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What are SwitchFlops?

Meagan Michi
Meagan Michi

SwitchFlops are a brand of flip-flop sandals with an innovative design twist. They function and look like a normal pair of thong-style sandals, but they are customizable to the preferences of each individual wearer. What makes them unique is that they come with interchangeable straps, enabling a person to purchase one pair of sandals and a number of different straps to suit day-to-day preferences. The decorative straps attach to the flip-flops using Velcro® and can be changed out in a matter of seconds. The idea of changing SwitchFlops straps to alter the overall appearance gives consumers a variety of style options in a single shoe.

The majority of SwitchFlops are thong sandals in a variety of colors, ranging from black or brown to hot pink. Consumers will find simple flip-flop choices, including those wide straps or thin straps. There also are less casual flip-flop designs, including bronze-toned wedges, kitten heels with cork soles and silver flats. Additionally, the SwitchFlops brand also markets ballet-style flats for both women and girls. Although the overall design concept of each of the shoe styles is very simple, the allure for most shoppers is the ability to customize the shoes and flip-flops to suit a variety of styles.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

The unique design element of SwitchFlops is the way in which the shoes and sandals can be decorated with straps or snaps, which are available for purchase separately. The flip-flops with thin straps and the girls’ and women’s ballet flats have a wide selection of baubles, bows and buttons available to decorate the shoes. The largest variety of choices comes into play when browsing the selection of straps for the kitten heels, wedges and wide strap flip-flops. In fact, more than 80 strap choices are available for these styles of SwitchFlops. Pattern choices include stripes, polka dots, animal prints and more.

Lindsay Phillips is the innovator who designed SwitchFlops, a concept that she began to formulate when she was in high school in Florida. During college, she traveled to Europe and interned with Ralph Lauren, two experiences that were important influences in the success of her business. In 2004, Phillips was granted a patent in the United States, and she set out to secure a manufacturer to get her business started. The SwitchFlops line was launched in January 2007.

Discussion Comments


I love wearing flip flops and ballet shoes because they are comfortable and can look good with many different types of outfits. I think the idea of a switch flop shoe is a great idea. It is much more convenient to change a strap, or add a button or bow than to change in to a whole new pair of shoes.

I am not surprised by the popularity of them. I don't think many people thought that the flip flops would last as long as they did, and I see the idea of switch flops also taking off.


Flip flops have become so popular in recent years. I remember wearing cheap flip flops in the summer with shorts when I was growing up, but they were called thongs then and we never thought of wearing them with dresses or nice clothes.

I am not surprised by the growing interest in switchflops. Being able to mix and match and change the look of the shoe makes sense and is also a lot of fun. Sometimes you are not able to change after work, but you want to have a different look and switchflops allow you to do that very easily.

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