Flip Flops: Made for Transit Thru History

Happy Flip-Flop Friday everyone! Flip flops are a $2 Billion per year industry in the United States. You’d be hard pressed to walk down any street in America and not see at least one person sporting a pair of flip-flops.

Flip flops have been around for at least six thousand years. As a point of comparison, primitive shoes are shown in rock paintings dating from the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 15,000 years ago. There are depictions of flip-flops in ancient Egyptian murals on tombs and temples from about 4,000 B.C. Styles too varied with the differing placement of the toe strap, as subsequent civilizations preferred using different toes. The Greeks for example made use of the big toe; the Romans, the second toe; and the Mesopotamians, the third toe.

Flip flops are a type of open-toed footwear typically worn in casual situations, such as outside or at the beach. They consist of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap that passes between the first and second toes and around either side of the foot.  Thong sandals have been worn for thousands of years, dating back to pictures of them in Egyptian murals from 4,000 B.C. These early versions of flip-flops were made from a wide variety of materials including rawhide, wood, papyrus and palm leaves to name a few.  The modern flip-flop became popular in the United States as soldiers returning from World War II brought Japanese zōri with them. They quickly became popular because of convenience and comfort, and were popular in beach-themed stores and as summer shoes. During the 1960s, flip-flops became associated with the beachy lifestyle of California. They were promoted as an accessory, typically worn with shorts or swimwear. Beginning in 1962, the Brazilian company, Alpargatas, marketed a version of flip-flops known as Havaianas. These quickly become some of the most popular in the world: By 2010, more than 150 million pairs were produced every year.

Personally, I love my Havaianas!  They are the perfect “shoe” to throw on when I run down to get the mail or pop out the door for errands on a busy weekend.

Cheers– and happy Flip Flop Friday!!

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About Jody Thompson

I'm going to blog about my many shopping escapades. Whether it is a used book store, a thrift shop or a consignment shop-- I'm here to tell all about my experiences. When I find great stuff-- I'll let you know. I'm sending good karma to all the thrifty shoppers out there!
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