Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
Flip-flops, named for the sound the footwear makes as it slaps your foot as you walk, make a fashion statement in any season. The open sandal with the v-shaped strap around the upper foot, also called slops, zoris, thongs, surf-flaps and go-aheads, depending on the part of the world you visit, offer a summer alternative when you don't feel like wearing an enclosed shoe. Flip-flops are a natural choice for rainy summer weather, but the fashionista must select a pair designed for wet weather wear to avoid injury.
Vinyl, plastic, rubber and synthetics make the perfect materials for rain flops. No harm, no foul for flip-flops when rain happens when you plan ahead since the plastics take rain without any damage and the color never fades. Go daring and pick an outlandish color flop for rainy day weather and flaunt your summer style, even during winter rains.
The best rain flip-flops have a bottom tread pattern that allows the rain to flow under the shoe while still sticking to the ground. Flip-flops without this vented tread can send you to the pavement quickly in wet weather. Select a thicker foam sole, made from TPU rubber or EVA outer soles for wet weather. Check to make sure the flop's pattern lifts part of the sole higher than the rest of the material to allow water runoff.
Front Strap Arrangement
King Tut wore flip-flops with elaborate gold jewelry, and although there isn't any evidence of the king's footwear preference for rainy weather, the front strap arrangement on more "just-folks" flops offer the key to safe rain wear. Flops with a plastic plug, the part connecting the strap through the shoe's sole, provide the greatest stability when the connection is closest to the big toe and ends with a large-size plug. The foot movement when walking on a wet sidewalk means a greater chance of a flop blow out, aka plug failure, when out and about on a rainy day with flip-flops that fail to sport a firmly anchored plug.
Sloppy flops are dangerous, even in dry weather. Add a bit of water to flip-flops that fail to fit your foot and you'll end up seeing the world from a whole new perspective -- the ground up. Flip-flops should fit loosely enough around the top of the foot to leave your arch free from indentations when you take off the shoe, but tight enough not to move around side to side when you walk. Your toes should fit snug against the sole with enough curl space to hold the shoe in place when walking. One way to tighten up the fit, if your flops slop, is to add a pair of socks. If it's a cold rain, the sock adds some warmth. Fashion socks suitable for flip-flop wear include smooth cotton with a tucked toe that fits nicely around the top strap. Match the sock color to your flops for footwear that appears to be a single piece.