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Flip Flop Debate

8 years ago by

Flip Flop Debate

Here at the studio, we feel very strongly about the flip flop. All of us, with the exception of Garance, are anti flip flop. Maybbbbeeeeee for the beach but there is absolutely no freakin’ way Brie, Erik, Emily, Amanda or I are wearing that piece of rubber with a flimsy thong attached to it in the dirty streets of New York. No way.

Even a sandal is tricky in this city. By the end of the day you have a mysterious layer of black soot caked to the bottom of your feet. I think i tried to wear flip flops once, when I first moved to New York from Los Angeles (more acceptable there). By the end of the day my whole foot was black. Plus you just feel so exposed to all the spit loogies, vomit, and cloudy puddles that you encounter in a New York minute. Garance however, disagrees with us. She feels like it is just as much of a shoe as the Adidas slides that we all love (I stand by my opinion but she is probably right).

What do you think? Is a flip flop an acceptable shoe to walk around the city in?


Add yours
  • Great post Dear ;)


  • come on! you hate a piece of plastic on your feet but you love the slides because… trendy!…


  • for example in Istanbul it is hard to wear flip flop because you will feel like you don’t wear a shoe.. I like to wear sandals but yes I’ll have got black feet.

  • I’ve an Adidas flip flops that I was wearing normally on the streets and my streets are not less dirtier than NYC, so I’m with Grance at this point, Im not wearing them very much on the streets now but I don’t see them any different than the slippers or slides trends that we Now normally wear at the streets, I’m mean have you tried the Jeans outfit with flip flops!?, yes, It’s a thing. http://www.fashionparadoxes.com/2014/08/02/jeeen-over-jeeen/

  • Juliana April, 13 2016, 3:23 / Reply

    OH, I feel so sorry for you. Let me explain:
    Im brazilian, an havaianas are kind of mandatory here. We wear them to the beach, when we are home, and it’s not unnusual to see someone wearing a pair in a college campus or a mall.
    Of course I don’t feel sorry for you not sharing our opinion, though, I just think it’s a pity that you can’t walk in our streets. There is absolutely no way, even after a whole day, that I would end up with “black soot caked, and in some small cities, even if you go barefoot, you won’t face this issue (i’ve tried, it’s actually impressive). On the other side, if you wear boots… your feet can get really stinky and sweaty.
    What I feel, actually, is a real gratitude for living where I live, when most of fashion articles want to push you into a bigger, urban, near-craziness enviroment… reading this post I see that this major cities are not that perfect. I don’t think you realize (or maybe you do) that sometimes trends are not exposed properly (like you did, pointing the reason why all of you are anti flip flops, saying it’s a hygiene issue), and a book of rules is distributed worldwide, which people follow blindly just because “someone in NY said it” or “it is the best of LA”.
    But not today… today you just made me see my clean feet as my own tropical and exclusive luxury item.
    Thank you.

  • Totally agree. Having bare feet is so nice. And would like to ask, what is wrong with dirty feet? We all wash ourselves at least once a day, no? But I’m not American and getting dirty doesn’t worry me as long as I know I’ll have the possibility to get clean.

  • I think rubber flip-flops are ugly and out of place if you’re not on a beach–I used to wear them allll the time in high school (they were popular; you had to color-coordinate them to your Hollister hoodie), but I never would now (we live and we learn!). But that’s just from an aesthetics standpoint–in terms of exposing your feet to NYC grime, I think most sandals are just as “exposed” as flip-flops. I wear a pair of Madewell leather sandals everywhere all summer, and my feet still get dirty in them, but they’re much more chic and pulled-together than pavement-thwacking flip flops, IMHO.

  • Caroline April, 13 2016, 4:19 / Reply

    I love my flip flops on holidays, but not in Paris… The city is way too dirty for that, plus I don’t want people walking on my feet in the metro!

  • I live in LA and I’m all about flip flops


  • I think it’s not very comfy with flip-flops in NYC. I usually don’t wear them in the city.

