Rainbows were everywhere in the 80s – on our shirts, sweaters, stickers, earrings, on the backs of our satin jackets, in our hair on our barrettes, and emblazoned across our Trapper Keepers. And, in the summertime, the beauty of the rainbow shimmied down to our feet as we all walked around in these: Ah, the flip flop – the essential summer shoe staple. I had a pair with a giant plastic sunflower on them that were rather painful, with all that pointy petal-plastic going on. But my favorite summer shoes were a pair like these – comfy, soft, fabric rainbow jobbies. Flip flops weren’t just for the beach in the summertime; oh no, no, no . . . they were built for bike riding, going to the pool, summer camp, running through sprinklers, going on vacation, tree climbing, and just going up the deli to get a Slush Puppie or ICEE with your friends. Having all the colors of the rainbow, they went with absolutely everything—how perfect! This classic style flip flop usually had a double rainbow going on: one on the straps, and one on the sides of the shoe, with stacked up colors against a thick black, cushy background. Unlike other rainbow-themed items, these colorful shoes were not just for the ladies – guys rocked the look as well. Paired with some corduroy OP board shorts or a sweet pair of Jams, the boys in my 8th grade class were lookin’ pretty rad wearing rainbows on their feet. Who also remembers the flip flop key chains that were oh so popular? Lots of kids would fasten them to their book bags or the girls would put them on the zippers of their purses. If it happened to be a rainbow flip flop keychain, it was all the more rad. Paired with a Velcro rainbow wallet? Complete awesomeness. These vintage summer shoes (that make the best sound in the world when you walk) are still available all over the place – on etsy, amazon, or your local vintage or surf shop. However, they can be a little hard to find when searching because the brand name “Rainbow” flip flops muddies the search results. Here is one pair we found on Amazon (although, while the sides are right, they are missing the rainbow straps). Even if, at the end of the day as you kick them off, you notice that annoying pain between your first and second toes you still smile. Why? Because it feels like summer.
Author: Lori Ferraro
Lori is a writer and actor living in Portland, OR. Her website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 5 year old draws the greatest music hits of the 1980s. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and her own blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about important things like beauty products, music, her obsession with Mick Jagger and of course...the 80s.
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