1. According to Ancient Egyptian murals, the earliest use of flip flops occurred around 4,000 B.C. (The earliest documented use of footwear was during the Stone Age, about 15,000 years ago.)
2. The earliest pair of flip flops, from between 1550 B.C. and 1307 B.C. were unearthed in Europe and made of papyrus leaves.
3. Flip flops are usually made from rubber, foam, plastic, leather, suede, hemp, recycled materials or even yoga mats. Here are some of the other materials used to make flip flops throughout the world:
4. The Ancient Greeks wore the toe strap between their 1st and 2nd toes. The Ancient Romans wore the strap between the 2nd and 3rd toes. The Mesopotamians wore the strap between the 3rd and 4th toes.
5. India has a relative to the flip flop called a Kolhapuri chappal, meaning “toe knob”. Kolhapuris (named for the location they originated) have T-straps with a loop around the toe.
The oldest Indian footwear, called Paduka, has no straps and only a small knob that sits between the 1st and 2nd toes.
6. Flip flops are known by many other names:
7. Flip flops became popular in America after soldiers returned from World War II with Japanese zori. By the 1950’s, they were being mass produced in bright colors and worn all over the country. Eventually, they became associated with beach goers and a laid back lifestyle.
8. Though it is hard to determine exact figures, it is believed that flip flop production is approximately a $20 billion industry. In 2006, flip flop sales surpassed athletic shoe sales for the first time.
9. The correct spelling is “flip-flops” with a hyphen.
Do you know any fun flip flop facts I missed? Let me know in the comments!