San Francisco is a playground for tech entrepreneurs. If you have an idea, and live in San Francisco, then you might as well bring it to life in the form of an app or startup. And while dating apps, marketing automation platforms and machine learning algorithms have all made a big splash in SF, one woman entrepreneur decided to focus on finding a solution for another growing problem – creating a comfortable, stylish and versatile pair of shoes for busy women.
A 5 in 1 Foldable Solution
Founder of FlipSlips Shoes, Esther Bracha, is a San Francisco based designer who bikes to work 365-days a year. Esther recognized the problem of finding a reliable, comfortable pair of shoes that could be worn to cycle to-and-from work, wear in the office and then go out in afterwards.
I cycle to work everyday in a business suit,” Esther said. “The biggest problem I always had were my shoes. So, I decided to create a pair of stylish flats that stayed well attached to the foot, and that included dual functions like interchangeable, reflective straps that can be removed and changed depending on the occasion.”
Taking matters into her own hands (or feet in this instance), Esther started thinking about different shoe designs, eventually deciding to pursue her idea of creating the world’s first 5 in 1 foldable flat.
San Francisco is very focused on entrepreneurship, so I received a lot of support and guidance to start this project. I was an administrative assistance before – it was a huge career shift going from that to trying to run a business. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight – it took a few years. I started out with sampling. The first product I came out with was leather. The feedback was the price point, however. I then decided to make my shoes in china to bring the price point down. We did a few runs, until we started working with Betabrand.”
Esther launched FlipSlips Shoes about one year ago with Betabrand and they were a huge success. However, Esther explained that she wanted to broaden her audience by creating more of a “commuter shoe”. After making multiple improvements, Esther broke away from Betabrand and decided to launch the next round of shoes on her own.
I decided to first use Betabrand to launch the shoes before I really knew what I was doing. Its all a process, but I felt like I needed to grow as an entrepreneur. It’s my own personal journey. These shoes are like my baby,” Esther explained.
What Makes FlipSlips Shoes Unique?
Unlike other foldable flats on the market, FlipSlips Shoes are made with performance Neoprene, the same material used in diving suits. Esther chose to use neoprene because the material easily molds to the wearers foot for all-day comfort.
When I was making these flats, I didn’t want to compromise comfort. I wanted to use only the best materials,” Esther mentioned. “The insole of the shoe is memory foam wrapped in lambskin. A lot of shoes are made with leather, but lambskin is natural, long lasting and soft. And it doesn’t rub off on your foot. The sole is also unique because the mid-section is foldable. The sole won’t crack when the shoe is folded either.”
In addition to comfort, each pair of FlipSlips comes with 3 sets of interchangeable and reflective ankle straps. The ankle straps provide 5 different style options.
It’s a 5 in 1 shoe. There is an extra long double loop strap that you can flip around twice, and you have the reflective color on the other side. You also have the gold/silver strap options that make the shoes a bit more sophisticated, in case you want to wear them around the office. It’s also fun to mix and match the different colored flats and ankle straps – the purple flats with the orange straps has proven to be a popular look,” Esther explained.
Finally, the best part about these shoes is that they are waterproof and weigh about 6 ounces each, making them easy to fold away in a cocktail purse, small bag or coat/jacket pockets. Now, women on the go don’t have to comprise wearing their heels. With FlipSlips, they can easily switch out their heels with these foldable, portable flats.
Are FlipSlips Shoes Worth It?
FlipSlips Shoes almost sound too good to be true, which is why I decided to try a pair out for myself. I first wore my new pair of red FlipSlips to the airport. The flats were extremely comfortable for walking around in, and were easy to slip on and off as I was going through security. Next, I took my FlipSlips with me to my holiday parties. I walk almost everywhere in San Francisco, making it impossible to wear heels. FlipSlips solved this dilemma though, allowing me to walk to each party pain free (and in style, as the red pair with gold straps worked great for the holidays!). Upon arrival, I simply folded my FlipSlips and tucked them away in my coat pocket (they fit perfectly), replacing the flats with my heels.
In my opinion, FlipSlip Shoes are a wardrobe necessity, especially when you live in a city like San Francisco where you find yourself walking the majority of the time. The reflective straps provide an extra layer of safety when walking at night, and the overall comfort, ease and portability of the flats make them the perfect shoes to bring along to parties where you are going to change into heels. Simply put, FlipSlips are a must!
Time to Make Your Feet Happy
Want to know more about FlipSlips and how you can get your own pair? Please visit FlipSlips.com for product and purchasing information.
Be sure to subscribe to Tech_Talks to get more great content sent directly to your inbox.