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Flip-flop shoes have become very popular in the United States, mostly among young people.

Flip-flops have a flat sole and a V-shaped strap. The strap goes between the wearer’s big toe and second toe and around either side of the foot. The name flip-flop comes from the noise the shoes make while slapping against the bottom of the wearer’s foot and the ground when he or she walks. Listen to see if you recognize the sound.

People in other countries have worn flip-flops for many years. Today, flip-flops are often made of rubber. They are popular in developing countries because of their low cost. Some flip-flips only cost a dollar.

They recently have become very popular in the United States. Many people have worn flip-flops at the beach or around the house during the summer. But now you can see young women wearing flip-flops just about everywhere. Some people wear simple ones made of rubber. But others wear flip-flops made of leather, cloth or plastic, with jewels and other materials added. Some special flip-flops even cost a lot of money.

Most people find flip-flops pleasant to wear, especially this summer when it has been very hot around the country. Some young women wear their flip-flops to work instead of painful high heels. But other people think that flip-flops should be worn only at the beach and not at the office.

Last summer, flip-flops were in the news in Washington, D.C. Young female athletes from Northwestern University were honored at the White House. The team had just won the national lacrosse championship. Several of the young women on the team wore flip-flops to the White House celebration. Some people in the media criticized this. Many people thought it was not right to wear such shoes to the White House.

While most of the flip-flop wearers are young women, some older women wear them too. So do many young men. But other people will not wear them on city streets. They say they do not protect the foot and do not offer enough support. Some foot doctors agree. They say flip-flops have been linked to a growing number of foot problems among teenagers and young adults.
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