Using an old dilapidated dairy barn found on Walker's family land, he and a friend began a BBQ operation. Raising hogs in a pig pen, slaughtering them, and cooking them to sell in the neighboring town of Travelers Rest. " My friend and I didn't really know what we were doing, trying to open up a makeshift BBQ joint, but we had pretty good success with the locals and served food for about six months. I enjoyed what we where doing, but I was skeptical of its longevity and potential growth. Somewhere throughout the process I picked up sewing, as a way to re-purpose the large amount of plastic feed bags I was throwing out from the supplemental hog feed. During those days I was very down on myself, coming out of a severe life threatening incident and depression was really taking its toll on me. When I picked up sewing it became an outlet for me, and anything that was helping restructure my coordination was catching most of my attention. I fell in love with sewing, and I think it probably saved my life. I kept sewing, and improving on what I could make, and next thing I knew I was making flip flops." The first flips where rough specimens - hand cut from rubber sheets and cork mats with adhesive oozing from all corners. Using old dog food bags for straps and tires for a footbed, the flips where brutally tested on the rigors of farm life. “The first place I went with the flips was a mud pit, to test the strength of the straps. I just waded on into the mud, and tried to destroy the flips. They held up,” says John about the first pair he made.
After developing a footbed with proper arch and heel support the guys at cooks started taking the product to the farmers market. Custom fitting each flip flop to customers' feet allowed cooks to develop a very unique and calculated foot bed with ergonomic strapping. “Being able to see all these feet (as weird as it was) really got us tuned into sizing. Our flip, with the lengthened toe thong and natural rocker will provide just about anybody with the best fit they have ever had. By lengthening the toe thong you are able to decrease the strain on your large and pointer toe. This in turn allows the muscles surrounding the arch of your foot to relax. This really makes for a happy foot.”
” is the product of years of studying feet, working with different materials, and focusing on making a durable product manufactured as sustainably as possible.
Cooking and making flip flops is very similar… if you buy cheap ingredients you're going to have a bad sandwich. At Cooks we set out to use the best materials available to ensure that the shoe is durable and mechanically sound. “We know its best to make a product as sturdy as you can, rather than make a cheap product that only lasts a little while. That’s our philosophy and that’s why we are using the best materials we can get. And it shows.”
We stand behind our products.
We were tired of cheap flip flops that were destined to blow out and end up in the landfill, so we brought the landfill to our shop. We set out to design a flip flop that was tough, durable, and comfortable. By carefully studying many different styles of flops, we engineered a flip flop that will stay firmly planted to your foot without having to be held in place by your toes, which can quickly cause foot fatigue and stress when wearing a flop for extended periods. Cooks flips are designed with snuggly fit straps which hold the sandal securely in place throughout any situation. By designing a flop that eliminates the need for your toes to hold the flop in place, you can wear a pair of Cooks all day, every day. With a cushioned heel bed and exaggerated arch support, Cooks flips utilize a "rocker" which ensures a natural, flowing step. COOKS ARE ALL FLIP, AND NO FLOP.