Flip flops are a style of footwear that date back as far as Ancient Egypt, around 4000 B.C. Contemporary flip flops have developed from the Japanese zori, which became popular in the United States when soldiers brought them back after the end of World War II. The tight cultural ties between America and Great Britain eventually led to the introduction of flip flops in London, where the footwear quickly gained a huge following. Flip flops are mostly worn for light physical activities, such as relaxing at the beach or attending a pool party. However, manufacturers have created more formal looking flip flops that men wear to social events and restaurants.
Men who know the type and size of the flip flops that they want to buy should consider the leading online auction site, eBay. Before men begin to shop for a pair of flip flops, they should consider which type of flip flops to buy, some tips for buying flip flops, and a simple process for acquiring the summer footwear.
What Are Flip Flops?
Flip flops, which are also called thongs and jandals, represent a type of sandal that most people wear in very casual environments. The prototype flip flops consist of flat soles that loosely attach to a Y-shaped strap, which fits between the first and second toes. Some flip flops only have a single strap over the front of a foot. This type of beachwear sandal received its name because of the slapping sound made between the sole and the ground.
Flip Flop Design
The contemporary flip flops design comprises thin rubber soles that have two straps that meet to form a Y configuration. The Y shape runs from the sides of the foot to the gap between the big toe and the toe next to it. Flip flops do not contain straps that attach to the heel, although manufacturers are running trials on athletic flip flops that have straps that attach to the heels. Because of the simplicity of the design, flip flops are one of the least expensive types of footwear.
Flip Flop Materials
Manufacturers construct flip flops using a variety of materials, and at times, combining materials to form hybrids. The primary materials used to make flip flops include: rubber, plastic, foam, leather, and suede. Polyurethane flip flops present environmental problems, since polyurethane takes a very long time to degrade. Due to overflowing landfills and other environmental concerns, some flip flop manufacturers have turned to recycled rubber stripped from tyres and balls to produce their flip flops.
Potential for Injury
Since most flip flops do not have strong support and contain little sole cushion, users who walk for long distances in thongs can experience pain in the ankles, legs, and feet. Research has concluded that people who wear flip flops take shorter steps, causing their heels to receive more pounding from hard walking surfaces. The potential for injury increases when users wear flip flops for activities reserved for other types of footwear. The British National Health Service reports that flip flop related injuries continue to steadily rise. This is why men must have a good idea of when they plan to wear their flip flops, which should primarily be while relaxing at the beach, pool, or walking to and from the loo at home. Flip flops are not made to take a constant pounding or for walking long distances.
Types of Men’s Flip Flops
Men should look at three primary types of flip flops, especially if they are buying flip flops for the first time. Each of the following three types of flips flops are appropriate to wear in specific places.
Foam Flip Flops
Labelled the cheapest of all flip flops, foam-constructed flip flops are easy to find. They do not dent most buyer budgets and they are made specifically for low-energy physical activities. Foam flip flops absorb moisture in humid areas, such as showers, and contain slip-resistant properties that make the footwear popular around the pool. They do require frequent replacement because of the cheap materials used to make them.
Active Flip Flops
Manufacturers have developed stronger flip flops that allow men to wear them while grocery shopping or socialising at a barbecue. Active flip flops contain more support and increased shock absorption capabilities. Some men even wear a pair of active flip flops in casual themed restaurants and on camping trips. Expect a pair of active flip flops to last no more than two summers.
Leather Flip Flops
Treated leather flip flops have become a popular type due to their stylish appearance. Men can wear these flip flops on a summer date with a pair of linen trousers. Leather flip flops can also be worn at outdoor social gatherings where people dress in stylish summer clothing. They complement colourful shirt designs and they have the durability to last up to five years, given an average amount of use.
Men’s Flip Flop Buying Tips
Men should not only be careful where they buy their flip flops, but they should also follow four flip flop shopping tips that can help them save money and find higher-quality summer footwear.
Buy Light Flip Flops
To counter the medical issues presented by flip flops, many manufacturers have created bulky, cumbersome flip flops that defeat the purpose of wearing such footwear. Summer fashion should represent the season, light and carefree. However, wearing flip flops that are weighed down by heavier materials goes against the summer fashion theme. Similarly, the design of heavier flip flops has not been proven to reduce foot and ankle injuries. Thick foam and rubber sole flip flops do not breathe as well as their lighter counterparts. Buy light and then wear the lighter flip flops in the appropriate places.
