Named after the sound they make when worn, flip-flops are a classic summer item donned by everyone from beach-going teens to busy moms on the go. Popular as ever today, flip-flops have stood the test of time, as the ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Japanese cultures adopted forerunners of this simple slip-on style thousands of years ago. Although the flip-flop is seen as leisurewear, high-end designers have not shied away from the style. Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and Gucci are among the fashion leaders that make flip-flops that fly off the shelves.
Extremely versatile, the comfortable footwear can be worn with anything from jeans and shorts to skirts, beachwear and sundresses. Although the most popular material for flip-flops is rubber, they can also be made from leather, plastic or canvas. This versatility of style and substance makes flip-flops attractive to a variety of markets. John Amsterdam, president and chief visionary officer at Neet Feet, says flip-flops are popular with corporate travel buyers, cosmetic companies, liquor companies, energy producers, insurance companies, banks, and consumer brands. And that isn't all. "This year, we've had lots of orders for upscale resorts too," says Amsterdam. "I think flip-flops are more widely accepted these days and smart resorts realize the myriad of benefits to branding with sandals."
The diverse range of potential buyers is a result of the fact that flip-flops are much more than a popular casual style; they're a brilliant promotional product when branded. If you really want to be on the fashion-forward curve, select trendy styles – such as wedges or t-straps – and decorate them with retail-inspired embellishment, like floral themes, along with a company's branding. "Flip-flops can be decorated in almost every way other apparel can be," says Amsterdam. "Embellishments run from simple to four-color process printing, embroidered and embossed logos, crystal embellished straps, and, of course, the 'logo footprint' that leaves an imprint in the sand."
Worn by men, women and children everywhere, flip-flops are not likely to dip in popularity anytime soon. "Flip-flops will never go out of style," says Amsterdam. "Sandals will always be great sellers because they are comfortable, functional, and relatively inexpensive. With so many styles, options, price points and features, folks will always want, need and love this simple form of footwear."