Flip Flop Fantastic

29 Jun

Flip flops, how I love thee- let me count the ways…

1) You slide on my feet without complaint

2) You don’t trap sand and wood chips from the playground

3) You look cute with anything, from pants to skirts

4) You feel good on my feet all day long, even in the hottest weather

5) You don’t mind getting wet

6) You’re affordable, so I can have a polygamous love affair with several of you

Nothing says “summer” on your feet quite like flip flops – they take me from the grocery store to watering flowers in the garden without a hiccup. I never have to think about matching with an outfit – the right flip flops will go with everything.

After a year of test-driving, here are my motherhood-compatible favorites:

Teva Mandalyn Ola Wedge

Teva Mandalyn Ola Wedge: why buy just one pair when a two-pack sells for $56?

The Teva Mandalyn Wedge Ola, which looks dressy (for a flip flop) thanks to the higher heel and thin, decorative straps, but does not compromise walkability and comfort. It hugs my foot with two straps on either side, and the footbed is cushy. It costs about $30 a pair (you can even buy them in 2-packs for $56 at Zappos with free shipping!) They come in many cute color combinations, but I forced myself to stop at two – the basic black and the brown – and between them, I have just about every outfit covered.

Mandalyn Wedge Side View

The heel on the Mandalyn Wedge strikes the perfect balance between style and comfort

Note that Teva also makes a Mandalyn flip flop with a standard heel, but if the product name doesn’t say “wedge” then the heel is flat. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two if viewed from above.

Speedo Womens Pool Thong

The Speedo Womens Pool Thong for poolside and beyond

The Speedo swim flip flop, the all-plastic & foam materials are highly water compatible but super cushy. It’s intended to be worn after getting out the pool but I find myself slipping it on to wear around the house (or in the garden when the hose comes on) because the straps and footbed cradle my foot in a lightweight pillow of foamy comfort.

Havaianas silver flip flop

The hip and ubiquitous Havaianas flip flop from Brazil - catchy, but worth $30?

It’s hard to miss the latest trend in flip flops, the Havaianas brand flip flop from Brazil. They’re on shoe racks and young feet everywhere. I can’t help but wonder how this company somehow manages to charge $30 for a pair of plastic flip flops that otherwise costs $5 at Old Navy. Is it pure cachet associated with the brand prominently displayed across the strap?  Its devotees swear they are the most comfortable flip flop in existence. I remain skeptical but must admit, after visiting their web site, the huge range of color options does appeal to me – as does the understated styling.  If there’s a color combination you can’t seem to find in the stores, you can even make your own and have it sent to you!

The Havaianas espadrille for $38 might well be my next shoe purchase.

One other style that caught my eye on Havaianas web store was their espadrilles for $38- they have taken the traditional cloth shoe upper and sewn it on their foam sole.  Sounds like a pretty cushy ride. Since I have otherwise not been able to find an espadrille under $80 (which I find to be an obscene price for a shoe made of straw and cloth), I might end up springing for a pair of these to wear in a summery color like red or aqua blue.

However, it’s going to be hard to resist ordering a pair of flip flops for my daughter, who adores them almost as much as I do. The heel strap on the “baby” styles makes the shoe more compatible with the littlest walkers. These shoes are yet another reason why it’s often more fun to shop for my kids than for myself. I wouldn’t choose a gold flip flop for myself, but somehow, I know my 2 year old daughter could pull these off with style points to spare.

Havaianas baby flip flop

Havaianas Baby flip flop in Butterfly

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One Response to “Flip Flop Fantastic”

  1. suzanne July 1, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    My favorite brand is Reef. After years of trying different ones and suffering between my toes, I had actually given up. Then my life changed- I found Reef flip flops! They are the only ones so far that NEVER give me blisters. Getting to wear flip flops is yet another reason why being a mama is better than being a lawyer.

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