    I actually wear shoes or sneakers in summer (with socks or sth like that) ’cause I don’t want my feet to get sunburnt and sore (Has happened many times). :) Not very comfy or beautiful, but it is practical…


  • Susanne April, 13 2016, 6:19 / Reply

    Having grown up in Florida, it feels unnatural and claustrophobic to enclose my feet in a proper shoe. I’d love to show off my painted toes every day if I could, but now this girl lives just outside of Boston and sandals and flip flops are not practical choice for most of the year to say the least. When it rains and the air temperature nears 55+ degrees F, I’ll wear my waterproof Havaianas any day over rain boots. Yes, the neighbors think I’m bonkers, but it’s part of my charm. What’s more, the flip flop is the preferred shoe for much of the world both in and out of metro areas. While a day in NYC in flip flops might require a deep cleaning of your tootsies (and perhaps a Tetanus shot), I still love them and always will.

  • We let you wear them in LA! : )

  • Absolutely not! Wear these instead!!!

  • Sanja Van Huet April, 13 2016, 10:32 / Reply

    When I travelled and lived in London and Spain for a period of time – no one wore flip flops (or thongs as we call them in Australia – and yes – we know what you refer to thongs as – we call those G strings). When I returned to Australia – of course everyone was wearing flip flops, and all I could think of was how unfashionable and dowdy I considered my fellow Australians – as the flip flop was worn with shorts and a t shirt.
    I was so used to the way the Londoners celebrate their uniqueness in their dress – albeit either all dark or all neon. But most telling was the difference between the classy-ness and classic-ness of the Spanish – who celebrate their best clothes and would never be seen in public wearing ‘beach attire’. That was reserved for the ‘touristos’. It took me a long time to acclimatise back to the flip flop once I got home. I still wont wear a pair for everyday unless I am at home or at the beach – or in a strange shower at a camping ground – which is when they are the most useful.


  • let’s keep flip flops at the beach! Oh and Australia. Aussies wear flip flops EVERYWHERE, they even triumph over the Californians!

  • What? The Adidas slide is fine, but a flip flop or a sandal are not? That makes no sense. :D Me, I don’t wear flip flops, ever. They are just too flimsy, they may come off or you may slip over the side and land with your heel on the ground, awkwardly. I’m not against open toe shoes in general, though, I just choose sturdier and/or classier options. And still, after a day in the city, your toes are dirty as hell, that just comes with the territory. I wouldn’t confine my feet in stuffy sneakers in the heat, just to protect them from getting dirty.

  • mademoiselle mauve April, 14 2016, 4:40 / Reply

    si pas de sandales vous portez quoi l’été à NY ?

  • I HATE the flip flop too and so glad there are other people that feel the same. I live in London and there is just no way anyone would walk around in a flip flop. My ex from Florida would always try to get me to wear them but I just can’t! x


  • I don’t like to see flip flops or any beachwear in town (my town is London). Maybe I’m old fashioned but make a bit of an effort. And gnarled no-pedi feet are a no-no in my book too (including you guys). I do have a sneaky admiration for people who don’t give a flying f**k however.

  • It is a definite no no from me – they add nothing exciting or interesting to an outfit


  • totally agree i am so anti flip flops especially in cities! Would love to know which flip flops Garance is a fan of? Perhaps she can convert me?

  • caroline April, 14 2016, 9:16 / Reply

    j’adore les Havaianas, mais je ne les porte jamais en ville. non pas pour des questions d’hygiène (je porte des sandales en été et ça ne me gène pas), mais parce que je ne trouve pas cela très pratique lorsque l’on marche beaucoup. je les réserve pour la maison, le bord des piscines ou la plage.

  • Cristiana April, 14 2016, 11:41 / Reply

    I live in Miami Beach and flip-flops are a no-brainer here, in Milan when I used to live before, not so much.

  • I live in a suburban town in the Midwest. My shoes are never ever fashionable but they are ones I love. In the winter I wear boots, clogs, or flats – depending on how much snow/cold there is. But as soon as the temps rise to 60 or above, I’m in flip flops (with a thicker sole, not the shower kind) constantly – and dislike having to put on “real shoes” to go to work on weekdays!). I would live in flip flops if I could..and half my town does too. I went to college in Chicago, though, and wouldn’t wear flip flops everywhere if I visit. I’d probably choose something more fashionable. But for now, am blissfully happy in my unfashionable shoes – waiting for it to be warm enough to wear my flip flops!

