Tidal New Yorks line of “Grow” flip flops are made for lockdown. Somehow the oddly specific 13.11% of “renewable” content that they boast on both the sole and in their marketing make them just squishy enough to be cozy. You may recall that we were let down by the Tidal Original flip flops when we reviewed them a few months back. They weren’t comfortable, didn’t fit well and seemed to be trying way to hard to be cool.
Tidal New York’s “Grow” line have all of the same issues as the Originals. The sizing is insanely narrow and cause, even my incredibly narrow feet, to display an unsightly foot muffin top, spilling over the edges of the shoes. But that 13.11% of “renewable” content somehow makes it ok because they are much more giving, malleable, and comfortable than the Original rubber versions. Plus, they seem to get even more comfortable, by molding to my feet, the more I wear them.
Stuck at home in lockdown they have become my go-to indoor flip flops for household chores. Cleaning the bathroom is almost a joy in them. The traction is completely up to the task of mopping, scrubbing and sanitizing wet tile and bathtub porcelain. Plus, their electric blue color and “New York” styling elevates the occasion making it almost fashionable. Kind of like vacuuming in a top hat and tails but much more practical.
The styling is something that one cannot avoid. As mentioned in our review of the Tidal New York Original flip flops, Tidal New York is a company that is doing real good by hiring military veterans and supporting their local communities. This cannot be commended enough. However, Tidal New York’s marketing department seems to be from a completely different planet. The result is a company focused on supporting the US military and employing Marines yet with marketing that features, what I can best describe as a version of the 1990’s heroin-chic aesthetic with heavy doses of androgyny. Which is fine with me. Whatever you need to do to do you, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone who doesn’t want to be hurt is fine. However, the combination of USMC and New York Dolls is…uncommon. This combination carries through to the design and marketing of Tidal New York flip flops. Which I am totally fine with but, I must admit, I find confusing, sort of like if I learned that the Pope is Jewish.
Now, I’m sure that the fact that I’m more comfortable wearing these at home doing chores than out in public says much more about me than about Tidal New York. Somewhat like my ease at, occasionally going from my bathroom to the hallway closet to get a fresh bar of soap for the shower in my birthday suit vs. my discomfort with playing tennis, in just the same birthday suit, at a public park. I mean some might argue that there’s something there that’s keeping me from expressing my true self. But the fact is that my true self is just too lazy to toss on a towel just to get a bar of soap, yet not lazy enough to leave the house as I came into the world.
Apart from the sizing, my biggest issue with the Tidal New York Grow is the styling. I know this is superficial. I wish I could overcome it, but that’s just not my truth. When I wear these electric blue babies in public, I feel like a small-town kid trying to impress, by adopting Billie Eilish’s hair, makeup, and fashion sense but falling horribly flat, in my small-town middle school. Which is why, for me, the Tidal New York Grows are best enjoyed in the comfort of my own home. Just like my karaoke sing-a-longs, breakdancing, and nudity.
I’ve wondered if a silver lining of the world in lockdown is that I was able to spend some time, at home, alone, in these flip flops. Being stuck home with family and free from the stigma and burden of being seen in public in these electric blue, incredibly narrow, and generally oddly styled flips. Despite these issues, I like them, and I will continue to wear them – at home. My own sense of self is just not able to bring myself wear them in public. It’s not you Tidal New York Grow, it’s me. Do Life Right – Flip Flop Daily.