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Happy Feet | Manolo for the Big Girl

Happy Feet

While Plumcake and I have disagreed one more than one ocassion, when it comes to flip flops we are of one mind. Just, no. Practical, aesthetc, and auditory reasons abound for our mutual aversion. I know that some of our readers will not change their flip flop loving ways, and hey! it’s a free country. Chances are it’s a free country where you are, too. We’re not your mommies or the Fashion Police. We will not come and try to take your flip flops from your feet, cold and dead or otherwise.

What I would like to do today, though, is offer up some more superfantastic alternatives. After all, warmer weather demands more open footwear. Nobody expects you to wear snowboots in August (unless you’re in a part of the world where it would be the most practical thing to do; say a nice long stay in Antarctica), but there are plenty of pretty sandals that aren’t flip flops. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?


These Gretel sandals from Fitzwell give your feet room to breathe while supporting your arches and looking cute.

Fitzwell Gretel Sandals
They have an adjustable ankle strap, gel insoles in the heels, and non-slip rubber soles. They come in sizes from 6 to 12 and in M, W, and WW widths. They’re even affordable at $69.00 a pair. Oh, and if you don’t like the distressed denim color shown, they come in three other colors, as well.

The Cannes sandal by Ugg (of all people!) covers barely more than a flip flop, but also offers more support and a surpising amount of style.

Ugg Cannes Sandals
They may set you back $114.00, but that’s about ten times the price of a pair of rubber flip flops, and they’ll last at least ten times as long. Available in sizes from 5 to 12, M width.

But Twistie! I hear some of you say, the point of the flip flop is that you can simply slide it on your foot and go! These sandals you suggest require tying or buckling at the ankle! True, but there are still some nice slides that will give your feet the support they crave with the air circulation you desire.

Witness the Delight slide by Annie.

Delight Slide by Annie

No buckles, no ties, no buttons, no velcro. Just put your feet in them and go. And those feet can be anything from a size 6M to a size 13WW. Constructed of faux leather with a faux suede lining and rubber soles, they are vegan-friendly, too. And at just $50.00, they won’t break a budget. If you don’t like the Navy color, they are also available in black and tan, as well. As easy as they are to put on, they won’t make slapping noises, they will give your feet support, and they will look just fine at the grocery store, on the beach, or at a casual lunch. They could even pass muster at a very casual outdoor wedding.
Flat sandals are wonderful things. I wear them all the time, being a California native and a fairly casual woman at heart. It’s just there are sandals and there are sandals…and then there are flip flops which will never have a place in Twistie World.

17 Responses to “Happy Feet”

  1. Leah March 29, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    Lovely selections, Twistie, but I don’t think any of them fit in the same place in my wardrobe that my flippies do. But, to support your argument, what about these:
    http://www.ae.com/web/browse/product.jsp?catId=cat380151&productId=1415_8303

    This type of thong/sandal is my favorite new sandal shape. It’s casual, can be worn (like flip-flops) with pants, jeans, capris, skirts, or a bathing suit and still work. The adjustable heel strap keeps it from making the noise some find super annoying, but the overall look of a flip-flop is achieved.

    Flippie haters – is this an acceptable substitute? I would never want to offend my super fabulous sisters; are these sandals a good compromise?

  2. Noe March 29, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Hmm. Flip-flops (Jandals where I’m from) are essential for sunny weekends lounging at a the neighborhood cafe for a girl younger than 35 years of age.

    The ones you’ve listed are fine options for those over 40 or something. No need to oversimplify the footwear of the young to match the equally boooring plus-size clothes which abound.

    I quite like the Havaiana upgraded styled flip flops if you want to dismiss the run-of-the-mill toe thong.

  3. Oromin March 30, 2008 at 12:55 am #

    For those of us with unfortunately wide feet, none of those sandals would work. The main attraction I find in flip flops versus other sandals is the fact that I can actually get them on my feet. I have short and quite wide feet, so my feet can’t even get into anything with a strap across the widest part of my foot, about the ball of the foot. Since flip flops don’t have a strap across this part, I can actually wear them, unlike any of these shoes.

  4. Mel March 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Being a girl from the Gulf Coast of Texas flip flops are a year round shoe for me. I’ve got them ranging from the beautiful offerings from Coach to the cheap 5 dollar pair from Target. Some have heels and some are uber flat. The three styles you shoes are, to me, nearly geriatric, they are a no. A few that I’ll definitely be picking up for summer follow.

