Flip-flops are a type of sandal whose main attributes is a flat sole that is attached to the foot with a Y-shaped strap that is held between the first and second toe. There are many other names for flip-flops; one of the more common ones is the thong (due to the shape of the strap). Typically flip-flops are constructed out of a type of rubber or plastic that has been textured to provide a pleasing surface and dyed or painted to make the item more visually appealing. At its most basic a flip-flop is nothing more than a plastic sole with a rubber strap; however more fashionable flip-flops can be found that include anything from rhinestones to feathers as decoration.
Flip-flops are popular for the ease in which they can be slipped on and taken off as well as their typically inexpensive price and multitude of uses. They are a popular at the beach due to the fact that sand is able to simply slide off the shoe rather than getting trapped inside, and are also popular in college dormitories as well as army camps as protective footwear to be worn in the shower to avoid the spread of fungal foot disease.
It is widely theorized that flip-flops are a derivation of traditional Japanese sandals. This is due to flip-flops first becoming popular after military personnel returned from a then occupied Japan. Currently there is debate as to who first invented the first modern plastic flip-flop as it seems that several people independently came up with the idea around the same time.