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As you guys know, I’m pretty much always on the road but that doesn’t mean I should have to buy new sandals every other week. Admittedly, 90% of the time I’m wearing my flipflops so they do go through a little bit of a battering, however surely the shelf life of these bloody things should be more than 2 weeks?!

broken flip flop


Anyone who has spent anytime traveling in hot countries will relate to this, you’re bag is packed, your fake havianas are almost brand new and you’re walking up the stairs to your hostel room. You take a minor, minor trip, straighten yourself up and continue your trip – wtf?! You stumble forward and the f*cking stem of your flipflop has popped through the bloody sandal again. Pause, take bag off, fight with your flipflop, force it back through the hole (which is of course ridiculously difficult to squeeze through), bag back on, continue, forget about your flipflops.


12 hours later, in a bar, wearing your flipflops, you stumble forward a little bit again, the bloody flipflops pop again, but this time they’re beyond fixing. The hole is too big now so you can’t put them back, great. Now you’re out boozing, with only one sandal, looking like you just climbed out of a garbage skip and you’ve gotta spend the whole night like that.


The flipflops always, ALWAYS break at the most inopportune moment, it’s a fact of life, just like the bread always landing butter-side down and beautiful girls already having bfs, there’s nothing you can do about it.


All we can do is continue to complain about it and keep a spare pare of flipflops in our bag. Happy travels!

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21 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Rant: Flip-flops breaking

  1. It just seems to be a fact of the flip flop wearing life, you wear them and have to accept the risk that they are going to break. Doesn’t matter if they are Havianas or real leather or cloth straps… they can tear or fall apart. And yes, it is always at the worst time in usually the worst possible place. It doesn’t help when you wear them to do things flip flops weren’t really meant to do. (and admit it, we’ve all done it!). I really tempted fate by wearing my Havianas on a volcano hike in Greece. It would have been very easy to break them beyond repair on the sharp jagged rocks and the ground temperature reached 150 degrees (about 70 Celscius). Losing or having a flip fall apart would have been dangerous. They lasted, but were pretty trashed by the end of it. I should have known better as I did have a cheap pair of thongs break out at the fair. Decided to trash both sandals and stay the whole day barefoot. Walking around was interesting on the 60 degree pavement! Great conversation starter. To this day I love to walk around barefoot when I can.

  2. you should go to the Philippians and get some “islander sandals” i have had mine for years and ive never had a problem it them

  3. I know that problem. 😉 Since about three years now I only wear flip-flops (those cheap plastic ones you can buy for 1 euro). Some last quite long, others may fail after a week. But you can temporarily fix them with tape. Just place a few strips around the hole on both sides. If you use strong duct tape it will last remarkably long, even in rainy or snowy weather. Last year I wore them like this for about a month until the stores offered flip flops again. (For some reason they don’t sell them in winter?!?)

  4. i visit your page everyday. someone like me learns so much from your website
    i am writing blog about my is in Turkish. When i saw your blog,i start to write in English. i hope people like my first page my home town fairy land with fairy chimneys and rock formations used as a house,storeroom or hotel.I call it the flintstones, STILL PEOPLE LIVES IN A CAVE. Do you believe it?

  5. Heh… appropriate that this is the first article I find on your site after today 😛

  6. So no-one has ever heard of bread clips!?! Really!?!
    Its simple. Push the strap through the hole, clip a bread clip on, pull the strap back. Put ur foot in. Fixed!

  7. Brilliant article! I went through 6 pairs in 3 1/2 months in Asia last year, although one pair got stolen and another other drunkenly lost, know this feeling well, and the worst part we’re always to stingy to buy another £2 pair so end up walking around for a week with them continually popping out at the most inconvenient moments!

  8. You’ll get what you pay. I don’t buy fakes anymore, I always buy the original Havaianas. They’re 25 USD. I traveled around the world for 14 month with just one pair of Havaianas. They lasted until I went back home and even longer. Every Cent worth. Love Havaianas. Plus the fake ones are not as comfortable as the originals.

  9. Hey Johnny is it possible that you send me your broken-in, trashed flip flops to Mexico? I could pay postage and can support you good with your trip in exchange. *Serious offer* in case you are curious, I would just like to collect flip flops with very interesting travel stories behind. I can gladly answer any questions you may have, please send me an email to discuss it further.

  10. My flip flops lasted me all through SE Asia and then two months around America, and I thought I was lucky to get such a great pair for two bucks!

    First day I set down at home, one breaks and a minute later the other one does too. In the airport! Arghhhhh!

  11. OMG this is soooooo true! I can’t tell you how many times mine have broken at the WORST possible moment when traveling.

  12. Aaah, the dreaded blow-out that comes with the territory of cheap SE Asian knock-offs… And we never learn! Thanks for shining a light on this important issue 🙂

  13. How irritating! I only wear flipflops as slippers these days (actually it was my nickname for many years the pigeon version of slippers being ‘silipas’ and har har har sounding so much like Philippa, I am not bitter to be named after an item of cheap footwear, I mean, pirates are called something-boots all the time right?) It reminds me of once when I tripped over a small rock in flipflops, the sole flipped the other way exposing my big toe to the said pointy evil rock. Owwwww, that hurt. On the plus side the flipflop didn’t come out of it’s hole.

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