Flip-flops are a type of open-toed sandal that are popular in warm climates around the world. With their simple design and casual styling, flip-flops are the go-to footwear option for many people in tropical countries. But what country wears the most flip-flops? Let's take a look at some of the top flip-flop-wearing nations to find out.
Brazil is famous for its beach culture, so it's no surprise that flip-flops are extremely popular there. Havaianas is a Brazilian flip-flop brand that has become an international sensation. In Brazil, Havaianas are more than just beachwear - they're a fashion statement and a symbol of the laidback Brazilian lifestyle.
Brazilians wear flip-flops year-round. Even in the big cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it's common to see locals sporting flip-flops at work, school, and on the streets. The warm climate makes flip-flops a practical shoe choice, and they've become ingrained in Brazilian culture.
Flip-flops are ubiquitous in India, where they're called chappals or hawai chappals. Like Brazil, India has a tropical climate in most parts of the country, making open-toed shoes ideal. Flip-flops are widely worn by both men and women of all ages, and they're the default footwear for daily use.
From walking on dusty village roads to visiting sacred temples, Indians wear chappals everywhere. Even politicians and businessmen will swap their dress shoes for flip-flops as soon as formality allows. Customized chappals are popular wedding favors. India likely contends with Brazil for the top spot when it comes to worldwide flip-flop wear.
The tropical Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are havens for flip-flop wearers. Temperatures in the region rarely dip below 70°F, and humidity is high year-round.
Locals often wear flip-flops or sandals out of practicality and comfort. Styles range from basic rubber or plastic thongs to artisan leather or beaded varieties. In Buddhist temples across Southeast Asia, visitors and monks leave their shoes at the door and enter barefoot or in flip-flops. With its laidback vibe and beach culture, it's hard to imagine Southeast Asia without ubiquitous flip-flop wear.
With endless coastline and scorching summers, Australians have fully embraced the flip-flop lifestyle. Thongs or pluggers, as they're called down under, are part of the quintessential Aussie casual look.
Australians wear flip-flops not just as beachwear but also for everyday activities like shopping, walking the dog or going to a barbie. Sturdy sport varieties by brands like Havaianas and Crocs are popular for active pursuits. Thong tossing competitions at summertime festivals highlight the beloved Australian symbol.
Flip-flops gained popularity in the U.S. as soldiers returning from World War II brought Japanese zori sandals home with them. Later the affordable, casual sandals were embraced by hippies and beachgoers.
While flip-flops are worn all over the U.S., states with warm climates like California, Florida and Hawaii see the most use. Brands like Reef and Rainbow widened flip-flop appeal from beachwear to casual streetwear. Still, some establishments like restaurants and schools continue to prohibit them.
When it comes to flip-flop fanaticism, tropical countries take the top spots. Brazil and India are probable front runners for the most flip-flop wear worldwide thanks to customs, climate and fashion. Nations like Australia, Southeast Asia and the U.S. also boast a strong thong sandal culture. Wherever summer lasts all year long, you can bet people are kicking off their shoes and slipping on some flips.