More flop than flip, says author of so-called summer shoes

We recently took the kids to an amusement park and noticed that there were now flip-up storage lockers at the front of the lines for the roller coasters. Ride attendants make announcements asking you to put your flip flops and other loose items in a locker so you don’t lose them.

Inevitably, when the flip announcement was made, half of the people in line slipped off their so-called shoes and shoved them into the lockers, where they then collected them after the ride.

Being a rational person with a healthy curiosity, I wondered why anyone would wear flip flops at an amusement park. Flip flops for the beach? Of course, that makes sense because the rocker action makes it easy to shake the sand between your toes.

But flip flops in a place where you might roll over while experiencing G-forces? Not to mention the miles of walking from one end of the park to the other? Have flip flops lost their minds and sense of proper footwear?

I hate to judge but, let’s face it, flip flops are a poor excuse for a shoe. It’s a flimsy rubber plate attached to a Y-shaped strap. There’s not even a hint of arch support or toe protection. (And yes, I know how old and unhip it sounds to advocate sensible shoes.) Nonetheless, I say the rocker is a shoe sloth – a foot freeloader.

When someone loses a fingernail in the summer, you can almost bet it’s a flip-flop. In 2015, Brad Pitt famously bruised his face after tripping while climbing stairs while wearing – wait for it – flip flops. The verdict is clear. The day shoe design technology was distributed, flip flops were smoking weed at the beach.

But there’s no denying the crazy appeal of flip flops for millions of people. Flip flops enthusiasts claim that these are the most comfortable shoes in the world. But I never liked the feeling of a strap between my toes more than the idea of ​​a thong underwear crossing other more personal valleys of my anatomy. I just feel bad. If that makes me a shoe prude, so be it.

The biggest thing about the seesaw is how easily you can get in or out of it. This makes them convenient for fetching the newspaper and checking the mailbox. But if, God forbid, you have to suddenly sprint out of danger (a snake, perhaps), flip-flops are not your friend. They will flip and crumble as you run away.

Despite what I consider their many flaws, flip flops have cultivated a loyal, almost fanatical base, having grown into a $2 billion industry in America. Long before people at amusement parks wore them, ancient Egyptians tossed and turned around the Middle East with them. Flip-flops have even been found depicted in rock drawings.

Research shows they spread to America in the 1950s after soldiers brought them back from Japan as souvenirs. In Japan, they were called Zori’s, but Americans renamed them for the characteristic sound they make when bumping bare feet.

Flip flops have come a long way since then and, I admit, there are some pretty ones bedazzled with jewels, sequins, polka dots, florals and more. Some brides even ditch their heels for fancy bridal flip flops.

But I, for my part, have still not returned for them. In my book, they are all flop.

Gwen Rockwood is a syndicated freelance columnist. Email him at [email protected] His book is available on Amazon.