History of the Flip Flop

Thong-style sandals - flip-flops as we call them now - have existed for thousands of years. Pictures of them are found in ancient Egyptian murals dating back to 4,000 BC, and a pair was discovered in Europe made of papyrus leaves and estimated to be about 1,500 years old! The first flip-flop "off the line" designs were made from a wild array of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were fabricated from papyrus and palm leaves, the Masai of Africa made them out of rawhide, Indea saw them made of wood, and China and Japan constructed them from rice straw. The leaves of the sisal plant were used to make twine for the sandals in South America, and the natives of Medico used the convenient yucca plant.

 39643552 - row of multicolor flip flops on beach against blue sky

By the 1950s, pop culture was flipping out (lol, pun intended) for these sandals. A rubber redesign evolved, as well as the usage of bright colors to reflect trending design at the time. Flip-flops became wildly popular due to their simplicity and comfort factor.

The actual name flip-flop has been going strong in British and American English since the 70’s. Needless to say, this name comes from the funky (or annoying) sound made when walking while wearing. However, found on beaches throughout the world, this famous footwear is also referred to by a variety of names. They are called thongs in Australia, jandals in New Zealand, slops in South Africa, chinelos in Brazil and slippers in Hawaii. In parts of India, flip-flops are commonly known as hawai chappal because they allow for quick removal upon entry to home and temples. The Japanese wear their flip-flops traditionally designed as straw sandals called zori. While popular in Poland as japonki, and interestingly infradito in Italy. Can we say 'peace out' in 20 languages?

We can clearly see why they are popular in seaside stores and as basic summer shoes. In for the long-run, we find these sandals propped up and flopped out by some of our fave designers including Tory Birch, Michael Kors as well as Mui Mei and even Chanel for fancier affairs! Legit mass global love.