Flip Flops are among the most popular footwear in the world. Almost everyone owns a pair or has worn them at one time or another. As I have recently launched my Moleoco Flip Flops brand, I thought that it quite fitting to provide a little historical background on this much loved footwear.
The History of Flip Flops
Flip Flops have been popular in Australia since the 1960’s and are as iconic as football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. But, believe it or not, this comfortable, sporty footwear is as old as time. In fact, they have been around since the time of ancient Egyptians. It’s an interesting that primitive man could contrive the idea which many of us consider very modern.
How the Flip Flop got its name
There is little ingenuity in the naming of this footwear. The flip flop got its name due to the sounds it produced when it came in contact with the sole of the feet and the surface when walking, “flip flop, flip flop flip flop, flip…”
Materials previously used to make Flip Flops
While modern flip flops are crafted from rubber and leather, back in Egyptian times, people had to be more creative in selecting materials for this footwear, which offered great protection and comfort for their feet.
In ancient Egypt, flip flops were made from reed, palm leaves and papyrus. I know you cannot even begin to imagine how palm leaves and papyrus offered protection for the feet but it was quite simple for the Egyptians. The base of flip flops was created by weaving the reed and palm leaves together, while the papyrus was used to make the ankle and toe straps.
In Africa, rawhide was the preferred material. Raw hide is very durable and may be the reason why members of the Masai tribe opted for it. On the other side of the world, the Indians created their flip flops from wood. I don’t know about you but I do not know if I could tolerate any kind of wooden footwear. The Chinese and Japanese got a bit more creative and used rice straw to make their flip flops. I’m not quite certain if that type of material generated any flip flop sounds.
Flip Flops Post World War II
It wasn’t until after the Second World War that flip flop began to gain traction in the United States. And it was there that flip flops began to generate vibrancy and flair with a variety of colors and unique designs. In 1960, flip flops graduated from common to fashionable footwear for the beach.
This was a frequent sight, especially on California beaches.
Popular Flip Flop Brands
One popular flip flop brand which has stood the test of time is Havaianas. This brand has been around since 1962 and seems to be here to stay. Rainbow Sandals has also been around for some time and more recently old Navy and now my own, Moleoco.
Flip Flops Today
Fast-forward to 2014, flip flops are considered more than appropriate for beaches. Many individuals have no qualms in wearing them to social functions, shopping trips and even formal events. Flip flops today range in thickness and styles. There have even been sightings of rubber flip flops with heels.
From palm leaves and papyrus to leather and rubber. One can only wonder what’s next for flip flops. Will new designs revert to wood and rice straws, or has evolution of this popular footwear come to an end. What do you think?
Thanks for taking the time here. If you enjoyed reading this post please share it with your communities.