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Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Last updated: 07-17-2019

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Are Flip-Flops Doomed to Be Forever Un-Cute?

Greetings from the sartorial Upside Down. Once-embarrassing dad trends, like tropical print button-downs and chunky sneakers worn with visible socks, are veritably coveted among fashion’s elite. Sophisticated restraint has been traded for campy maximalism; outfits aren’t complete unless they’ve been adorned with pom-poms, feathers, beads and statement jewelry that looks wholly DIYed. And reader, flip-flops are cute.

This last point is a newer one—for decades, flip-flops have been crafted near-exclusively from foam and plastic, purchased near-exclusively from beach-side tourist shacks, and worn near-exclusively by the ocean, pool or body of water of your choosing. But things have changed. Flip-flops—and cute flip-flops, at that—are now on offer at a swath of go-to retailers. Anthropologie, Topshop and Zara have an abundant array of flip-flops listed; so do designer-heavy spots like Shopbop and Farfetch. Flip-flops have undergone something of a trend-facing makeover, too. These days, flip-flops are as likely to be crafted from semi-luxurious textiles like leather and velvet as they are to be crafted from cheap foam, and they’re liable to be adorned with everything from tassels to crystals, snake prints to layered woven straps. At this point, it’s almost impossible to deny it: Flip-flops are officially experiencing a renaissance.

Though our hearts may have a hard time separating next-generation flip-flops from their inherently tacky origins, our feet and eyes will undoubtedly have an easier one. Flip-flops have never not been comfy—and they’ve never not been comfy, either. Shoes that require any lacing or buckling up are ill-fit for the beach, no matter how cute they look on Instagram. Nothing compares to the delicious convenience of a slip-on, and no slip-on stays put on the foot quite like a flip-flop.

It’s time for us all to, finally, accept the flip-flop. It’s no longer undeniably un-cute. And the perks it offers are, simply, too good to pass up any longer. Flip-flops are making an effort—maybe we should, too.

Flip-flops so chic you could literally get away with wearing them to your friend’s wedding.

We’re not saying heeled flip-flops are the new block heels, but…

A decidedly comfy way to get your summer animal print on.

The more straps, the merrier. (Because the more straps, the more you’re able to obfuscate the fact that these are flip-flops.)

All-neon-everything is one of summer’s favorite palettes, after all.

The perfect complement to your most bohemian dress—or your lowest-key tee-and-jeans ensemble.

Sure to play well with everything in your closet.

We weren’t lying when we said velvet iterations were on offer.

You’re already shameless enough to wear flip-flops. Why not go full-force into jelly sandals, too?

OK, don’t act like you wouldn’t enjoy wearing these.

Sure to turn heads no matter where you wear them.

The structure serves two purposes. One, to render the shoes more interesting. Two, to make them look less flip-floppy.

Tie-dye is still, very much, having a moment.

A terry cloth flip-flop wedge. (We’ll just let you sit with that for a bit.)

Neons and neutrals do a match in heaven make.

Who doesn’t want bedazzled palm trees accompanying them everywhere they go?

Straps near-guaranteed not to leave blisters behind.

An incredibly comfortable way to get your pop-of-color on.

The ultimate (probably very comfy) party shoe.

It was really only a matter of time before the flip-flop trend extended into sporty, striped platform wedges, right? (Right?!!)

Natural materials sure to leave your feet feeling ~connected~ with ~our earth~.

Cinderella’s glass slipper, done the flip-flop way.

OK, the chunky take on the movement definitely works.

Because snake print’s reign has yet to expire.

Adorned with crystals in perhaps the least tacky way possible.

Simultaneously retro and future-facing. Is this 2019, encapsulated in a single pair of shoes?

Perhaps the chicest take on flip-flops imaginable.

At least the palette is decorum-approved.

Not the kind of statement shoe we imagined stocking up on this summer, but hey—this is our world now.

Throw these on with your favorite maxi, and let your feet revel in the comfort.

Not only have flip-flops gotten cuter, they’ve also gotten more office-appropriate, too.

Fit for your next vacation.

These TKEES flip-flops are available in every color under the sun—and we don’t mind the variety.

Because three animal prints are better than one.

The (by all definitions unnecessary) clear vinyl strap leaves these flip-flops feeling surprisingly fresh.

Because red isn’t the only way to do a pop of color.

Quite possibly fit for your next night out.

The second strap definitely keeps these feeling more “strappy block heel” than “obvious flip-flop.”

Orange is an endlessly underrated summer color, and these flip-flop heels just want to rectify that.

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