Havaianas: My Favourite Feet

I remember the first time I ever put on a pair of Havaianas flip flops, I hated them.  Between my big and “index” toe a massive cut began to form.  I took a piece of cotton from my med-kit and wrapped some hockey tape around it.  I could hardly walk with them on, I felt like I was clinching my toes every step I took.  You see, growing up in Canada there is not a whole lot of time to learn how to prance around in flip flops.  Sure, as soon as the temperature tops 0 degrees Celsius you’ll see the majority of people wandering around in sandals and shorts, but I am sensible.

Years later and I now have a hard time putting on shoes.  Havaianas just have a way of forming to your foot, like a cushy extension of your sole, and your soul.  When I went through Brazil a couple of months ago I bought a couple pairs that I had been planning on alternating so I wouldn’t wear one pair out early.  However, as usually happens with Havaianas, I fell in love with one pair, the ones photographed.  I am sad to say that today, September 02, 2011, my favourite flip flops have met their end.  At the ripe age of 6 months old my sandals had travelled through 17 countries and countless numbers of steps.  I sensed their time was coming as I ran for a bus in Guatemala and the right one gave up, tossing the strap from the sole.  I did a little bit of work with my first aid kit adding some tape to the ball holding them together, but it was too late.  The crack spread quickly and soon out of my control.  Can we take a moment of silence to remember my favourite feet please?

Havaianas

Havaianas

How I Got this Shot

In the honour of my Havaianas that always seemed to glow the brightest shade of orange from their straps.  I have taken my favourite photo of them, and accented them in a Black and White image, selecting the beautiful orange.  Getting this image comes down to a couple things: the shot and the post production.  The shot involved setting up the shoes like this and choosing a level of depth of field that created focus on the brand and the strap the sandal.  In the post processing I did more than just flip the switch to black and white.  I took the image and reduced the saturation of all the colours except for orange.  The I played with the tone curves to pop the contrast a little bit.  I increased the highlights, lights and shadows while at the same time dropping the dark.  That’s what gives the image such dramatic pop in the sand.  Anyways, I hope you liked this farewell to my Havaianas.

For the photographers this image was shot on a Canon 60d with a 70-200mm f/4 IS lens.  It was shot at a focal length of 144mm, aperture of f/4 with a shutter speed of 1/125 and the ISO was set at 100.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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20 Comments

  1. Interesting topic for a blog post, but GREAT pic! today must be a very emotional day for you. i feel ur pain 🙂

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    • @Aisleen – thanks you for your condolences…

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  2. Sorry about your Haviana’s, and that photo surely did them justice.

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  3. That photo is amazing, thank you so much for the explanation!

    RE flips flops please take care, honestly, hate to be negative, but having learned from experience of island living for 20+ years now you need arch support if you don’t want foot problems in later life! You can get brands with arch support which look just as cool! Wearing absolutely flat sandals for so many years now I get quite bad back ache if I do so. I still wear what they call “slave” sandals here, but have to get ones with that support. Sorry to sound boring!

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    • @Linda – boooringggg!!! ahhaha jk 😀

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  4. The last pair I bought was in Itacaré-BA and I love to wear them because it reminds me of the good times I had. I’m brazilian and the only flip flops we consider, is Havaianas. If you want to look cool in flip flops, you have to wear havaianas or else you’ll just look like a gringo.

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    • @Mariana – Thanks for your reply. Havaianas prove that you’re a gringo in the rest of South America… hahaha. 😀

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  5. I love this post as I can completely identify with you. I had a pair of Havaianas that a friend brought back from Brazil. I wore them virtually everyday when I lived in Vietnam until they were wearing thin at the bottom (but they hadn’t begun to crack at all). I was really upset when one day at the beach I got back from the sea to find that my beloved Havaianas were gone and in their place was a brand new pair of fake plastic ones. I have no idea why anybody would wish to steal fipflops so old, my footprint was firmly endented in them, or why they would bother ‘replacing’ them!

    As I could not buy new ones as they only sold the aforementioned fake plastic type in Vietnam at the time (They even had the brand name and logo on them!) I had to order them online from Brazil. They are sitting right next to me as I write this from a hostel in Uruguay and hopefully they will be escorting me through their homeland of Brazil soon.

    Great photo too.

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    • @Brit – I’m glad someone shares in my deep sentiments. haha

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  6. I have no idea if this is coincidence or bad karma, but I just read this article, stood up and broke my havaianas. The toe piece broke in two, so there is no temporary repair… Just memories!

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  7. RIP. My first pair of Havaianas bought in Salvador are also about to meet their end. I can’t bear it. I only wear them on short little walks now. Trying to make these last days (months? hopefully) as comfortable as possible for them.

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  8. Great shot! I love the details and color. I have so many pairs of Havaianas; I get a new pair every time I go to Brazil! (But I told myself that I won’t buy any more after the last time since I have too many now.)

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    • @Jenna – You can never have too many pairs of Havaianas!

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    • Thanks Aaron!

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  9. I lost my fave pair of Havai’s at Disney World after serving me for 3 brilliant years, they just fell apart and I was forced to purchase crappy Mickey flip flops, I was not a happy camper. A regular pair of Havai’s set you back around $30 AU in Australia so I bought 3 pairs when I found them for $9 dollars a pair at Victoria Secret in Florida!!! They’re hard to find in the US I’ve found.

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  10. No Havais in Hawaii!

    Odd that we don’t have them here in Honolulu (or the neighbor islands for that matter). We’re a slipper-loving bunch of Kamaaina here, as your readers will no-doubt know. I’m the odd gringo (haole here) who sometimes opts for tennis shoes. Now I have another reason to Rio or Sao Paolo … to find some Havaianas and bring ’em to Hawai’i (oddly pronounced like the slippers…Havai’i).

    Thanks Brendan. So glad to have learned today about you, your adventures, your site, and your feet!

    Aloha…

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    • @Bill – Thanks for your comment. It sounds to me like there’s probably a market out there to sell com Havais!

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