Flip flops are designed to provide temporary foot protection for people who are on their way to water. In my opinion, therefore, flip flops should not be worn unless you are at or near the water’s edge. Flip flops are perfect footwear, for example, if you area at the beach. But they are not acceptable work attire, and they completely discredit any streetwear outfit.
Happily, California boasts many flip flop-worthy designations, and Californian flip flop designers and manufactures abound.
OluKai Irvine-based OluKai makes comfortable, well-put-together, Hawaiian-inspired footwear for people who spend a lot of time at the beach. My wife and children are very happy with their OluKai flip flops, as I am with my OluKai slides.
Volcom: Orange County-based Volcom is a one-stop shop for skater/surfer/snowboarder fashion, from flip flops to board shorts to two-piece suits. Because they target skaters – who shred clothes quickly, no matter how high quality – I did not expect Volcom to put much effort into the second-thing-to-go elements of clothing construction. After all, why double-stitch a garment that’s going to be rags within weeks regardless? But I was pleasantly surprised. A few years back, I bought a Volcom button-up. It was a good purchase. The shirt had a clean silhouette, but with slightly skewed seams that bent people’s eyes just enough to prevent them from looking past me. And – because I do not lead a tear-through-fabric lifestyle – it lasted for years.
North Face: Alameda-based North Face makes pretty much everything an outdoors-enthusiast could want, including flip flops. Judging by everything I’ve bought from them so far, they probably make their flip flops really well.