There are only 4 certainties in life; death, taxes, appearing on Come Dine With Me, and that the strap will tear out of the sole of your flip flops regularly and without any warning. Once pulled through, that hole will never be the same again…a bit like giving birth. However, if at the moment of disaster there’s nowhere to buy your 26th replacement pair of fake Havaianas since landing, or you’re just cheap, I’ve discovered a bunch of handy hacks that’ll get you flip-flopping down the street again before you can say “blisters”. So, here I’m gifting to you, my most useful of travel DIY knowledge, how to fix broken flip flops:
The Bread Clip Method
These handy little bits of plastic appear on every list of life hacks every written. And not without reason; when they’re not slutting their way around the Buzzfeed circuit, they’re being bloody useful bits of kit. The main issue however is that unless your flip flop starts flapping in a well stocked supermarket, bread clips tend to be harder to come by than just buying a new pair of flip flops. Nonetheless, these multi-purpose quick fixers are well worth carrying around in your wallet.
Unprepared and no bakeries nearby? There are a few other options that take the same basic principle and work almost as well. Like rats in London, in a hostel you’re never more than 6 feet away from a hair grip. Simply peek over the side of your bunk, pick one off the floor, blow off the pubes, Oreo crumbs and other hostel floor garnishes, and push it over the stopper.
This should hold tight for a few days. Tape the open end together and it’ll last even longer. Paper clips and safety pins also work pretty well if there’s a hostel reception or first aid kit nearby that you can raid.
Even the most moronic backpacker can fix broken flip flops with one of these methods. But quick fixes aren’t necessarily the best and although a bread clip or a hair grip will physically keep them on your feet, those with more delicate and dainty tootsies will quickly notice a Princess and the Pea situation developing now that the stopper no longer fits snugly in it’s little hole. Myself, I have the pampered feet of a French Duke, so rather than cripple myself on a lumpy sole, I prefer the next method.
The String/Straw Method
If none of the above are to hand, or it’s the stopper that’s damaged as opposed to the hole being ripped open, you can always replace the bit that goes between your toes (nobody knows what the parts of a flip flop are called). Simply cut off the original ‘bit that goes between your toes’, feed through some string and tie it in a loop. Now you too can look as idiotically pleased with himself as the moustachioed chap pictured below. If you cut a notch in edge of your flip flop where you want it to sit then that should stop it slipping to the side. The beauty of this is it can be done which pretty much anything. I’ve done it with string, zip ties, a twisted bit of plastic bag, an old earphone cable, bracelets, and as 99.9% of blow outs happen in bars (for some bizarre reason) a lot of drinking straws.
If all else fails just be ‘that guy’.
By Sam Grocott