It’s said that baseball changed after “MoneyBall.” When an economist; Paul DePodesta, applied a simpler and more pragmatic form of analyzing baseball statistics (Sabermetrics) and focused on intuitive measures such as, “how often does this person get on base?” Although it’s fun in the pub to discuss RBI’s, IBB, BB/K and of course ERA+; teams win games by scoring runs, and the best way to score runs is to get players on base. It’s a simple and seemingly naïve perspective in a game full of data.
A problem with pragmatic baseball is that it isn’t the most fun to watch for casual fans. The nuance of getting on base and advancing the runner is all but lost unless you have a deep love for and understanding of the game. Fans love homeruns, big swings and epic bold moves. They tend to not appreciate, in the short term, the strategy and tedium of getting on base repeatably. But in the end, winning is what matters most. In the same way, consumers tend to be attracted to a lot of eye candy, flash, branding and pizzazz when all they really need are great flipflops.
I suspect that all coaches, at some level, knew the value of the predictable players that got singles and doubles all game long. Moneyball was the formalization of that realization and the appreciation of simplicity. Rainbow brings this intuitive and back to basics philosophy to their “Single Layer Premier Leather with Arch Support” flip flops – I mean even the name is nice and useful and boring. They aren’t the “Sunsets in Winter” or “The Machu Picchu.” Instead they are descriptive, pragmatic and backed by a well-made product. All very nice and sensible, but a yawn-fest to be sure.
Picking out Rainbows is a delightfully simple process for those that cannot be bothered to sort through anything more than a very, very basic description to find what they are looking for. They aren’t displayed in nested levels of fashionable boxes created simply to build anticipation and appetite. There’s no numeric sizing down to the 1/4”. Rather, there is just a rack, some flipflops and S, M, L, XL and XXL.
Their color scheme follows the industry disrupting approach that launched the Ford Motor Company into the industry leader they are today. You can have any color you like, so long as you like brown. On this point they are steadfast, uncompromising, and consistent. Brown insole, brown outsole, brown straps. These are brown flip flops.
The design is very… functional. A nubuck leather strap firmly supports the foot along with a nicely dense but not too dense and thick but not too thick sole. The construction is great – solid and functional. Leather insoles are always a nice touch, offering traction and durability. They are clearly made and engineered by someone who likes great functional footwear. The focus is on each part being good while simultaneously working together to create a greater whole.
Rainbow is winning by not getting distracted with such nonsense as fashion, innovation or fear of looking like your Dad.
Rainbow is winning by not getting distracted with such nonsense as fashion, innovation or fear of looking like your Dad. Instead, they’re focused on getting on base – and they do this by making great flip flops.
Rainbow flipflops come with a lifetime guarantee. A few things come to mind when I read this; with my lifestyle – this isn’t much of a guarantee. If it’s digital I won’t care after six months, and it almost certainly will be out of style by the time it’s replaced. Not with these. I’m holding onto my receipt and planning on using this guarantee in ten years after the leather finally gives way. These are going to get lot of miles and I don’t care if you think they’re boring because, these suckers know how to win.
Flip Flop Verdict
Overall Performance — 3.7 out of 5
Perfect for when you need to wear flip flops
Fit – 4
Nice, their design allows room for fine tuning as they break in
Style – 3
As classic and presentable as a (brown) 2-button suit – nothing outrageous but it works
Traction – 3
Not bomb proof, but good walkers
Comfort – 4
A few rough stitches rub until they break in
Dudeness – 4.5
The Dude has nothing to prove