How Are Flip Flop Sandals Made?

by Simon Slayford

Flip Flops have recently changed from strictly beach wear to an everyday shoe.

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Flip flops are a fun, casual type sandal that has grown in popularity and gone from beach or house wear to a relaxed everyday summer shoe. This type of shoe is characterized by a flat sole and a toe strap with no other straps or sides. Flip flops come in all sizes, are comfortable, versatile, easy to slip in and out of and are relatively to extremely cheap.

Materials

Flip flops can come in a variety of materials. Inexpensive versions are usually a polyurethane, plastic foam or cheap rubber. More expensive flip flops can be made out of special woods such as cork to give comfort and support to the feet, high quality vinyl or other combinations of raw materials. Some companies use recycled car tires to create a cheap, durable and environmentally friendly sole while others use only organic products.

Design

Flips flops vary in design; color and material so that they can serve different purposes, suit different moods and even be worn to different occasions. For example a brightly colored foam flip flop would be perfect to wear to a pool party where a wood bottomed flip flop with a floral strap design would be more appropriate and protective for wearing to the beach. Expensive leather flip flops can be seen on Paris fashion runways and satin or silk flip flops are often being used as evening wear. Design tends to vary per fashion season and wearer preference.

Pieces

Most flip flops are made of only two pieces: the sole or bottom of the shoe and the top strap which is a v-shaped material with all three ends attached to the shoe. The sole of the shoe can be cut out of almost any material using either a foot or shoe pattern. The straps are slightly more complex to make and require either braiding or special design in order to fit the appropriate shape.

Construction

A flip flop sandal is constructed by one of three processes. The first and easiest is only found on the cheapest of flip flops. A sole is cut out of a material and a toe and top foot strap are cut out of vinyl or other suitable flexible material. Holes are punctured through the flip flop and the ends of the straps are tied together under the sole. The second method is also found on cheap shoes and tends to be the least durable. The top straps are simply attached to the top of the sole using either glue or sewing. The third method involves drilling a hole 3/4 of the way through the sole and attaching straps using sewing or glue.

Photo Credits

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