Are you going to be on a boat this summer? What about at the beach? Do you live somewhere it ever gets hotter than 65 Fahrenheit or like, 5 Celsius? Do you have toes? Do you enjoy not stepping on rocks, garbage and hypodermic needles?
Then you should probably pick up a pair of flip flops. Especially, especially if you’re planning on doing some traveling. Following are the reasons you should definitely pack a pair of flip flops on your next trip:
- Easy to take on and off through airport security
- Way, way the heck cooler than Tevas
- Excellent venue in which to show off pedicures (or rugged, manly feet. Whatever.)
- A reassuring barrier between one’s soles and the diseased floor of the communal shower
- Much more appropriate to wear with shorts than a pair of Uggs (a look that, quite frankly, is unacceptable)
For the Purist: Havianas.
Havianas are flip flops at their most basic (and haven’t changed much since their creation in 1962). Made of thick but flexible rubber, these Brazilian sandals are internationally known, worn and loved. They run $12-$25 which is a bit more expensive than the average rubber thong, but worth it. They’re sturdier and bendier than the flip flops found at convenience stores, and the vibrant colors, fun patterns and awesome ad campaign just make ‘em that much cooler. Havianas also just released a soccer/football team-based line of flip flops for the World Cup that are downright awesome.
Inspired by Hawaii, designed in Brazil and worn by everyone.
For the surfer, beach-goer or anyone who says “Dude” a lot: Rainbows
A lot of people balk at the $40+ price tag on a pair of Rainbows…but shouldn’t. These babies are made to last, and they do; the author of this post can vouch for a pair that have been going strong since 2006. Rainbows are synonymous with the Southern California lifestyle. They were born in 1974 in the garage of creator Jay “Sparky” Longley’s San Clemente home, where he hand-crafted 15 a day. They’re now one of the top three best-selling brands of sandals in the United States. Rainbow Sandals are comprised of layers of sponge rubber, specially-formulated glue and leather; materials that, over time, mold uniquely to the wearer’s foot. In other words, putting on a pair of worn-in Rainbows is like giving your feet a hug. A leathery, slightly-dirty, sweat-stained hug.
Rainbows are like a weather-beaten surfer dude in shoe form. And they’re awesome.
For the “I need Arch Support” Guy: Chacos
Chacos calls their back-strap-less sandals “Flips” …because they don’t flop. The Chacos brand is best known for its line of Teva-like sandals popular among river guides and hardcore outdoorsy types; they’re comfortable, they last forever and they have more arch support than the average plastic shoe. Guess what? So do Flips. With a BioCentric design (yes, sometimes you learn things when you shop for shoes), a polyurethane sole, straps that anchor under the mid-foot (the Flop-preventer) and men’s and women’s styles, Flips have a lot going for them.
For the “None of the Above Flip Flops are Perfect for Me” Individual: Reefs
Reefs manage to be many things at once: cheaper than Chacos, but a bit pricier that Havianas; with the moldability of Rainbows but not the longevity; sporting the vibrant colors of Havianas, but without the international icon status. They truly are the “Mama Bear” of the flip flop world. For ladies, the classic style is the Sandy, although Reef offers lots more fashion forward designs. Men have the Smoothy to fall back on as well as a healthy variety of styles to choose from.
Men: it is worth noting that Reef annually crowns a “Miss Reef” and produces a pretty impressive Reef Girls Calendar.
The last thing you should remember: Flip flop tan lines are sexy.