Story suggested by Gail Leaver Friday 12 March
Slip-slops, flip-flops, thongs (not to be be confused with other thongs, which are worn between the legs not the toes), pluggers, plakkies, jandals (Japanese sandals, duh!), slippahs and smakols are all descendants of japanese zori, introduced to the US by servicemen returning from occupation leave. They became popular unisex summer footwear in warm climes all over the world.
Japanese have been using different versions for two thousand years. Even before them, the Egyptians wore them as far back as 1200BC
It seems that the establishment disapproves of the flip-flop. When someone, usually a politician, changes opinion in a way that annoys people that is called doing a flip-flop
A minor controversy erupted in 2005 when some members of a national womens’ lacrosse team visited the White House wearing slip-slops. The team responded to critics by auctioning off their slip-slops on e-Bay, raising $1,653 for a young cancer patient.
Hmmm! One can almost understand the Trump phenomenon.
The Dalai Lama of Tibet is a frequent wearer of slip-slops and has met with several U.S. presidents, including George W Bush and Barack Obama wearing the sandals. Dubya awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. I don’t think it was just for wearing slip-slops.
Atlanta based company Flip Flop Shops claimed that the shoes were a $20 billion industry in 2009. Furthermore, sales of slip-slops exceeded those of sneakers for the first time in 2006.
Podiatrists recommend avoiding the inexpensive, drug store varieties and spending more on sandals with thick-cushioned soles, as well as ones that have a strap that’s not canvas and that comes back almost to the ankle
However the evidence is overwhelming – these sandals are certainly the most popular footwear in the world. They are functional, cheap and easily replaced. They are ideal for the beach, hence their popularity in good beach countries.
They are not too popular in colder climes.
I must confess the sight of socks and flops puts my teeth on edge.
Personally, I don’t like ‘em, but that is probably jealousy, because I cannot wear them.
I wear crocs, which is why, I’ve been told I haven’t got lucky…