The words soccer, samba, sunny beaches, and Havaianas scream Brazil. From an ordinary pair of sandals to a global fashion icon since 1962, this famous pair of footwear is ubiquitous in Brazilian households.
Featuring a cushioned insole and heavy-duty rubber sole, Havaianas are inspired by the traditional Japanese sandal known as Zori, whose soles are made of rice straw. Authentic Havaianas have rice-pattern rubber soles to ensure slip-resistance, durability, and comfort.
Flip Flop Daily fans will recall that our prior reviews of Havaianas flip flops were… less than favorable. Which is why it felt like I was being called to the Principal’s office when I was contacted by a very senior representative of Havaianas North America asking to talk. Apparently, this little flip flop lifestyle website had caught the attention of one of the biggest names in the global flip flop game. Gulp…
As it turned out my trepidation at the call was completely unnecessary. The person I spoke with was very kind, gracious, and interested in what we here at Flip Flop Daily have been doing. He conceded that though globally Havaianas ranks as the number one flip flop brand, they have had an uphill battle in the US and that our reviews of Havaianas weren’t a surprise. He also shared an astounding statistic; in Brazil, where Havaianas is based, 211 million pair of Havaianas flip flops are sold – every year. That is a pair of Havaianas flip flops for every man, woman, and child in Brazil – every year. Holy crap, that is a lot of flip flops, and a lot of folks living the flip flop life.
Which made me wonder, why are we here in the US, men especially, so slow to warm up to the world’s leading flip flop? I knew at the time of reviewing the other two pair of Havaianas that they weren’t Havaianas core offering. So, I decided that the best way to get to the bottom of this was to start at the beginning and review Havaianas signature flip flop, the Havaianas Brazil Logo flip flop.
“A new pair of Havaianas for every man, woman, and child in Brazil – every year.”
I think we’ve all seen this flip flop. The footbed is banana peel yellow with a thin patterned Brazil green rubber strap embossed with the Brazilian flag, and the edges of the sole are lined with white and green pinstripes. For me at least, these are the flip flops that come to mind when I think of Havaianas flip flops. I suspect that for many, these are the flip flops that come to mind when they simply think of, “flip flops.”
Given my prior bumpy track record with Havaianas and my pleasant conversation with the folks at Havaianas North America, I was both skeptical and hopeful when the Havaianas Brazil Flip Flop’s arrived on my doorstep.
Right out of the box, I thought that they looked pretty good. The combination of yellow and green with the minimalist lines of these flip flops works well.
The first thing I notice when I hold them is how soft the rubber is. This is a completely different experience than I had with the Havaianas Top Max and Urban Craft flip flops. The rubber of the soles of those flip flops was hard and nearly brittle and the rubber straps were chafing and unforgiving. Not so on these Havaianas Brazil flip flops. The rubber felt…fresh.
It reminded me of the difference between biting into a fresh gummy bear vs. an old and stale version of the same. I wonder if, like with gummy bears, the fresher the better when it comes to Havaianas? It seems so.
After I first put them on there was a tinge of dread as I saw my big and second toes extend beyond the front lip of each flip flop. Bummer, sizing may be an issue, but not a surprise given my size 13 feet are at the upper bounds of Havaianas sizing.
The good news is that they fit well in the heel and along the sides, just those first two toes on each foot peeked over the edge. This is preferable to a much too long footbed at the toe which tends to clip the ground and get caught on everything.
Flip flops, like baseball pitchers, are better off missing low than high. Better a curve ball in the dirt for a walk than a hanging curve at the waist for a home run. Similarly, my toes hang over a bit but not enough to touch the ground and toe clipping and me tripping flat on my face isn’t an issue. Apart from that, the fit is spot on.
“Like gummy bears, the fresher the better…”
How can a flip flop that is so minimal be so comfortable? I don’t know, but these are some very comfortable flip flops. Perhaps because they are so light and simple. The fresh gummy bear like rubber hugs my feet from the foot bed to the straps.
Over the past couple of months, I have worn these flip flops everywhere. On long walks, to the grocery store, at the park, and on the beach. The biggest, best way for me to sum up my experience in them is effortless. No drama, no slips, no trips.
On foot they feel simultaneously delicate and rugged. A time or two, as I picked up the pace, I did feel that maybe the strap would pull through and I’d have a dreaded flip flop blow out. So, I slowed down a bit, realizing that this is how one is meant to walk in flip flops anyway.
One doesn’t hustle and bustle in flip flops, one strolls and that, my friends, is key to Doing Life Right. Slow down, take in the sights, enjoy the journey, this is the Flip Flop Life, right?
My mind has been changed by this Havaianas experience.
I knew that there was something I was missing, I knew there was a reason that so many people have told me that Havaianas are their go-to flip flop. Now I get it.
The Havaianas Brazil flip flop is the quintessential flip flop and it is only now that I realize that my alarmingly vast collection of flip flops was incomplete without them.
Havaianas Brazil flip flops are the standard by which all other rubber beach flip flops are measured. Will they work for every occasion? No. Are they the most stylish. No. Are they the most comfortable. No. However, they are the most “flip flop” like beach flip flops I’ve worn, and they are a perfect fit for the Flip Flop Life.