A Brief History of How Sport Slide Sandals Became Fashionable

It's hard to imagine a world before the sport slide sandal. This ubiquitous, utilitarian shoe has given us traction on pool decks, protection from scuzzy college dorm showers, something to put on real quick when the dog needs to go out in the rain, a comfy alternative to flip flops when you run a casual errand.

Yet the sport slide has really only been on the shoe scene for about fifty years, with the first modern iteration brought out by Adidas in 1972 to protect German soccer players from locker room foot funk.

 

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Ever since, sport slides have slowly become an iconic style, despite their humble, practical origins. Part of it is the simplicity of the design— a band crosses the upper part of the foot, the contours of the foam cradle the sole. They’re easy to wear, easy to clean, and have nice, simple lines. They had a moment in the 1980s and 90s when it seems like every suburban kid suddenly got signed up for soccer classes. And now 20 or 30 years later, those kids are grown up and have turned what used to be a post-practice shoe into a fashion statement.

Look no further than young tastemakers like Kanye West, who helped make athletic wear cool outside the gym, and Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook wunderkid who famously has a closet full of hoodies, sport slide sandals, and jeans. They’re just a few of the celebrities who have brought sport slides out of the locker room and made them a part of everyday apparel.

 

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Now fashion houses like Marc Jacobs are exploring the sporty style that Adidas invented out of necessity, and trendy fashionistas like Rita Ora and Karlie Kloss have been seen stepping out in sport slides. So where do our OOAH sport slide sandals fit into the unexpected ascendance of what used to be called “pool shoes?” We like to thing we offer the best of both worlds.

Like its predecessors, our OOFOS sport slide sandal was inspired by the needs to athletes and were designed to protect active people not just from suspicious shower floors but from the enormous wear and tear they put on their feet and legs. We took the sport slide style and amped it up with a proprietary foam that does more than give your feet a chance to breathe, it actively supports your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to help you recover from your workout and avoid stress injuries.

 

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Then we turned up the style side with a variety of colors and gradients from matte black to patriotic red, white, and blue to limited edition looks like the NYC Marathon OOahh Sport Slide. You can keep it classic, get wild, and still rest easy knowing that whatever color you pick, OOFOS foam absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam materials to reduce the stress on your feet and joints.

So next time you’re about to walk out the front door and are trying to decide between good looks or great vibes, just grab your OOFOS sport slide sandals. Close to 50 years later, this practical shoe has never looked (or felt!) so good.

 


Ryan Fliss
Ryan Fliss

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