04-30-2015, 11:11 AM
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I guess you guys are wondering why I'd be posting about flip-flops, apart from a 21st-century urge to share every bit of my life with everyone. Biggrin

Actually, there's a bit more to it that that. Read on.


My old pair of Teva's gave up the ghost last week. After restitching the straps back together so they could hold on for a bit longer, my wife gave me an ultimatum and told me to throw away the ratty things. I've had them for many, many years - as I only use flip-flops in the house (or just outside - to take the trash to curb and other such short outings). If I go on a walk or other longer outings, I wear shoes pr sandals, as I hate having footwear that's not firmly on.

Anyway, I was ready to buy another pair of Teva's, but then I noticed the dreaded 'Made in China' label. I'm not totally against buying Chinese-made stuff, but I thought I'd look for a local product - just to see if I could buy something made in the USA. It was harder to find than I expected. 

Then I found this place: Detroit Treads. It's a 'company' run by Cass Community Social Services and it employs people who would otherwise be jobless. They recycle dumped tires into doormats, flip-flops, etc. Since the price was the same as my Teva's (plus shipping), I thought, "Hey! Why not help out?"

There is about a week's wait before they ship the flip-flops out, so it took a bit before they got to me. I wasn't expecting 'professional' quality flip-flops, but since I use them so sparingly, I was willing to take a chance. 

When they got to me, I was pretty impressed. The flip-flops seem to be well-made, and comfy and I imagine that the straps will fail before I have to worry about the soles. I was expecting them to be heavier than my Teva's, as they have tread that comes from tires - and they are certainly heavier. My initial impression was, "Oh, wow! Heavy!" However, after about a 1/2 hour of wearing them, I decided that they are pretty comfortable. They're not up there with my old well-worn Teva's on the comfort scale, but those are now only about 2 mm thick. 

[Image: IMG_20150430_144413.jpg]
The flip-flops are narrow, so if you have wide feet, you may have to contact them and let them know to make them wider. They're about 1" thick, with the tire tread making about half that thickness, and a softer rubber (similar to the Teva rubber) making the top (which is what comes in contact with the soles of your feet). The straps are comfy, though they could be tighter. 

[Image: IMG_20150430_144434.jpg]

Another thing I was worried about was if the tire tread would mark my flooring. That doesn't seem to be an issue. 

The flip-flops are pretty stylish for a 'cottage industry' setup. They have a nice old-english 'D' in the soles - that adds a bit of 'finish' to them. 

[Image: IMG_20150430_144420.jpg]

Would they work for everyone? I don't know. If you use your flip-flops all over the place, getting something like these - with their weight and having to buy them without checking out the fit, would be a bit of a gamble. If I was to wear these outside regularly, I'd want to get a heel-strap added on. I imagine they'll be resilient, but shoes are all about comfort, and something that's significantly different from what you're used to may just not work. 

I'm glad I bought them. For the way I use my flip-flops it was worth the money, and I'm glad to have my money stay in the USA and go to helping out people who are trying to recycle stuff and also work their way through some tough times. 

39 1,750
 04-30-2015, 11:18 AM
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Sorta reminds me of Ho Chi Minh sandals, very practical and long wearing.


0 1,693
 04-30-2015, 11:24 AM
  • chazt
  • Shimmer of Techs
  • Queens, NY
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Interesting story. My wife adores wearing flip flops. They're without question her preferred footwear. She wore one pair in particular for probably 25 years until the straps wore out. I don't recall the name of the manufacturer, but will ask her when I see her later. Since that beloved pair of flip flops croaked, no kidding, she must have been through 2-3 dozen pairs, looking for a proper replacement. Needless to say, the search continues. Me personally, I didn't wear flip flops until last summer when I discovered I actually enjoy the beach.

Who knew?

19 4,846
 04-30-2015, 12:14 PM
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(04-30-2015, 11:18 AM)BobH Wrote: Sorta reminds me of Ho Chi Minh sandals, very practical and long wearing.


Yes, the idea of recycling tire treads into shoes or sandals is not new. A lot of people on the African and Asian continents do this to make a long-wearing, cheap shoe. 

I was pretty surprised to see something like this available and made in the USA. There's a lot of tire waste around, so it's nice that some of it is being recycled into stuff that we can use again. 

Chazt - These flip-flops will probably not work for your wife. Buying footwear without trying it on is not something most women would be fine with; I know my wife wouldn't consider it. 

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