In footwear and fashion, flip-flops are a kind of flat, backless sandal that consist of a flat sole held on the foot by a u-shaped strap that passes between the first (big) and second toes and around either side of the foot, attached to the sole at three points, commonly known as the thong strap. They appear to have been developed out of traditional Japanese woven or wooden soled sandals (i.e., zori and setta) in Australia.

This sandal is known by different names in different localities:

* In Argentina they are known as ojotas.
* In Australian English these are known as thongs, pluggers or in the case of the sturdier double plugged design, double pluggers and often are considered an Australian icon.
* In Brazil and Portugal, they are known as chinelos or sandálias and sometimes albeit incorrectly as havaianas (a popular brand) or cariris
* In Chile they are called chalas or sandalias and also hawaianas.
* In China they are called Ren Zi Tuo, meaning a similar shape as the Chinese character 人(Human)
* In Colombia they are known as chanclas.
* In Croatia they are known as Japanke.
* In the Czech republic they are called Vietnamky or Žabky (little frogs).
* In Egypt they are known as Shebsheb.
* In Estonia they are known as frons.
* In France, they are called tongs.
* In Hawaii and Netherlands, flip-flops are known as slippers or slippas.
* In India, similar sandals are known as chappals. Some kinds of chappals are made of leather, and some have a strap over the big toe.
* In Indonesia, they are known as sandal jepit (or sometimes sendal jepit).
* In Israel, they are known as Kafkafim or Kafkafei Etsba.
* In Italy, they are known as infradito (between toes).
* In Jamaica, they are known as slippers or sandals.
* In Japan, modern western style flip-flops are known as sandaru, differentiating them from traditional Japanese footwear.
* In Kuwait, they are known as an-na'aal
* In Malaysia they are known as Selipar Jepun (Japanese Slipper).
* In Malawi they are known as "ma slippas" or "ma pata pata".
* In Mexico they are known as Chanclas or Guaraches.
* In Micronesia they are known as Zorries.
* In New Zealand English they are known generically as jandals (Japanese Sandals), a name used by one manufacturer. However intellectual property law prevented the term Jandals being used when sold in other countries.
* In Pakistan they are known as chappals, qainchey chappals or Hawaiian chappals
* In Peru they are known as sayonaras or slaps.
* In the Philippines they are known as tsinelas in Tagalog and slippers in English. It is also called step-in in colloquial term.
* In Poland they are known the same as in New Zealand - Japonki (Japanese Sandals).
* In Puerto Rico they are known as chancletas or sandálias' .
* In Russia they are known as Lyagushki or Shlepki or Vietnamki or also known as Slantse (see wiktionary:shlep)
* In Slovenia they are known as sandali, natikači or japonke (Japanese Sandals).
* In South Africa they are also known as slops.
* In Spain they are also known as chanclas
* In Trinidad & Tobago they are known as Slippers
* In Turkey they are known as Tokyo
* In the United States, they are generally known as flip-flops, thongs, and beach walkers
* In the United States Army, they are known as shower-shoes
* In the United States Navy, they are known as go-slowers, meaning due to safety concerns you should go slow while wearing them
* In Venezuela they are known as cholas

Flip flops were not always the fashion staple many consider them today. Up until the late 1990s, flip flops were considered strictly poolside or beach wear.

In developing countries, rubber flip-flops are the cheapest footwear available – typically less than $1. Despite their disposable design, street vendors will repair worn sandals for a small fee. Sometimes flip-flops are made of recycled rubber tires, reducing the cost even further. They are the footwear of choice for indigent workers, being worn for farming, construction, and other heavy manual work.

Flip flops are also popular with barefooters when they have to wear shoes since they allow the foot to be out in the open but still constitute a shoe, and can be quickly and easily removed to expose one's bare feet. They are also popular because they are easy to bring in a backpack or purse because of their flat design.

Many people consider flip-flops comfortable, and flip-flops tend to conform to the foot structure of the wearer.

