What are Slides in Footwear?

Slides in footwear have a long history spanning many cultures and have become a popular casual and leisure footwear choice in modern times. It is casual footwear with an open-toe design and a lack of straps or laces to secure the foot. Slides are often made from comfortable materials like rubber or foam, perfect for casual wear or lounging around the house.

They are distinguished from flip-flops by the upper part that does not separate the big toe from the remaining toes. However, just like flip-flops, they are often used in casual situations and are unisex shoes worn by both sexes. They are easy to put on and remove, hence the name ‘slide.’

Typically, slides have single or multiple straps, which can be thick, thin, woven, braided, twisted, or knotted. Slides are considered a type of sandal with their design, but not all can be called slides.

Brief History of Slides

Slides have been around for centuries and are referred to as the simplest and oldest form of footwear. Some of the oldest finds were discovered during archaeological digs in the American Southwest, dating back over 8,000 years. Over time, the shape of the sandal has evolved to include a protective sole and a V-shaped strap to hold the foot in place. Some historical records point slides to Ancient Rome since artifacts were found with their version of slide sandals, known as “soleae.” These sandals had a flat sole and a single leather strap.; however, more documentation is still needed to prove this theory.

Meanwhile, in ancient Egypt, depictions on walls and artifacts show people wearing sandals with a single strap or band across the foot. Asian countries such as Japan indicated another record with wooden sandals called “”geta”” and “”zori.”” Although not exactly slides, these traditional Japanese sandals still featured a single strap over the top of the foot. 

Since the modern evolution of footwear, slide-style footwear has gained popularity as a casual and comfortable option for people, particularly in beach and leisure settings in the 20th century. Famous sportswear brands like Addidas popularized slides with their “Adilette” model in 1960, debuting as a shower slide; these comfortable sliders became a must in every household. Over time, other brands began producing their versions of slides, often incorporating various materials, patterns, and logos to appeal to different market segments, such as Birkenstock of Germany with a simple design made from contoured cork alongside a single buckled leather strap.

Sliders’ Design and Use

Slides, popularly called sliders, are famous for their convenience and are commonly worn in various casual settings, such as at the beach, pool, or around the house. With its simple footwear design tailored for comfort and ease of use, many slider lovers opt for different varieties made with materials from leather to fabric and even natural fibers to synthetic materials. 

 The sole of a slider is typically flat and made from materials like rubber, foam, or EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). It is lightweight and provides cushioning and support. Slides are different with flip-flops with a Y strap as they generally consist of a single sole with an upper strap, which keeps them attached to the foot. Some sliders have adjustable straps for a more customized fit. 

Slides vs. Other Footwear

The main difference between slides and other types of slippers and mules is the open design on the toe part, leaving it visible and in the open air. Further, slides are often made of less durable materials than those used in athletic shoes, which can become easily damaged over time. Additionally, the lack of support and cushioning can cause the foot sole to wear out more quickly, reducing the shoe’s lifespan. While other footwear, such as flip-flops, tend to imitate the foot’s shape, slides are often wider.

Some slides are designed for post-workout or shower use in athletic settings, as they are easy to clean and provide a simple, comfortable option for foot protection. Added to its stylish look, slides have also become a fashion statement, and you can find designer slides made from high-end materials featuring logos or other embellishments.

Slides in Fashion

In recent years, slides have become a popular fashion trend. They are often seen as celebrities and fashion influencers on and off the red carpet. While sliders are versatile and comfortable, they may not be suitable for all situations, such as formal events or activities that require more support and stability for the feet. But even celebrities opt for the comfort of slides for casual events and occasions. 

Slides offer versatility and can be paired with different outfits, from casual pants or jeans and a t-shirt to a more dressed-up ensemble. Famous singer Rihanna paired up with Puma to launch the Rihanna collection, aka ”slides with a bow”. Another celebrity, Hailey Baldwin, has been hailed as the queen of setting footwear trends with slides paired with a tank top, shorts, and a coat.

 If you are looking for an Asian celeb to imitate slide fashion, how about Ranveer Singh’s style of wearing a blue suit with a custom-made pair of Adidas sliders? Also, for those fans of Zendaya, you might consider her fearless fashion style of wearing her airport-style Ivy Park sweatshirt with black Nike fashion slides. 

Who would say no to Snoop Dogg’s dressing style of wearing colorful slides paired with socks? No wonder slides easy-on, easy-off design makes them convenient for these situations. It has become a popular choice for celebrities and everyone who loves the flexibility and comfort it offers.

Benefits of Slides in Footwear

Slides are a type of footwear that has gained popularity for various reasons. They offer benefits, making them a popular choice for many people. If you are aiming to buy your slides or already have a pair, here are some of the key benefits of slides in footwear:

1. Comfort

One of the primary advantages of slides is their ease of use. Unlike traditional shoes that require fastening laces or straps, slides can be effortlessly slipped on and off. Since slides are often designed with flat soles and open toes, they provide a high level of comfort. They allow your feet to breathe and relax, making them an excellent option for casual wear, especially in hot weather.

2. Durability

Many slides are made from high-quality materials that are built to last. This means you can enjoy your slides for a long time without worrying about them wearing out quickly. Slides are often water-resistant, making them a practical choice for trips to the beach or relaxing by the pool.

3. Versatility

Slides come in many styles, from simple, sporty designs to more fashionable ones. This versatility makes them suitable for various occasions, whether lounging around the house, running errands, or pairing them with everyday outfits for a trendy look. Whether pairing them with jeans, a t-shirt, or a summer dress, slides add a stylish touch to any ensemble. They come in various colors and designs, allowing you to express your style and create unique looks.

4. Breathability

The open-toe design and often perforated or ventilated materials in slides help keep your feet cool and reduce the likelihood of excessive sweating or odor. This makes them convenient for those constantly on the go or prefer a hassle-free shoe option. Slides provide a quick and convenient solution, whether running errands or heading to the beach.

5. Arch Foot Support

Some slides are designed with contoured footbeds or cushioned soles that provide arch support. This can be especially helpful for people with foot conditions or those needing additional foot support.


Slides are versatile and have become famous for those seeking a laid-back, comfortable, easy-to-wear footwear option. Slides remain a staple in many people’s wardrobes, whether you’re wearing them for fashion, comfort, or convenience. If you are a fan of slides in footwear, remember that it’s essential to choose the right type of footwear and its material best suited for the occasion to ensure comfort and safety.