Fix-A-Flop Flip Flop Fixer: Fabulous or Futile?

Fix-A-Flop Flip Flop Fixer: Fabulous or Futile?

Frugal or Feckless?

 

My first thought when I saw this ad for Fix-A-Flop was, "I'm pretty poor, but I still like to think I have enough money that when my flip flops break, I can just throw them away and buy a new pair." But my second thought was, "It's always better to fix something than throw it away!"
 
I'm of two minds about these. They are designed for the type of super cheap flip flop where the toe thong is attached through a hole in the sole, with a simple button at the end. This type of flip flop, you get about ten days of use before the button wears through the sole around it (as it will do, what with both friction and cheap foam rubber being what they are) and pops out.

 
Fix-A-Flop to the rescue! These are basically just a bigger button. They are self-adhesive, and slip over the button in the toe thong to prevent it pulling through the hole in the sole. In a master stroke of adorability, they are also shaped like tiny flip flops. 
 
Here's the thing: the cheaper the flip flops, the more likely it is that you will need to buy Fix-A-Flop repair patches. More expensive flip flops have a more durable sole, a better attachment for the toe thong, or both.
 
Two problems with this: first, the economic issue. In my experience, in a year you can either go through a pair of cheap $10 shoes every month, or one pair of really good shoes for $120. But the good shoes are an even better value, because they will inevitably be more stylish and comfortable. Add in your shopping time and sales tax, and the good shoes are clearly a better bargain.
 
This is what my grandmother always used to call "false thrift." You're not saving any money when you buy cheap shoes. Especially when they are so cheap that an As Seen On TV product exists specifically to repair them!
 
Second problem is, as a society we need to consume less. Those twelve pairs of (hypothetical) cheap shoes required human labor and fuel costs and materials and chemicals to make, and they will hog landfill space after they are used up. 
 
Cheap flip flops have no real use in our lives, or on our planet. Maybe if you have a pool and you want to keep a box of freebies handy for guests who forget their own.