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Flip Flop vs. Slides: What's the Difference, and Which is Better for Your Feet?

Last Updated: February 28, 2024


The words slides and flip flops are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can’t be any more different. But before we discuss their differences, let’s take a look at them in detail separately.

What Are Flip Flops

Many people hear the word flip flops all the time, but nobody really asks why they’re called as such. Could it be because of the sound they make when walking around? Or could it be something totally random that just caught on? Who invented flip flops? We’ll answer these questions below.

Flip flops have been in use in ancient Egypt since 4000 B.C. But even if they were the first documented users of this footwear, multiple cultures have personalised these sandals based on what’s convenient for them. For instance, Romans place the y strap after the second biggest toe, unlike how we use it now. Mesopotamians place the y strap after the third toe.

But the popular version we’re all familiar with now is the one that was popularised by Shokosha Ishikawa in 1939. Shokosha was a rubber manufacturer who wanted sandals that were more comfortable than the ones that existed during their time.

This quintessential summer footwear is celebrated for its affordability, ease of maintenance, and lightweight design. In Australia, they're affectionately known as "thongs," a term derived from an old word meaning "restraint." This name aptly describes the Y-shaped strap that nestles between the big and second toe, ensuring the flip flop stays securely on your foot.

Now that you know what flip flops are, let’s move on to sliders.

Pair of red flip flops pushed down on white sand on the beach.

What Are Sliders?

Sliders, or slider thongs as Aussies call them, are footwear that is the perfect combination of fashion and comfort The most comfortable slides offer a modern look that is both stylish and practical. Fashion slides feature an open-toe design with a wide sole for superior traction, along with breathable mesh fabrics for maximum ventilation.

The stretchy bands across the top allow you to adjust them to fit your foot perfectly, while the cushioned footbed helps provide arch support. Whether you’re running errands or heading out on a night out on the town, sliders will keep your feet comfortable while keeping up with your ever-changing style.

Slides Vs. Flip Flops

Although they have similarities such as protecting your feet, especially during the summer season, they are different in so many ways. We list down these differences below:

1. Material

Flip flops are made of different types of foam or rubber, offering a lightweight feel. In contrast, sliders like Chimissimi's are crafted from high-quality Polyurethane soles for comfort and durability. Apart from rubber slides, some are also made of leather.

2. Style

Flip flops feature a single-toe loop, while sliders have a wide forefoot strap, ideal for branding. They can be accessorised with gemstones, but sliders offer a sleek, flat surface for logos or, in Chimissimi’s case, versatile interchangeable uppers.

3. Versatility

Despite the variety of flip flop styles, Chimissimi's sliders offer interchangeable uppers, providing multiple looks with one pair.

4. Comfort

Sliders provide more cushioning and support than flip flops, making them suitable for all-day wear, whereas flip flops can cause discomfort during prolonged use, especially in hot weather.
Chimissimi Julia base slides with Vanda Rita and Joana uppers.

5. Occasions

Flip flops are ideal for casual settings like beaches, but sliders, increasingly seen on runways, offer a dressier option suitable for various venues. Chimissimi offers slides with leather uppers that you can wear even in more formal events.

6. Ease of Wear

Sliders are easier to slip on and offer more stability than flip flops, which can be difficult to wear if not sized correctly.

7. Price

Generally, flip flops are more affordable due to their more straightforward design and materials, whereas sliders, particularly high-end ones, tend to be pricier.

These are just some of the distinct differences between flip-flops and sliders! Whether you choose one or the other really depends on your style preferences and what kind of occasion you'll need them for. Whichever shoe type you decide upon, you'll be sure to look and feel great!

Special Considerations When Choosing Between Slides Vs. Flip Flops

When choosing between slides and flip flops, especially from a medical perspective, several key considerations come into play to ensure foot health and comfort. Each type of footwear offers distinct features that may affect your foot health differently, depending on individual needs and conditions.

  1. Arch Support: Slides often provide better arch support compared to flip flops. For individuals with foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet, slides with a contoured footbed can help reduce pain and support proper foot alignment. Flip flops typically offer minimal support, exacerbating foot and arch pain over time.
  1. Foot Protection: Slides usually have a thicker sole than flip flops and may offer more protection against sharp objects and rough surfaces. This added layer can be beneficial for people with diabetic neuropathy or those who require extra foot protection to prevent cuts and infections.
  1. Stability and Fit: The single-toe post design of flip flops can lead to instability and increased toe gripping, which may contribute to issues like hammer toes or tendonitis. Slides, with wider strap(s), can offer a more secure fit and reduce the risk of tripping, making them a safer option for people with balance issues or those recovering from foot injuries.
  1. Ease of Use: For individuals with certain medical conditions that affect the hands or fingers, such as arthritis, slides might be easier to put on and take off than flip flops. The slip-on design of slides eliminates the need to fiddle with a toe post, providing convenience and reducing discomfort.
  1. Long-Term Comfort: While flip flops can be suitable for short-term wear or beach outings, wearing them for prolonged periods can lead to foot fatigue, blisters, and other discomforts due to the lack of cushioning and support. Slides with cushioned footbeds are more suitable for extended wear, offering enhanced comfort and reducing the risk of foot strain.

Get a Chimissimi Pair Today!

Depending on which one better suits your budget, lifestyle and fashion sense, there are several options on the market. Chimissimi is an Australian shoe designer that offers both in various colours and styles. So whether you like airy flip-flops or slides with interchangeable uppers, our online store is ready to cater to all your fashion needs. Check out our website today to see your footwear options.

Remember, there are no right or wrong picks, just the perfect choice for your personal style. If you have questions regarding our selections, feel free to get in touch with our team today. We look forward to serving you!

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