  • I know this is a big debate, i’m so anti flip flop in big cities like here in Paris (too dirty !!! Too out of place !! Viva beautiful shoes !!) but some of my friends still wear them. Yuck. Please at least people take care of your nails and feet of you are going to show that much !

  • Linda Spencer April, 14 2016, 2:59 / Reply

    Noooo….I love flip flops. Just bought navy havaianas in Portugal for British summer. Love the moment every year it’s finally warm enough to wear them.

  • There is no way I would wear flip flops in the city. I feel naked, unsafe and very under dressed. I dont like it at all.
    On the other side, I can wear them in the city, but I dont like the ruber ones, ew, I own a very cute pair made of leather. Comfy and practical.

  • Mónica April, 14 2016, 4:26 / Reply

    No way! I tried to wear flip flops to get around here in Mexico City and couldn’t even make past my front door. The city is too dirty :(

  • I also live in NYC and I have to admit, I wear flip flops every day during the summer as I commute to work!

  • Je vis à Montréal. Personnellement, plus j’avance et les sandals c’est pas toujours pratique niveau hygiènes mes pieds devient très sales effectivement. Une fois arrivée à la maison, disons qu’en soirée durant l’été je prends un peu plus de temps dans la douche. La saleté est bizarrement TENACE comme tout. Pour moi, le tout doit être clean avant que je mes pieds touches mes draps.

  • Katarzyna April, 15 2016, 2:40 / Reply

    Oh, I like flip flops, but can’t really wear them – I’ve yet to find a pair that won’t cause blisters between my toes.
    I remember having ones when I was a child, but for the love of god can’t remember what material were they made of.

    It is trial and error proces for me, but I’m slowly giving up, tired of spending on shoes that I can’t wear.

    And another issue – how can you even walk safely in them- I mean without causing yourself troubles in longterm? I don’t even wear slides for that reason cause I don’t like my foot being all over the place, I need something to hold me my ankles :) Sandals ftw!

  • Another Kate April, 15 2016, 7:42 / Reply

    So from all the other comments we can conclude it’s a regional thing. When I lived in the US I wouldn’t dream of wearing them anywhere, anytime. Now I’m back home in Australia and they’re my go to summer footwear. A pair of havaianas (thank you Brazil) look chic in the city, town and country (not for the beach, bare feet only). They even trump my K Jacques for comfort and convenience. As for hygiene, I’m with Juliana, my feet don’t seem to get dirty in this warm climate, unless I’m walking through a dusty paddock. Long live the thong!

  • I would’t go out with flip flops or very flat sandals because I feel kind of naked. I once used to wear flip flops a lot, but now I would use them just to go to the beach.
    I find them too casual, not hygienic at all, so not acceptable (even Adidas slides, which are swimming pool slippers), to go around a city.

  • vanessa la belge April, 15 2016, 10:40 / Reply

    Il n’y a rien à faire. Une paire de tongs basiques noires ou blanches (ouais, le havaïanas, si vous voulez) fonctionne avec TOUT. En ville ou à la plage (à condition d’avoir une pédi irreproachable évidement).
    Par contre je suis totalement ANTI claquettes de piscine…

  • I will hate flip-flops forever. Loved the noise they make when I was 10 years old. Bought a pair in Rio last year, because the display by color in the Havaianas stores looked too good. Have not worn them in Paris since then. May try to wear them on the beach in Ipanema when I go back in August.

  • No one mentioned this, but I find the noise of flip-flops disgusting. I don’t mind it too much on the beach (just like over-exposed skin is tolerable there), but not in the city or a crowded subway. With so many sandals options, why choose a stupid, flimsy flip-flop?

  • J`aime beucoup les flip-flops, mais je ne les porte jamais en ville. Je ne pense pas que c`est pratique parce que je marche beaucoup pendant la journée – j`ai deux boulots. je les porte avec plaisir à la maison, à la plage.

  • Adidas slides are the most unflattering pair of shoes ever created. No, thanks!

  • Martine May, 23 2016, 9:18 / Reply

    I think they are fine, but I refuse to wear any slides or backless shoes, because I like to be able to run. If I have to flop about using my toes to keep my shoes on, i just won’t wear them. I prefer sandals with thicker straps. Like Tevas.

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