We built a better flip flop from the ground up.
Better for you and better for the planet.
TIDAL flip flops use the same material as a running shoe. For years, people saw flip flops as disposable. The only way to truly debunk that perception was to develop a product that lasted longer than summer. Better materials, better practices, better processes—to ensure that our product is better for you and the environment. With a super comfy sole beneath your feet, a supportive strap between your toes, you’re free to just be.
Without the Shoe
The reason why you find polyurethane in all high-end sports and performance footwear is because it is an incredibly durable and comfortable material. So we started there, to ensure comfort and quality and then worked our way back. Most flip flops are made from EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), a much lower quality foam sole. It feels bouncy and soft at first but by the end of the day you’re basically walking on pavement. Your foot needs resilience to stand strong and stay supported. Knowing polyurethane was the best option, we next addressed its reliance on fossil fuel; partnering with our material supplier to create a sole formulation that is derived from renewable sources.
The Down and Dirty
Variable Biomass Oil [VBO] is the renewable* alternative we sourced to replace fossil carbon required in the petrochemical chain to make a polyurethane sole. Now, with each collection, we are able to increase renewable content while maintaining the quality you’ve come to know and depend on from polyurethane. VBO draws on varying overstock from plant and forest biomass, animal waste or municipal waste streams. The source of our biocarbon will inherently change, because it is constantly shifting based on local excess. For example, our first run of renewable carbon came from soy beans that were sitting in grain silos in the Midwest.
0% to at minimum 27% renewable* using an innovative process implementing Variable Biomass Oil [VBO].
Quality, Innovation, Renewafoam™
An innovation needs a name: Renewafoam™ is Tidal’s proprietary sole material. A renewable based polyurethane, it represents an ongoing journey to reach our goal of a fully renewable flip flop. Since 2018 we’ve been hard at work with our material supplier, Meramec, to develop eco-friendly alternatives in footwear, even pioneering their PURbio renewables program. The Renewafoam™ mark is our secret sauce to the soles of your Tidals. To us, this has never been about being the only one, it’s about holding our industry accountable to be better. It’s about leading by example.
A History of Innovation
It’s in the Details
Flip flops are usually sheet cut from rolls of EVA. Our soles are produced on the DESMA—a purpose built German shoe making machine that casts liquid polyurethane into heated molds. Think: cookie cutter vs. waffle iron—one technique leaves a lot more leftover batter. Custom machinery allows us to give our soles a detailed shape and tread. Tidals, by comparison, have no-slip treads and 8mm of arch support, while most flip flops have neither. The third outlier? Our straps. We lightly texture TIDAL straps to reduce the break-in period. We also invested in two machines: One for the right foot and one for the left. This is an important distinction because most brands make one universal strap, a cost-cutting option that sacrifices comfort.
Using a process we patented, all flop designs are printed on two large format digital UV printers. Prior to printing, each sandal is coated with a primer to ensure designs stay put season after season. Then, similar to any at-home printer, the printing begins (using Greenguard Gold Certified inks) and in about 30 minutes it's complete. This methodical process shortens the time and waste of traditional screen printing, allowing flexibility to make smaller (and precise) production runs—significantly decreasing the risk of overproduction. Our inks and colorants† are sourced from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and our inks are even listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, one of the most renowned sustainability rankings globally.
†Inks & Colorants Sourced From: Clariant in Holden, Massachusetts, ITNH in Manchester, New Hampshire, PAT in Lewiston, Maine