Some people like to wear the sandals every day. Unfortunately, flip-flops are often not very sturdy and the straps may snap after moderate use (this is known as a "blowout"). They can be fixed, but many people choose to just buy new ones, discarding of the old ones. Unintentionally in the name of fashion, the invention of interchangeable straps that lock into the base of the sandal ameliorated this problem. Still, the average life expectancy of a pair is perhaps only a year or so depending on the material make-up of the soles.

The term "flip-flop" derives from the rhythmic slapping noise that the sandals make while slapping against the wearer's heels and the floor as she walks. In recent years, flip-flops have become a popular fashion statement, especially among high school and college age females. They seem to be worn with almost any combination of clothing, and some regular users even wear them in the wintertime, although more commonly of the slide variety (ie Adidas Adilette) and with socks. They are most commonly worn in the summertime, usually with shorts, but sometimes by women with capri pants or jeans.

On July 19, 2005, some members of Northwestern University's national champion women's lacrosse team were criticized for wearing flip-flops to the White House to meet with President George W. Bush. Many weighed in on this controversy including Meghan Cleary, a footwear expert, who stated that a closed-toe shoe would have been more appropriate. Cleary noted on MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast program as saying the flip-flop flap indicated a cultural shift similar to when blue jeans were first worn in public.

Flip-flops are the stripped-down essence of footwear — essentially a thin rubber sole with two simple straps running in a Y from the sides of the foot to the join between the big toe and next toe. Popular use of flip-flops as simple warm climate beach or outdoor wear has spread through much of the world, although it is most common in Australia, New Zealand, other Pacific Islands, and East Asia.

In Japan and Korea, where it is common to leave shoes outside the house and the use of squat toilets is common, flip-flops are typically provided to wear while using the toilet.

The use of flip-flops has also been encouraged in some branches of European and North American military as sanitary footwear in communal showers, where wearing flip-flops slows the spread of fungal infections. Following on from this, some soldiers and other trampers or hikers have begun carrying flip-flops, or a pair of flip-flop soles sewn to socks, as a lightweight emergency replacement for damaged boots.

Indeed, the Indian manifestation of the flip-flop, the chappal, has even been known to be deployed as a weapon, both as a truncheon and a missile, although it is more commonly merely a threat. It is not unheard of for people to whip off their chappals in the heat of an argument, in order to make their aggravation more palpable to the other party. (Touching the shoes or feet of another, in some Indian cultures, is a sign of respect or submission).

Flip-flops were inspired by the traditional woven soled zori or "Japanese Sandals", (hence "jandals"). Woven Japanese zori had been used as beach wear in New Zealand in the 1930s, (and according to one source, called Jandals then); in the austere immediate post war period in both New Zealand and America versions were briefly popularized by servicemen returning from occupied Japan, but the idea of making them from rubber or plastics, which were relatively new at the time, does not appear to have occurred for another decade. The modern design was invented in Auckland, New Zealand by Maurice Yock in the 50's and patented in 1957.

Despite being commonly used to describe any manufacturer's Jandals, the word Jandal has been a trademark since 1957, for a long time owned by the Skellerup company. At one point a competitor sold Jandels. In countries outside the Pacific, jandals have, for intellectual property reasons, become known by other names, for example thongs in Australia, where the first pair were manufactured by Skellerup rival Dunlop in 1960, or flip-flops (UK and US).

In New Zealand, the phrase "to handle the jandal" is a common idiom. As an example, Ben can't handle the jandal indicates that the subject Ben is incapable of dealing with his particular situation.

Some people will say that they like the open feet feeling and the little strap that goes between their toes, Also sometimes people wear flip-flops because they want to draw other's attention while making the slapping noise that comes out from the flip-flops while walking with them.

Flip flops now come in a variety of shoe styles other than the traditional flat sandal, such as women's heels, slides, and wedges.

