The basic design couldn't be simpler - it's a sole, usually made of plastic, with a toepost and strap attached. However, in recent times, the flip flop has seen a major make-over. Many flip flops now offer fitness soles which claim to give you a work-out while you walk and help to build muscle tone. Since the first fitness-style ones were released, many brands now offer their own versions of these, with their own similar soles.
The Ugg-style boot may be a million miles away from a flip flop, but many of these boot manufacturers also realise that they are missing out on a large chunk of the summer footwear market. Several have now released their own versions of these, including some with sheepskin linings.
One of the nations that's keenest on this style of shoe is Australia. Known as 'thongs', these shoes have almost become part of the natural dress. Due to the mild climate and heavy concentration of the population leaving near the coast, the thong is perfect for the ozzy lifestyle.
Although flip flops have traditionally been seen in beachside souvenir shops, their status has been raised to that of a sought-after fashion shoe, and you'll now find them in almost every footwear retailer, right up to the exclusive boutiques.
The most expensive pair of production flip flops is believed to cost around USD$400, and is made of crocodile-skin. However, in 2004, jeweller H Stern released a single pair that sold for USD$17,000.
Another budget-busting pair was encrusted in crystals and had a price tag of $1,800.
The flip flop was first seen in the western world late in the 1950's. They were inspired by the traditional Japanese style-sandals, with New Zealand being the first country they went to before spreading right across the World.
Other footwear manufacturers have released their own take on this design. In addition to the fitness shoes and sheepskin-lined versions mentioned previously, you can also purchase them as eco-friendly shoes, made of entirely-natural materials. There's also washable flip flops from some manufacturers; ideal if you're wearing these down the beach - just put them in the washing machine at the end of the day.
Definitely a sign that summer is here, you can guarantee that the flip flop will be seen adorning many peoples feet as soon as the weather warms up.