The styling on these really appealed at first glance – the cork soles reminded me of my old faithful birkies but the thong style straps on these are more beachy/surfy.
My first try involved a shuffle around the house and the soles lived up to expectation but the straps felt a bit weird. They are on the high side and there was a gap between my foot and the strap.
Their second outing was during a visit to some friends on a warm spring day. I donned the Sole Casual Flips for a shortish walk – 2 miles – along a country path to a pub lunch. The walk to the pub was OK, and the soles were great on the gravel path – cushioning my feet from all the lumps and bumps very well. But the “highness” of the straps was bothering me. It felt odd, and I was aware of a pressure across the top of my feet which a tad disappointing.
Soon enough we arrived at our destination and I forgot about my feet as I washed down a shandy. However, when I stood up after the meal… ouch! I was suddenly very aware of my feet. The straps had rubbed a red mark across the top of both feet and I hobbled around the table.
My friend – with the same sized feet – kindly offered to swap shoes for the return journey and I was interested to see if she too would suffer the same fate. Her first impressions were also about the height of those straps. Sure enough they soon started rubbing the tops of her feet, requiring a switching back of foot wear (no point in both us having mullered feet!). A quick tissue repair and I was able to walk back…although clearly would not win any style awards.
Now, this is where this review could end; 0 hammers and a general slating. However, in the interest of fairness I will point out that I have a wide-fitting foot and because I found the soles so comfy I searched out someone with the same size feet but a narrow-fitting (and quite possibly a taller foot).
Their new owner has now had them for over a month and has worn them for prolonged periods without any problems at all. She commented that the high strap felt odd to start with, but she’s found it useful on longer walks as there is no way you would flip out of them. She also agrees that the chunky cork sole protects the feet from any stones and is very comfortable.
The Sole Casual Flips are more than ‘just’ a flip flop. In the sole, Sole have built a whole host of orthotic features to support your feet properly as you walk. There is a toe-bar, deep heel-cup, metatarsal supports, arch supports… the whole shebang! Hence the price: £55.
SUMMARY: With all things considered I’m going to give the Sole Casual Flips a 3-hammer rating. The straps really narrow down their customer-base. If you have a wide-fitting then avoid these. If you have dainty, slim hoofs then these are a comfortable and hard-wearing footwear choice if you need a summer flip flop.