    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod52790053&parentId=cat16880820&masterId=cat15470740&index=43&cmCat=cat000000cat000141cat13030734cat15470740cat16880820

    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod52810205&parentId=cat16880820&masterId=cat15470740&index=10&cmCat=cat000000cat000141cat13030734cat15470740cat16880820

    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod45790081&parentId=cat16880819&masterId=cat15470740&index=27&cmCat=cat000000cat000141cat13030734cat15470740cat16880819

    And I absolutely love the Havaiana styles, thanks for the heads up on those, Noe.

  5. Angel March 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    I have yet to meet a pair of Havaiana’s that didn’t hurt my feet. *sigh*

  6. BlackMagicKatie March 30, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    Okay, I don’t really care for any of those sandals either. But that’s neither here nor there. Am I just buying bad thongs? I’ve never met a comfortable pair of flip flops. They always end up hurting my heels as there is no support whatsoever. I walk EVERYWHERE, so comfort is important. Then there’s the fact that there is only a thin layer between me and the dirty sidewalk/puddles so that as I flip by dirt flies up in the flip flops and I end up with dirty feet. Eww! Can’t stand them!

  7. Bex March 31, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    @Oromin – me too! About the wide feet, that is. I wear a 12WW and although there are more options nowadays I still have a special place in my heart for flipflops – for a long time they were just about the only cute shoes that I could have in common with my narrower-footed friends ;) I’m 23 now and only just out of college, and I have absolutely no compunction about wearing them when I’m bopping around on errands or extremely casual events. On the other hand, there is no freaking way I would wear them to anything even slightly more formal.

  8. Anne (in Reno) March 31, 2008 at 11:05 am #

    I have had very good luck with Clarks sandals, esp. since I also wear a 12 wide. They break in pretty quickly and are durable and comfortable for a not-unreasonable price in my budget. I think they are a step up from flip flops and wear them all the time in the summer.

  9. kristin March 31, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    I live in Chacos. They are made for hiking and outdoor sports, but they come in several cute styles. I have wide feet, too, and they are perfect!

  10. Chiken March 31, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Those sandals are horrifying. They are too old-ladyish for my 57 year old mother, and at 30 yrs old I certainly would not wear them. There are lots of beautiful flat sandals available online (see, e.g., below). I’ve said this before, but WHY is it that the fat lady part of the Manolo’s website is soooo anti-fashion? I thought this site was about helping us fat ladies look superfantastic?!?

    http://www.piperlime.com/browse/product.do?cid=40118&pid=582161&scid=582161002

    http://www.piperlime.com/browse/product.do?cid=40118&pid=580394&scid=580394012

    http://www.piperlime.com/browse/product.do?cid=40118&pid=563925&scid=563925012

  11. Noe March 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    @Chiken
    I know!!!

    I love the Manolo Big ladies BUT they might need to consult a bit more with the younger fatties to see what’s up with da fashions. Go to the Torrids, the Dorothy Perkins, the Evans online retailers for really up-to-the-minute fashion for us plump princesses.

  12. silverpatronus March 31, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Most of what you lovely ladies have posted in the comments aren’t flip flops though. They are lovely, appropriate summer sandals. Anything with a heel strap or a mule with no toe thong is NOT a flip flop. Those dreadful toe thong/backless, ground slapping, shuffle-encouraging monstrosities, in any material, but ESPECIALLY those cheap rubber disasters, are flip flops.

  13. cheeky March 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    Chiken and Noe, I agree with you completely. The sandals above are horrendous, old-lady shoes. I’ll take my lowly Reef flip-flops over those any day.

  14. littlem April 1, 2008 at 12:19 am #

    Bass Weejun thongs. Good at 10, 18, 25, 40, and 60.

    You can run around town, you can walk on the beach, you can outre the rest of your outfit to death and not be so outre you’re fug.

    Plus they actually last and are comfy on your feet, not like some of the trash sold these days.

  15. Plumcake April 1, 2008 at 2:19 am #

    Yes, those sandals are all unabashedly awful, but tell me, do people still use the phrase “pretty is as pretty does” or is that phrase –like graciousness and polite manners– a relic that concerns only we aged folk of 28?

  16. Jackie Joy April 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm #

    Oy, the first and last pairs are just…so old lady-ish! Ladies, something delicate and sexy is called for!