I’m conflicted about mentioning the f-word.
On the one hand, it’s the middle of summer and flip-flops are easy, popular and practical.
On the other hand, we tend to overuse and abuse flip-flops, wearing them to all the wrong places. No matter how expensive, comfortable or coveted, unless you are a lifeguard, they are never appropriate for work.
All that said, here are some flip-flops that have caught my eye – in a good way.
• For the sporty one: Comfort Flip-flops have a memory foam foot bed, breathable upper and flexible rubber bottom. Wear them after exercise or at the pool. $32 at Kohl’s ( kohls.com).
• For the flip-flop purist: Nothing fancy, but of all the rubber sole flip-flops I’ve ever known, Havaianas are the most comfortable and durable. I like the Slim Flip-flops in Guava Red – $26 and worth every penny. Available in a variety of colors at us.havaianas.com, Nordstrom ( nordstrom.com), Macy’s ( macys.com), and neimanmarcus.com. Shopper tip: Sometimes you can find these for a fraction of the price at Nordstrom Rack.
• For the prepster: Featuring Burberry’s tan plaid – that’s all this minimalist flip-flop needs to identify itself as a classic – the Parsons sandal has a leather lining. Price: $195 at burberry.com, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus or saks.com.
• For the eco-friendly fan: Made from illegally dumped tires and old seat belts, these flip-flops have an Old English D (for, what else, Detroit) imprint on their tread. Made by clients of Cass Community Social Services, which serves Detroit’s homeless population, the flip-flops are $25, plus $5 for shipping. Available at casscommunity.org.