The lowdown: South Florida’s steamy weather begs you to bare your feet, hence we are always in need of two things: 1. A good pedicure. 2. Flip flops. A pedicure you can get anywhere, but there’s no need to wander Miami in search of the perfect pair of flip flops thanks to Flip Flop Shops, a store dedicated to nothing but (you guessed it) flip flops.
The ‘hood: If you thought this store would be on Miami Beach for forgetful tourists, think again. Miami native and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Celia Guillen brought the franchise to The Falls mall, located south of Pinecrest and west of Palmetto Bay right on US 1. No beaches for miles.
The ambience: The store has the vibe of a chic camping equipment store, sporty and outdoorsy. Though it’s a franchise, the company believes in giving back and invites its clients to donate old flip flops to Soles for Souls, a charity that provides footwear to victims of natural disasters.
Oh, and they really sell nothing but flip flops. It’s like a Sunglass Hut, but with flip flops.
Highlights: Of course, you can buy flip flops for a few bucks Target, but Celia notes “There’s more involved in flip flops than you’d think.” The store carries high end brands like Olukai; hand stitched in Hawaii with orthotic bottoms for people with arch problems. For the boaters, they have Reefs, sturdy, comfy sandals with a bottle opener snuck into the bottom. College kids are fans of the durable Rainbows, and the yogis will love the Sanouks, which are made from yoga mats. Of course, they carry Havaianas and other fashionable lines like Flojos, Cobian and Scotts with girly details like leather flowers, beads and wedge heels — perfect to pair up with summer dresses.
Prices range from $20 to $120 depending on the brand and materials. Again, there’s more to a flip flop than meets the eye.
The owner says: “Flip flops are a closet staple, especially in Miami.” And how true is that? Short of, maybe, a church wedding, there are very few places that you can’t wear a pair of flip flops in Miami — as long as you have a nice pedicure.