Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17th National Flip-Flops Day

     This day is a charity promotion for "Camp Sunshine",  a very good cause helping terminally ill children by the "Tropical Smoothie Cafe", it brings up a subject that is of interest to my tropical nature.

Japanese Zori Sandals
      There is evidence that a piece of footwear similar to the flip flop was worn as far back as the "stone age".     Many of the early sandals were made of papyrus, rawhide, straw or other materials depending on the region.     The flip flop as we know it appeared after World War II when many American soldiers brought back Japanese Zori sandals to use as slippers around the house.     These were very comfortable and a proud souvenir to wear indoors, but not to be worn outside.   In the 1950's, there were Zori made of rubber that could be seen on the feet of American beach and pool feet, but still no where else.   

The dreaded blow-out
     It wasn't til the 1960's that the sandal named for the popping sound of the sandals as people walked became a household name.     Called "Flip-Flops" in the continental United States, they were also known as "Thongs" and "Slippers in other parts of the world.     The marvelous little sandal that had swept the country was not only comfortable, but a symbol of "Casual" which was the sign of the 60's.     There was one flaw to the sandal though, the "flat tire", the toe strap would either break or pull out and you would be limping home.
Huarache Sandals
     Being of the "surfer persuasion", I went with the Mexican Huarache Sandals that were made of old tires and leather that were "bullet proof" and really cool among the shoreline group.     There are reports of these sandals lasting 10 to 20 years, mine didn't, because of the salt water and leather makes leather rather brittle and the uppers wore out, but the soles are forever.    

The Original 'Flip-flop"
      Today as I walk making the obligatory slip-flop sound as i wander around Key West, I also hear and see the results of the the work done in the 60's by a Brazilian company Havaianas to create and promote the original flip flops that we know and love today.     The ones that I wear today have a big toe protector and good arch support, but "flip-flops" none the less, and my go to footwear.    Keep on Flip-flopping as they are very much a part of rumstylin' to me.     ;o)