Highsnobiety / Timothy Schaumburg

When it comes to summer footwear, the truth is that there are few options more comfortable than a pair of flip-flops. They may not be the most formal of footwear choices nor the most avant-garde, but it’s hard to deny the fact that they are incredibly practical and damn comfortable, too.

For many though, it hard to imagine wearing the thonged shoe for anything other than a trip to the beach, a summer getaway, or lounging around the house. If these associations are hard to break free from, just consider the shoe’s origins. The flip flop is an evolution of the Japanese zori, one of the most ancient forms of footwear, which was worn for a range of occasions from work to tea ceremonies, and even by samurai warriors. After World War II, they made their way into Western countries, introduced by brands such as Havaianas in Brazil, who remade them using rubber, a more enduring and weather-resistant material, and they became the go-to for beach-side living.

This waterside-association prevails today, but as cycles of fashion subvert what was once considered a faux pas (dad sneakers, crocs, and slides and socks, for example) this is poised to change. The slide and sandal combo in particular was considered almost a cardinal sin until Kanye wore them with a suit in 2018 and the internet went crazy. Yes, this was partly because they didn’t fit him properly, but also because they were such a controversial choice of footwear for the occasion. Fast forward one year and socks and sandals were everywhere.

Now that we’ve been eased into the socks and sandals look and Margiela’s Tabi boots have helped us get over the unwarranted revulsion towards our toes, flip flops are well-positioned to make their entrance. They’ve already started cropping up in unexpected places, like Abush’s SS20 lookbook and our latest magazine issue. So with that in mind, here are our five tips for pulling off a pair of flip flops.

Try Socks

Highsnobiety / Timothy Schaumburg

Let’s be honest, socks and sandals never should have been a thing, but sometimes our need for comfort prevails and the fugly becomes the fashionable. The long-considered fashion faux pas of socks and sandals was on the come up last summer and we’re predicting it to continue in full force this year, so there’s never been a better time to tread new territory and try out the socks x flip flop combo.

Thankfully, the rise of the Tabi boot has seen a number of brands come out with split-toe socks and there’s an array of styles to choose from. Ambush, Nike, BAPE and Havaianas are just a few of the brands that have got you covered in the toe department.

 

Get a Pedicure

We can’t stress this enough – if you want to ditch the socks and go full frontal and, get a pedicure. Or at the very least invest in a nail kit, moisturiser, and some foot deodorant. Society is at a point now where we are finally ridding ourselves of outdated beauty ideals but, sadly, our feet haven’t yet been subject to the same mass acceptance. Nevertheless, we are here to damn all foot shamers, it’s no different to judging anyone on any part of their god-given physique. So whatever the shape or size of your foot, we encourage you to display them proudly, just make sure those nails are trimmed – no one wants to see your claw-like talons.

Decorate your Feet

For those of you still on the fence about walking around with your feet on display, consider them another opportunity to accessorize. We freely decorate our necks, hands, heads, and faces, so why not our feet?

Customize

The beauty of the wallet-friendly, rubber flip flop is that you can play around with customizing them without the fear of damaging something you’ve dropped serious cash on. With their simple construction, the flip flop is a perfect canvas to draw on, color up, switch out the thong, flip the sole, add rings…

Experiment

Highsnobiety / Timothy Schaumburg

For the creatively inclined, we challenge you to take it one step further and experiment with the actual shape itself, as there are few limits when it comes to pushing the boundaries of this simple silhouette. Consider attaching a different sole (see our ASICS hybrid at the top of the page) or tapping into one of last summer’s trends and adding a heel.

Follow our tips and when the summer heatwave sweeps through the city, you’ll be ready to saunter down the street, your feet sweat-free and odourless, while others look on in envy as sweat pools in their sneakers.

Get started by taking a look at Havaianas offering, here.

 

  • Photographer: Timothy Schaumburg
  • Assistant Photographer: Kristina Weinhold
  • Assistant Photographer: Lukas Städtler
  • Art Director: Stella Richter
  • Creative Director: Dimitri Hikimian
  • Model: Katharina (Let It Go MGMT)
  • Stylist: Rachael Rodgers
  • Styling Assistant: Ina Witzel
  • Nail Artist: Maddy Ayers
  • Hair & Make Up: Susanna Jonas
  • Senior Producer: Semjon Pitschugin
  • Talent Manager: Fania Folaji
  • Intern: Sophia Parisel
  • Project Management: Sarah Vielhaus
  • Postproduction: Stupid Studios
Words by Lucy Thorpe