From the Blog

April 29, 2015

12 Facts about Flip Flops

There are few things in this world that can universally conjure up in people’s minds the thought of travelling as much as the sight of a pair of Flip-Flops. Listed below are some interesting facts you may not know about this iconic foot ware, some of which may explain why they should be labelled with a government health warning.


12 Facts about Flip Flops1. Flip Flops have their own annual ‘Day’ it’s on the 19th June


2. They are known around the world by many different names: To hear most of them pronounced click here


  • Chinelos: Brazilian
  • dép tôngor dép xỏ ngónVietnamese
  • Djapanki: Bulgarian
  • Finnish:varvassandaalit
  • Goaheads: A US nickname that originated when cheap, plastic flip flops were being mass produced and people would say state it was almost impossible to walk backwards in them
  • Hawai chappal: India and Pakistan, Hindustani “air sandal”
  • Jandals: Kiwi From a derivative of ‘Japanese sandals’
  • Norwegian:flipp-flopper No serious
  • Romanian: șlapi My personal favourite
  • Schlapfen: German, meaning “slipper” or “house shoe”
  • Shoes Pinch: Thailand
  • Slops: South African, (also means extreme state of inebriation)
  • Thongs: Australia, not to be confused with skimpy pieces of underwear or swimwear
  • Tongs: Cambodian & France
  • Tsinelas: Filipino, usually referring to flip flops made of synthetic resin
  • Vietnamki: Russia and Ukraine (at least they agree on this)
  • Zori: Japanese made of rice straw or other plant fibres, cloth, lacquered wood, leather, rubber, or increasingly synthetic materials


  1. They have been around a very long time with the earliest documented use of flip-flops shown on cave paintings that date the Stone Age, about 15,000 years ago


  1. 12 Facts about Flip FlopsThe most expensive ever flip-flops are made by Chipkos and cost a tidy $18,000. The sandals are hand painted by a renowned Los Angeles contemporary artist, David Palmer. The good news is the flip-flops are adorned with a hand-made 18 carat solid gold Chipkos emblem and come in a mahogany wood and glass display case, for that money I would want a lot more.


  1. They are now made from all sorts of products but are usually made from rubber, foam, plastic, leather, suede, hemp, or wood. They can be made from recycled materials including fizzy drink bottles.


  1. They can be detrimental to your health. Two bio mechanists from Auburn University studied the effects wearing thongs has on how people walk. They noticed two important changes: the first being a shortened stride length. Taking shorter steps translates into more wear and tear on the legs joints over time, since it takes more steps to reach any destination. Secondly, the researchers also noticed that flip-flop wearers chronically scrunch their toes to keep the thongs on their feet. This constant toe contraction turns off the ability of the toes to lift, which they should do with each step. The end effect is the “flip-flop shuffle,” which is not a very efficient way to get around, with the resulting noise being irritating.


  1. Accidents while driving: Research from the USA suggests that 1.4 million accidents or near accidents are caused each year from wearing flip-flops while driving.


12 Facts about Flip Flops..      8. Are these the largest Flip-flops in the world? Do you know any better!


  1. They can kill you! Lab tests conducted on flip-flops, worn for four days, revealed a potentially deadly germ – Staphylococcus aureus – lurking on the rubber. If it seeps into a cut on your foot – an entirely common summer affliction – the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and, if left untreated, kill you.
  2. The word Flip-flop has been hijacked and can now refer to
  • A Bistable Multivibrator- Electronics
  • A sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion by a public official (who would believe politicians would do such a thing!)
  • A Gymnastic ‘Hand Spring’

12 Facts about Flip Flops...11. Fashion: The Ancient Greeks wore the toe strap between their 1st and 2nd toes.  The Ancient Romans wore the strap between the 2nd and 3rd toes.  The Mesopotamians wore the strap between the 3rd and 4th toes. Today Socks are being worn with sandals by the likes of David Beckham and Bruce Willis, with luck it will never happen to Flip-flops ‘PLEASE

12. Booze and Flip-flops: Just to round off this look at the Humble and much loved foot ware, take a look at this guy trying to put his back on while drunk… proves they also have a place as a booze indicator. (You Tube)


If you have your own interesting facts or comments please post them here.

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