HOW much should you spend on flip-flops?
I’ve always been a loyal Havaianas purchaser, but since I was burning through them at a rate of knots, I decided to test out some other holiday-friendly footwear. Havaianas are about £25 give or take, and for me (for some reason) they only last a few months and then I need to buy another pair as they have broken. It’s about a £100 annual flip-flop habit that I just can’t afford to sustain.
So at one end of the scale, I chose to try out SOLE’S Cork Flips in black which mould to your feet during every wear and offer orthopaedic properties to protect your foot.
I’ve never really been into this style of flip-flop before, and they aren’t cheap at £57, but as the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’… well, my usual summer footwear keeps breaking so I have to try something new!
On the other end of the scale, I also picked up some flip-flops, very similar in style to Havaianas from Primark for 90p. I couldn’t believe this price when I saw them in the Peckham store. I got a pair and two pairs of sunnies for under a fiver. Bargain!
So, with my hand luggage stuffed full of footwear to be put through their paces, I set off for a week’s camping trip with my family in France.
Wearing in the Sole shoes takes time – a couple of blisters under the fabric straps were inevitable, but I get this with any flip-flop so I can’t say it’s a negative. You can feel the footwear mould to your feet as you wear them, so you know they are only going to get more and more comfy. They are super cushioned so walking around camp across rocks and stones my feet were totally protected – the same can’t be said for my 90p flip-flops from Primark. I slipped them on when when I nipped to the shower block for a quick wash and was wincing in pain as I trotted back to my tent.
Also, the Primark numbers BROKE twice within a week! Once when I waded through a shallow bit of water to get access to the pool and again when I was simply walking up a hill! The cheap foam they are made of had already split causing them to basically fall apart under my feet. Hmm, not so good.
Another plus point for the Sole shoes was the fact that after a dip in the Ardeche river I got them a bit wet as I put them on post-swim. I was a bit concerned that they would remain soggy and start to smell a bit due to the heavy fabric, but 10 minutes in the sunshine and they were dried out and good as new!
So, am I a convert to Sole? Well, I have to say I am. I’m sick of my usual style of flip-flops breaking at every inopportune moment (including in the middle of a busy road in Colombia earlier this year) and I’m definitely up for some more supportive footwear!
And as for the Primark numbers? Well, they are in the bin. When faced with RyanAir’s strict policy, broken flip-flops have no place in my hand luggage.