The shoes gained popularity as celebrities started wearing them and high end designers started producing them. Designer Sigerson Morrison first added a kitten heel to flip flops.

The thongaphone is a musical instrument made of lengths of tubing (usually PVC) cut into tuned lengths - much like an oversized set of panpipes. The tubes are usually open at both ends, although one end may be closed. Sound is produced by striking across one of the open ends with a thong.

* in the lyrics of the 1977 hit Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett "I blew out my flip-flop"
* Flip-flops have come to be seen as an important item of Kiwiana, and are often referenced in New Zealand and Pacific Island Culture. A Jandal designed to be posted and sent through the mail was produced as a gimmick to send overseas. Jandals can be seen in:
* at the closing ceremony for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Kylie Minogue was carried into the stadium on a giant thong to perform "On a Night Like This".
* the cartoon Footrot Flats, where farming characters like Wal and Rangi wear them, when not wearing gumboots
* in the Naked Samoans inspired television family, Mrs. Samesi's usual method of showing displeasure is a well-aimed jandal,
* in wearable art, a number of up-market and quirky jandal designs have appeared, (while a dress made out of jandals appeared on a Drag Queen in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert)
* in the cartoon sitcom Bro'Town, where characters frequently wear jandals, and in the episode, "The Wong One", jandals were used as a Kung Fu weapon
* in the lyrics of King Kapisi, "I'm goin' stompin, in my big Pacific Island jandals," and in his music videos, in one of which jandals were used to take bids at a sheep auction
* The Golden Jandal, awarded at the Radio Active 89FM Handle the Jandal awards, to celebrate D.I.Y. music videos for New Zealand music.
* NZ culture news and links site, "Dag and Jandal".
* NZ TV series Jandals Away.
* In the Online MRPG VMK green flip-flops are one of the most sought-after items
* A popular campaign theme for the Republican Party was to label 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry as indecisive on the issues, or a "flip-flopper." Delegates at the 2004 Republican National Convention could be seen waving flip-flops.
* In movie It's All Gone Pete Tong, flip-flops are one of the main motive and major figure of DJ Frankie Wilde said "Flip-flop is to me perfection."
* In 2005, the Northwestern Women's Lacrosse team had a photograph taken with President George W. Bush. The photo raised significant controversy because several of the women wore flip-flops in the picture, sparking a debate over proper attire in youth culture.
* Recently, rapper Cam'ron has criticized Jay-Z publicly for his wearing of jeans with chancletas, which are relatively cheap sandals usually favored by latinos. However, many believe Jay-Z was actually wearing some form of expensive slipper, not the relatively cheap chancletas, which are usually worn with socks and not with jeans.
* The cartoon illustrated fiction book, "Flip Flop Bop," written by Matt Novak in 2005 tells the story of young school children who mark the end of school and the start of summer by wearing flip flops from "The Flip Flop Shop." This rhyming children's read showcases the growing popularity of the shoe that was once stictly beach wear.

While commonly believed to be comfortable, flip-flops provide little to no ankle support, and are responsible for many foot related issues. Dr. John E. Mancuso, a podiatrist at the Manhattan Podiatry Associates in New York pointed out that some flip-flops have a spongy sole, so when then foot hits the ground, it rolls inward and the sponge allows it to roll even more than usual. This is known as pronation and causes many problems in the foot. Each time a foot hits the ground, the arch is supposed to be locked to absorb shock. But during pronation, the arch opens and releases this locking mechanism, leading to problems such as pain in the heel, the arch, the toes and in the forefoot. Exacerbating this, some flip-flops force a person to overuse the tendons in the foot, which can cause tendonitis.

The need to control the pronation or supinaton of the foot is currently being questioned.

Ankle sprains are also common due to stepping off a curb or stepping wrong, the ankle bends, but the flip flop does not hold on to nor supports it. The open nature of flip-flops also exposes the foot to the environment.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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