Thongs! A word that can conjure up a myriad of images in your mind. If you are from the northern hemisphere, it will no doubt be vastly different to the image someone living in Australia will have. Known across the world as flip flops, jandals and even sandals, thongs are an integral part of my Australian culture. Almost every Australian would own at least one pair. Many would have a number of them in different colours and styles. Some would even go as far as having “everyday” thongs” and “special event” thongs.
Whatever you call them, this humble piece of footwear plays an important role all over the world, and for travellers, form an essential part of their travelling wardrobe.
An overseas trip for me always includes taking a pair as my travel will often see me on a boat, a beach, around a pool, or even to be used in communal shower blocks in motorhome campsites. They are travel essentials.
Now, the debate could roar on forever about which brands are the best. Does the low cost pair from the local supermarket or department store compete on any level with the designer pair from an upmarket fashion store? Does a rubber edition fare better than those made of plastic? Are those made of leather more comfortable ? Are South American Havaianas really so special?
Everyone will have their own stories as to which they think is best, and why. My own brother swears by a pair of $2 thongs he bought six years ago that (apparently) are still meeting his needs. It says a lot about our obsession with them, and even our loyalty to a favourite pair.
I think I own six pairs – different brands, colours and materials.
Always on the hunt for something unique, but with a practical application as well, I’ve now found the perfect pair of thongs.
Introducing Willi Footwear – the best shoes for travelling light
Willi Footwear, the brainchild of two Australians, is an innovative new design for footwear of this nature. Unlike others that are mass produced, carbon copies of each other, the Willi Footwear is unique for several reasons. The name itself is quite unusual, but speaks directly to the heart of the wearer, through its ‘Why Ignore Life ? Live it! ” slogan.
Brad Munro, founder and Managing Director of the Willi Footwear, used a mishap whilst wearing his thongs in Europe as a source of inspiration. With a background in industrial and graphic design, Brad used his creativity to come up with special features that would provide longevity, be unique, and turn the humble thong into a must have fashion accessory.
No more broken thongs
Anyone who has ever worn thongs will know that they are susceptible to “blowouts”. This event, whereby the plugs that hold the strap on break (usually at an inconvenient time) will see you putting the entire pair in the closest bin. With their special patented boomerang shaped plugs, a pair of Willi thongs will see these blowouts become a thing of the past.
The plugs cover a greater surface area than the usual round plug, and with a two pronged plug, provides greater strength across the base. Whereas a round plug will usually break off, the design of these plugs mean that if enough pressure is applied on the thong (eg someone standing on your thong) the plugs will simply push through the holes and not break, allowing you to simply push it back in.
They are interchangeable
Willi thongs are leading the way as a fashion item as well as a practical piece of footwear. The Willi thongs come in seven base colours for men and women. There are also 18 varieties of women’s slim straps. The straps simply pull out and can be replaced with another strap of another colour, meaning you can have several pairs without the additional weight and bulk in your suitcase. They are perfect for those who travel with minimal luggage.
Trust an Aussie to invent a boomerang inspired thong.
Available in different styles and colours
In an effort to accommodate all foot sizes, the Willi thongs are available in two sizes. The sizing is unisex although the regular fit is aimed mainly at the male market, whilst the slim fit caters mostly for women. Similarly, the metallic, diamante straps are specifically made for the womens’ footwear.
Easy to find your size
Buying clothes and footwear online can sometimes be difficult with regard to sizing. Different brands have different sizes and so do different countries. Willi footwear make it easy to choose the right size by having a printable sizing chart available on their website. Simply choose the size you think you need, print it out and test your foot against the template. Easy.
How do they work?
To make it easy to remember, the plugs are identified as ‘in’ and ‘out’. To insert the straps, simply push the longest end labelled ‘in’ into the holes, and pull the plug through the base. The boomerang shaped end of the plug then sits firmly in the cavity.
To swap out the straps, they are simply loosened, the short arm ‘out’ is pushed out and then the remainder of the plug is pulled out after it.
I found this a little tricky the first time I tried it but I realised I was pushing it out the wrong way. Once I did it as per the correct instructions it was super easy.
Packaging and extra support
My Willi thongs arrived in their own carry bag, a good place to store the extra straps. Also included is a set of rubber rings that can be added to the underside of the thong (around the main plug) for additional strength.
Be a Willi wearer !
The great thing about this type of footwear is they are universally loved. Irrespective of what country you live in, or where you are travelling to, there is always a time when wearing thongs is necessary. The good news is that Willi Footwear ship worldwide.
Together with Willi Footwear, I am pleased to advise that a 10% discount is available for any purchase of Willi thongs and straps through the Australian website. Just use the code BEERANDC at the checkout to receive your discount.
Any orders over $60 will also attract free express delivery.
For those wanting to buy directly from the UK, Willi footwear is also now available here.
Having heard about how cool these items of footwear are, Amazon will shortly be stocking them as well. Bookmark this article to return to later for an updated link when they go live.