Have you ever gone to see that new movie that everyone is raving about only to leave the theater wondering if maybe you’d misunderstood the praise or perhaps walked into the wrong theater all together? Surely, they didn’t mean this movie? I mean, you’ve seen better acting in Mrs. Anderson’s 3rd grade holiday production of Johnny Appleseed and those kids took some serious liberties with the original script. This is my experience with Havaianas flip flops. These flip flops are everywhere, from frat-house keggers to blue-haired shuffle board players on European cruise ships. They seem to be a flip flop that everyone likes, so I bought a pair and was eager to join the club.
The Havaianas I purchased from a major discount retailer are three shades of gray. The strap is a dark gray with the Havaianas logo printed in a seemingly Flintstones inspired, conspicuously “fun” and desperately “playful” font. The foot bed is a light gray, hastily glued onto the sole which is a third shade of gray; lighter than the strap but darker than the foot bed, ringed by streaks of glue that seeped out between the foot bed and sole during assembly. Maybe I got the wrong kind?
My first impression is that these flip flops look… homemade. I don’t mean that in a crafty-chic Etsy sense. They look like maybe they were made by Ms. Anderson’s 3rd graders as part of a Father’s Day art project but lacking that key ingredient that make such projects worthy of the refrigerator or curio cabinet – love.
The strap seems to be made of a very low-end faux leather mercilessly stitched together. The toe post is downright belligerent. It assaults the gap between my toes with a hostility that can only come from apathy for craft and the absence of the satisfaction of a job well done. The glue holding the foot bed to the sole has seeped out here and there accentuating the overall shoddy aesthetic. The look of this flip flop brings to mind a Roger Waters lyric from The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. It is a design “…that only a rather dull child could have drawn…”.
I am still scratching my head on this because my Havaianas experience is so very different from that of most people I’ve heard from. However, based on my experience with this, my only pair of Havaianas, I have to conclude that they are ugly, uncomfortable, and downright unwearable. What am I missing?