stan or ban: the heeled flip-flop

The Kardashians were quick to endorse summer's most controversial sandal trend, but we have some opinions.

by Laura Pitcher
19 August 2019, 4:39pm

Left: Jeffrey Campbell. Right: Kim Kardashian by Gotham/GC Images. 

If you often find yourself in the predicament of having beach plans set for the afternoon, followed immediately by a formal gathering, this summer’s most controversial sandal trend, high-heeled flip-flops, are for you. For everyone else, their purpose remains unclear.

Infiltrating the SS19 runways shows, from brands such as Yeezy, Simon Miller, and Calvin Klein, we are currently in the middle of a flip-flop renaissance and wearing them as evening wear is no longer out of the question. Anna Wintour herself exclaimed “I love a flip-flop!” in Vogue’s “Ask Anna” series and Rihanna even sent them down the runway for the 2018 Fenty x Puma motorcross-inspired collection. For ‘90’s kids, this may bring back red carpet memories from a time where everything seemed much simpler and Britney Spears ruled all. The nostalgic roots of the trend may provide some comfort in the midst of this complete climate and ecological breakdown, but that doesn’t mean you should be sliding them on.

One of the most avid endorsers of the trend is Kim Kardashian, followed closely by her sisters Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, also seen on the Olsen twins, and Emily Ratajkowski. With a team of stylists and genetics on their side, they have managed to style the ugliness away to make the look — almost — holiday chic. However, the reality is, for most of us, we’re back from our hot girl summer holiday wearing rubbery catastrophes.

I get it, life is short and we’re facing impending doom. But surely we need to draw the line somewhere with this ugly shoe trend and ask ourselves just how far is too far? High-heeled flip flops may be the perfect place to start our much-needed reevaluation of our priorities. Our love affair with the hybrid shoes has birthed some monstrosities: fanny pack slides, platform crocs, heeled sneakers, and even cowboy sneaker boots.

Our desire for attention as humans is something we can be sure will stand the test of time — it seems our need for ugly shoes may also. Sold on Fashionnova and at Zara, the divisive trend has never been more accessible and mainstream than it is right now, for better or for worse, and it’s an impossible task deciphering if wearing a kitten heeled number (such as Alchimia di Ballin’s Vernice Thong) or Yeezy’s 4 inch wedged heel is more “brave”.

To give the trend credit, it does combine a familiar shape with our current romance with barely-there sandal-heels. Nothing says summer like the smack of flip flops on the pavement. You can almost taste the soft-serve ice cream and feel the sand between your toes at the thought of them. But, alas, the end of summer is near and we’re left with only the memories to reflect on our poor shoe decisions. This trend being one of them.

Kim Kardashian
stan or ban