, which is why charity is included in our company’s duties. To learn more about the charity efforts of Minal Footwear, you can visit this page.