Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cheap Flip Flops For Beach Bums


Whilst I favour TEVA's for scrambling over rock pools and KEEN footwear for trails and hikes, the good old flip flop is a firm favourite for this Beach Bum and many other rubber tramps. The story goes that the flip flop (referred to as "thongs" Down Under or "Jandals" in Kiwi-land - a contraction of Japanese sandals) was inspired by the traditional woven soled zōri from Japan.

This simple shoe's popularity has been exploited by the evil REEF empire (I'm obstinately - and probably quite pointlessly - mounting a personal campaign to highlight their shameless sexploitative marketing tactics) who have managed to hoodwink thousands of us into believing that you need to pay over the odds for a shoe. Rip-off REEF, is what I say.

Sure you have to pay for quality, but many of REEF's flip flops have a price point so high that outlets should throw in a sticker marked "sucker" to stamp on your forehead as you exit the shop. And there are top drawer brands for those with cash to spare. The word is Rainbow Sandals are a cool alternative, and though their web site is as homespun as REEF's is slick, I'm impressed by the fact that the founder, Jay "Sparky" Longley, has resisted the temptation to sell the company to REEF. Respect dude - for presumably the REEF'sters have been dangling all sorts of carrots in from of him, quite possibly including the bottoms of the models whose anonymous bums they love to display.

Anyway, seeing as my old flip flops were frayed and fried beyond repair, I thought I'd pop into Bojangles on the main drag in Perranporth for some sole. I came away with the pair pictured above for the princely sum of £4.99 - a bargain, and Beach Bum loves a bargain. They're supplied by Urban Beach - a company just across the border in Devon - so I can claim to be supporting local businesses x2. There's fine flip flops at competitive prices here if you prefer to order on-line.

Mind you, perhaps this clobber should come with a health warning. When Jimmy Buffet sang "I blew out my flip flop, stepped on a pop top; Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home", he was hinting at some of the downsides of open style footwear. Recent scare stories would have you believe that wearing a flip flop should come with a health warning. If they don't give you ankle sprain and fallen arches, then you'll get skin cancer or, like the claims of this person - a nasty rash. To hell with it, I'll keep wearing them - a style choice you won't catch me flip flopping on.


Anonymous said...

wow I clicked on the link to that poor girl who got burnt by flip flops... nasty story

Leigh said...

I hate Reef ads! Anyway, what else would a Beach Bum wear?? That's the offical uniform of any waterman or waterwoman!

ellie said...

Yukky!! I don't know which looks worse - the rash or the feet themselves! Anyone with feet that ugly should never ever display them by wearing flip flops - this is exactly the sort of thing that gives flip flops a bad name. :(