Flip-flops are always falling off feet. UNC-Chapel Hill senior Fletcher Cox wants to fix this by adding a heel strap to everyday flip-flops.
Flip-flops are always falling off feet. Walking through mud, on the beach and even wading in creeks, these shoes can often let you down.
UNC-Chapel Hill senior Fletcher Cox wants to fix this. Instead of buying sandals with a heel strap, why not attach one to your favorite pair of flip-flops? So he created Strip Straps.
Cox was working as a kayaking and snorkeling guide at Saint John’s in the U.S. Virgin Islands during the summer of 2014.
He said when people showed up to go on an expedition, they never knew what shoes to wear. Some would risk ruining a pair of sneakers, while others would wear flip-flops despite the chance of losing the shoes or cutting their feet.
His solution was to make a velcro strap that easily connects to nearly any flip-flop. They are made from nylon and are meant to outlast your flip-flops. Recycled neoprene from local dive shops covers your heel to prevent blisters.
The goal of Strip Straps is to make flip-flops more versatile. The shoe of choice in summer months is often overlooked in other seasons. Instead of buying a pair of sandals and a pair of flip-flops, Strips Straps creates a two-in-one shoe for many outdoor occasions.
Cox said he hopes that this will change the way people look at the style of shoe.
Normally, flip-flops are not beneficial to ankles and feet. They may be comfortable, but they offer very little support. Strip Straps ensures that the shoe stays on your foot. Cox said he is looking to podiatrists to prove the benefits.
“It increases the life of your flip-flop and saves your feet at the same time,” Cox said.
Cox plans to have Strip Straps will hit stores by June at $10 per pair.
Right now, Strip Straps are manufactured in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Cox said he likes it that way.
“I can keep a closer pulse on the quality and production,” Cox said.
Despite the added cost, he plans to keep Strip Straps right here in the U.S.
On top of running his business and going to school full-time, Cox is competing in the final round at Princeton’s Tiger Launch with Strip Straps. Tiger Launch is the nation’s largest student run intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition. The competition allows students from all over the nation pitch their ideas to get interest from companies.
Cox took home first place in February at the New York semi-finals, and now he moves on to the finals at Princeton University on April 7 and 8.
Cox is long past the days when he used a life vest and fishing line to craft the first Strip Straps. Now, nearing the launch of Strip Straps, he hopes they are going to change flip-flops forever.