We take comfort seriously.
Like really seriously. Teetering on the point of obsession, it’s our belief that comfort is always king. We source the best materials, patented new processes and designed a better flip flop all in the name of effortless, easy comfort in every step. With a super comfy sole beneath your feet and a more supportive strap between your toes, you’re free to just be, to move through the world as you are—and we’re just here to support you.
We’ve used polyurethane since we started. It’s the material that makes your favorite running shoes so comfy, bouncy and durable. In December 2019 we replaced 20% of the original polyol in polyurethane foam with polyols from castor oil—which results in a final formulation containing 13.11% renewable materials to make our oh-so-comfy soles.
We worked hard to ensure that when we started adding in renewable material the quality that you have come to know and love with your Tidals is exactly the same. And is an even more superior material than what is used by other flip flop brands. We use this wonder of organic chemistry to create a blown foam that is 60% air—a precisely engineered density that means you are basically walking on a cloud.
If you look closely at our soles, you’ll see these teeny tiny air bubbles. It’s exactly these little bubbles that make Tidals more responsive and give better rebound than the average flip flop. We’ve even tested it and found Tidals are 5x more durable than other flip flops thanks to compression set native to our material choice.
Here’s where we get all the best materials from ...
Polyurethane and Castor: Meramec Supply in Sullivan, Missouri.
Thermoplastic elastomer strap material: S&E Polymers in Leominster, Massachusetts.
Colorants: PAT in Lewiston, Maine and Clariant in Holden, Massachusetts.
Packaging: Multiple partners in New Jersey.
Polyurethane vs. EVA
Like cooking, quality ingredients make the difference. Most flip flops are made from EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). Ours are made with polyurethane.
Polyurethane is an organic polymer known in the footwear industry as being one of the most resilient, long-wearing materials. Rather than collapsing in the areas of impact, it maintains its shape which is why it’s so often used in the midsoles of running shoes and work boots.
EVA on the other hand breaks down quicker than polyurethane. As it collapses, your foot gets less and less support throughout the day and overtime. This is where EVA is tricky, at first it feels super soft but that resilience your body needs to stand strong and stay comfortable doesn’t exist.
At the end of the day, working with polyurethane takes far more time, effort and expertise than EVA, especially when combining it with a plant-based material—but we think the effort is more than worth it.
Most flip flops are sheet cut from rolls of EVA but we use a more intricate and thoughtful process. Rather than cutting, we cast liquid polyurethane into heated molds to make our ultra-support soles. Think: cookie cutter vs. waffle iron—one technique leaves a lot more leftover batter. Our process is also unique in that it hugely eliminates excess waste. In an industry that is known for wastefulness and overproduction, we invented a way to create a better product that is inherently less wasteful.
This innovative technique also allows us to give our soles a much more detailed shape and tread (which most flip flops don’t have!), to create a better fitting, longer lasting and more comfortable shoe.
We have reimagined flip flops from the ground up, meaning we even print differently. Using large format digital UV printers (a process we patented) we are able to reduce waste and pollution caused by traditional screen printing. This method shortens the time and waste of the traditional development process, allowing the flexibility to make smaller (and precise) production runs, which significantly decreases the risk of wasteful overproduction. Sourced from PAT in Lewiston, Maine and Clariant in Holden, Massachusetts, our colorant from Clariant is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, one of the most renowned sustainability rankings globally. Our inks are also Greenguard Gold Certified by a third-party institution of safety science of the United States.