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Flip-Flops Got Their Name From The “Sound” They Make When You Walk

Each year on the third Friday in June, it is National Flip-Flop Day!  Find your flip-flops and wear them!

This unofficial holiday is celebrated every third Friday of June. It was founded by Tropical Smoothie Café in order to raise money for Camp Sunshine – a camp that supports children with life-threatening illnesses. Customers who visit the café wearing flip-flops receive a free smoothie and, for each customer, the company makes a donation to help the cause.

In 2015, $1 million was raised by Tropical Smoothie Cafe for Camp Sunshine.  The total amount raised since the beginning in 2007 is over $3.7 million making National Flip-Flop Day a successful fundraiser for Camp Sunshine.

  • Did you know that the Egyptians were already using flip-flops in 4000 BC? This is shown on ancient murals dated around that period.
  • The earliest pair of flip-flops, from between 1550 B.C. and 1307 B.C., were found in Europe and are made of papyrus leaves.
  • Throughout the centuries, ancient populations wore flip-flops in different ways. The Greeks wore the toe strap between their 1st and 2nd toes, the Ancient Romans wore the strap between the 2nd and 3rd toes, and the Mesopotamians wore the strap between the 3rd and 4th toes.
  • In America, they first started to appear after World War II as soldiers brought Japanese ‘zori’ (their word for flip-flops) back from the war, as souvenirs.
  • The name flip-flops takes its origins from the sound these shoes make while walking. This term has been used in American and British English since 1972.
  • If you thought that running in flip-flops was impossible, think again. The Tarahumaras, a tribe living in Mexico’s Copper Canyons, run hundreds of miles across woods and on rocky terrain wearing only Huaraches, self-made sandals very similar to flip flops.
  • Keith Lavasseur, a man from Maryland, ran the 26-mile Baltimore marathon while wearing black Reef sandals. He finished in 29th place out of more than 3000 participants and it took him 2 hours, 46 minutes and 58 seconds to finish the marathon.
  • The most expensive flip-flops cost a whopping $18,000! The shoes were painted by famous Los Angeles Artist David Palmer, and they are adorned with a hand-made 18-carat solid gold emblem of the brand that produced them, Chipkos.
  • As a cheap item of footwear, kids soon started to wear them to the pool and on holiday in bright colors with flowers and motifs adorning them.
  • The correct spelling is “flip-flops” with a hyphen.
  • While we call them flip-flops, here are other names for the footwear from around the world:
    • Tongs – Cambodia
    • Dacas – Somalia
    • Vietnamki – Ukraine & Russia
    • Djapanki – Bulgaria
    • Sayonares – Greece
    • Japonki – Poland
    • Chinelos – Brazil
    • Slops – South Africa
    • Schalpfen – Germany
    • Zori – Japan
    • Thongs – Australia


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