Havaiana Flip Flops
Havaiana flip flops made their way into the American and British marketplaces during the first decade of the 21st century. This type of flip flop offers men the soft rubber soles that provide just enough durability to endure walks from cars parked away from beaches. While Havaianas look stylish in over a dozen colours, they do not break the bank. Men should consider Havaianas as a first-time flip flop purchase or as a change from another brand of flip flop.
Pay for Quality
Even the most expensive flip flops do not cost an arm and a leg. A pair of treated leather flip flops provide soft comfort for feet after just a few days of steady use. In addition, manufacturers are experimenting with other types of high-end materials for constructing flip flops. The introduction of the new flip flop varieties should be worth the extra cost. As with most products, paying for quality is a better option than continually replacing shoddy flip flops.
Some men think that a pair of clean socks match well with flip flops. They wear socks with the higher-end flip flops that hold up well during day long excursions to the city park. Flip flops are made to allow feet to breathe during the warmer months of the year. Not only do men’s socks decrease breathability, many people think they look silly with a pair of flip flops. Most footwear sales representatives do not try to add socks onto a flip flop sale.
How to Buy Men’s Flip Flops
There are several things to consider while buying a pair of men’s flip flops. Since colour is about the only way to visually distinguish flip flops, try to find a pair that has a design that matches the buyer’s personality. Flip flop sizes correspond to typical shoe sizes, so find a pair that matches the correct shoe size and try them on to get an idea of the fit. Look for sole support and comfort in the toes that are divided by the Y-shaped strap. Be sure to ask questions about durability and foot protection. Flip flops are not for everyone, so it is important to see if the strap irritates the toes or the foot and ankle cannot take added pressure. Since they are inexpensive, buy an extra pair of flip flops to prepare for the day when the current pair can no longer be worn.
Buying Men’s Flip Flops on eBay
eBay offers men a wide selection of flip flops that they can find using different search tools. Men can type "men’s flip flops" into eBay’s search engine and then review the men’s flip flops categories and subcategories. Begin your search by navigating through the the categories and subcategories that contain the most flip flops. Men can also type specific keywords into eBay’s search engine to further narrow their search results. For instance, they can type "men’s size 12 flip flops" or "designer flip flops" to reduce the amount of time spent on a search. Searching by brand name also reduces the number of search results. The best way to search for flip flops on eBay is to use a combination of keywords and categories. To get the most out of eBay’s search tools, men need to be well informed about the types, brands, and materials used to make all types of flip flops.
How to Evaluate eBay Sellers
eBay provides buyers with two tools for evaluating sellers. Buyers can review seller customer feedback that is located on seller product pages. You should consider sellers who have received positive customer feedback for the past year and who have received some feedback for selling footwear. eBay also highlights the top-rated sellers. These sellers have established a strong record of offering quality products and running fair auctions. You can find top-rated sellers by looking for the ribbon icon that appears by seller product photographs.
While finding the right seller for you may take some time, you can reduce the amount of time spent on future flip flop searches by visiting your favourite seller’s eBay store. Many sellers specialise in certain products and they may have specialised products for sale at any given time. Before you participate in a flip flops auction, check out your favourite seller’s eBay store to see if flip flops are available for sale. Your favourite seller may also offer discounts on shipping charges or bundle products at prices that are lower than if you bought the products individually. Sellers may bundle beach towels or suntan lotion with the flip flops that they want to sell.
Flip flops provide men with an inexpensive way to purchase leisure footwear. Men can wear flip flops at the beach or while they relax around the pool. Most types of flip flops are not constructed to handle vigorous activities, and thus, men should avoid wearing most types of flip flops when they plan to walk long distances or engage in activities that place stress on the legs, ankles, and feet. The misuse of flip flops has led to an increase in injuries, mostly sprained ankles and bruised feet. Men should consider flip flops as footwear that have a short lifespan and is best used in a limited role.
However, manufacturers have introduced flip flops that men can wear out to social events and in social environments. The best type of flip flops to wear at cocktail parties or in restaurants is made with treated leather. Leather flip flops that possess stronger soles and cushion support provide more foot and ankle stability. Manufacturers have also broadened the line of designer flip flops that make fashion statements. Regardless of the type of flip flops preferred by a man, he must try them on to ensure he is comfortable wearing footwear that has a thin sole and lack of ankle support.