I’ve known of SOLE for years, but only for their heat-mouldable insoles, which I love. So I was rather pleased when they got in touch and offered us a pair of these cool Sport Flips (flip flops).
Now, I’ve suffered all kinds of foot pains over the years from wearing poor-quality footwear and generally not taking care of the way I walk, so I was interested to read about the Sport Flips’ design, which incorporates a few features taken from medical orthotics. First off is the instantly noticeable Metatarsal pad, which is a thumb-sized lump that sits behind the ball of your foot. This relieves some of the pressure of walking from the big bones at the front of your foot and I found it seemed to work excellently. You don’t notice it after a few seconds, but the combination of this, and the whole footbed being made from a foam which gradually moulds to your feet mean that these are very comfortable to walk on.
The ‘strap’ of the Sole Sport Flips is a suede-like material with a foam underside. It looks like it should be really comfy, but I had some real problems with this rubbing on the area above my big-toes. It’s as if the whole thing is angled a bit too aggressively and it cuts into the foot slightly. Of course, fit is subjective, so you may not experience the same problem, and over time the rubbing has decreased, but there is still a definite hotspot which puts me off wearing them for extended periods.
The sole of the Sole’s is a trainer-like rubber affair. It has pretty good grip and seems to be designed to cut through wet surfaces. The strap holds the whole thing to your foot very securely, so it’s confidence inspiring to walk in.
Build quality appears to be excellent. The top-side of the Flip is very soft at the heel, which is great for cushioning and Sole themselves point out that they’re good for sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis (inflamed ligaments in the heel and underfoot). All along the top-side of the Flip you can feel different densities of foam at different locations, each designed to support areas of the foot – these aren’t your basic Havianas.
Priced at around £40, these look expensive for flip-flops, but if you think of them more as high-quality shoes without the top bit, that gives a better idea of their worth.
SUMMARY: Loads of medical-related technology goes into shaping the footbeds of these Flips, and the comfort of the sole is excellent. They’re hard-wearing, grippy and supportive. I had major problems with a rubbing strap on both feet, but I accept that that’s a subjective problem due to my unusual gait (all Flip-flops rub on me) and have not taken too harsh a line on the rating. Otherwise, they’re the most comfortable and secure flip-flops I’ve ever tried. I’d be interested to hear from other Sole Sport Flip owners about the strap comfort.
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