Although I know flip flops aren’t the best footwear for our feet (but they’re so comfortable!), I was curious about the history of this shoe, and here’s a brief summary of what I learned. Thong sandals (flip flops) are the oldest form of footwear and have been around at least six thousand years, as evidenced by Egyptian murals dating from 4,000 B.C. The flipfloppictureplacement of the toe strap varied among ancient civilizations; the Romans used the second toe, the Greeks the big toe, and the Mesapotanians the third toe.

Flip flops didn’t appear in America until after World War II when soldiers brought the Japanese zori back as souvenirs. They became more popular after the Korean War, when soldiers again brought them back as souvenirs. At that time, flip flops signified an informal lifestyle, more specifically that of the “surf culture”. But as styles have changed, so has the status of the flip flop. Once representing a working class lifestyle because they were so inexpensive, they are now showing up on model catwalks and have been spotted at such pretentious affairs as the Cannes Film Festival and at the White House to meet the president.

The term “flip flop” became popular in the ‘60s and is a trademark protected brand-name owned by flip*flop GmbH and the Bernd Hummel Group in Germany. The basic design of the flip flop has remained the same throughout time, although flip flops are now made from rubber, wood, plastic, leather or bamboo, and come in a variety of colors and styles, some with platforms. Currently the US market for flip flops is estimated at 2 billion dollars, with the majority of this footwear priced under $50 per pair.

My favorite pair of flip flops: black and neon pink, purchased at Wal-Mart for under $10.

To see this blog and more info about flip-flops, go to:  Kellie Caldwell’s Burgers, Beaches & Bars™: www.