A Glimpse into the Miles Covered
Flip-flops have been around for as long as you can remember. From the day you were born til today, flip-flops have accompanied you whenever you wanted to slip into homely comfort.
While you mostly wear them at home on weekends or while going to the local market, perhaps you keep a pair in the office as well and stealthily wear them in your cubicle when no one is looking. The comfort of slip-ons is irresistible. Yes, there are certain dos and don’ts concerned with wearing flip-flops; however, those don’t bring down the level of affection that everyone has for these footwear.
Even though flip-flops are found in everyone’s closet, there are actually very few people who know about the origin and history of these slip-ons. Where did the story of these strappy flats begin? When was the first pair of the open-toed sandal made and where?
These are some of the questions, the answers to which are known to very few. While no one can put an exact date to when the journey of flip-flops began, the history of these footwear can be established by assembling some relevant bits and pieces mentioned here.
While many people believe that flip-flops came into existence only recently, there is proof that they exited from 1500 B.C. In fact, a pair of papyrus flip-flops (something that you won’t be able to spot anywhere today) is on display in a British museum. This pair proves that flip-flops are nowhere close to being a recent invention. Since then, in the ancient era, people started making the footwear in a number of materials such as palm leaves, leather, wood, sisal, rice straw and yucca plants.
Another less known fact about the history of flip-flops is that during the Heian period, people of Japan wore a slip-on known as zori. The zori, according to ancient texts, were the first kind of footwear that kids wore when they learned how to stand and walk. Another interesting thing about flip-flops is that the soldiers, who returned from the World War II, brought these to the United States.
Modern day flip-flops
This footwear started gaining a strong foothold on the market by the 1950s. They became so popular during the 1950s that they even beat sisal sandals. Many footwear manufacturers began making them out of rubber soles and straps. Soon trendier versions of flip-flops hit the market. The variety was growing rapidly. That was how the world got flip-flops in prints and designs ranging from floral to stripe to abstract.
Ten years later, flip-flops became a household name. In the 1960s,most people now were using flip-flops for casual outings. They wore them to grocery stores, gardens and beaches. Because the imagery of slip-ons was shifting towards casual comfort wear, manufacturers introduced the concept of “ease” to position and market this footwear.
Even though flip-flops are still largely worn for casual outings and inside homes, the dressier versions can also be sported at parties and functions. The latter are basically slip-ons that give the same comfort as flip-flops, but also look trendier. The fancy flip-flops are made out of material that is sturdier and qualitatively better than rubber or plastic that normal slip-ons are made of.
These are some of the many unknown facts about slip-ons and how they have walked an elaborate history. Wasn’t it interesting to know how something that you have in your closet and use daily could have existed so long ago?
Article by Meggie Haneckow