Best Flip-Flop Sandals
Previously confined to the sandy beach, quality flip-flop sandals are quickly making their presence known in more and more places as each passing summer comes and goes. Not only are they often gracing the beach volleyball courts, but they can also be seen at everything from a backyard barbecue to a hike through the forest, and even on the feet of an avid fisherman. While not for everyone, and for every season, the flip-flop sandal is essential to the summertime fun. Here are a few of our favorites.
Our Top 3 Picks
10 Best Flip-Flip Sandals
OOFOS ORIGINAL THONG
These flip-flop sandals are very often true to size, and can easily conform to most every type of foot size or width. While they don’t offer half-sizes, it is fairly easy to find a comfortable sandal by purchasing the size above a half size.
This is one of the areas where the Oofos Original Thong really shines. These sandals are engineered to absorb more shock, and to provide support to tired or aching feet, and help to reduce the stress on your ankles, knees and hips through great arch support. So if your looking for a sandal that can ease your feet at the end of a long day, this is a great choice.
While the Oofos Original Thong sandal may not look like much in the way of comfort, looks are certainly deceiving. They are made of fabric that easily conforms to your foot, making them more comfortable with wear.
While the strap on these sandals have been known to break with intense use and wear, for the most part these sandals are built to last. They’re constructed out of odor and moisture resistant materials that work easily in the shower, the beach, or the backyard.
While not the cheapest sandals on the market, this entry is remarkably affordable considering all that you get. They are an investment, but can easily fit into most moderate budgets..
If you’re looking for a sandal specifically designed to help ease your aching back, or joints, this is one you should seriously consider. Made of quality materials and designed for comfort, it’s no wonder that it is at the top of our list.
- Designed for comfort and support
- Very true to size
- Can be worn by either gender
- Thong strap has been known to wear out through excessive use.
REEF WOMEN’S DREAM SANDAL
While the Reef brand sandals have a great reputation when it comes to quality and comfort, this particular example tends to run slightly on the small size. Thankfully, the sandals do stretch somewhat with time, but considering a larger size than what you’re used to may be in order.
These sandals feature an anatomical design that have great support for all day wear, regardless of the conditions. While not as robust as our top choice in support, they are still more than enough for most people.
When it comes to comfort, it’s hard to beat the design of these sandals. The footbed features a mattress inspired PU foam, and the straps are lined with soft satin for added comfort. Finally, the rubber sponge outsole allows for increased flexibility, so walking is rarely a pain.
While they may not look as durable as others on the market, these sandals have been known to last a minimum of three years with regular normal use, and sometimes even longer. If they are properly cared for, there is no reason why these sandals can’t go the distance.
The price is another area where these particular flip-flop sandals really shine. Not only are they priced for the budget-minded consumer, but their quality is amazingly good for the price.
When it comes to comfort and pampering your feet, the Reef Women’s Dream Sandal easily lives up to its name. Add to that its budget-friendly price, and its hard to come up with a reason not to purchase them.
- Designed specifically for comfort
- Very affordable
- Runs a bit small on the sizes
CUSHE MANUKA SPINDRIFT
These sandals run true to size a remarkable 77% of the time, so finding one that fits you is fairly easy. Unfortunately they don’t offer half-sizes, so if you wear one consider opting for the next larger size.
Created by skilled footwear designers, these sandals feature a molded midsole that enhances the overall support, and a soft footbed that provides surprisingly firm arch support.
These flip-flop sandals have quite a few features to make them more comfortable. They are not only made from synthetic material that adds to the breath-ability, but there is also a ventilated mesh lining to make sure the feet stay relatively dry. The one drawback is that the straps sometimes irritate the feet when the sandals are new. In most cases they become softer over time.
Made from quality synthetic materials, these sandals last for a surprising long time, considering the common abuses that they encounter. Whether you enjoy fishing a stream, walking on the city sidewalk, or lounging at the beach, chances are these sandals will be right there with you.
These sandals fall primarily in the mid-priced range, and will cost a bit more than some of the other examples presented here. That being said, for the price, they do provide very good quality, and the Cushe brand is well established, and can easily stand behind their product.
Designed with the active person in mind, the Manuka Spindrift Flip Flop is a great choice if you spend most of your time on the go.
- True to size the majority of the time
- Superior arch support and breath-ability
- Synthetic materials promote long lasting comfort
- A bit more expensive than other examples on this list
- Designed primarily for men’s feet.
El Naturalista sandal
These sandals are shown to be true to size about half the time, which is a bit lower than other examples on this list, and it is suggested that a larger than normal size is purchased. Thankfully, the leather strap will conform to the wearer over time.
The cushioned footbed and rubber sole provides great support for your feet, and the relatively thick soles help to keep your knees and hips from feeling too much discomfort.
These flip-flops provide a remarkable amount of comfort through the use of natural leather lining, a cushioned footbed, and their slip on styling. In addition, the natural materials easily conform to the owner over time, making the sandals even more enjoyable to wear.
Based on their relatively simple design, there is very little that can break or tear on this pair. With these sandals going the distance shouldn’t be a problem.
These sandals are moderately priced, and will set you back a fair amount if they aren’t on sale at the time of purchase. However, considering the genuine materials used, and the quality of the workmanship, it is well worth the price.
With a simple, foot design and natural materials, it’s little wonder why this flip-flop made the list.
- Easy slip on comfort
- Natural leather and rubber materials
- Slightly more expensive than some others on the list
- May not be true to size- runs a little small.
- Designed primarily for women’s feet.
Olukai Hiapo Sandal
This particular example has been shown to be true to fit about 77% of the time according to customer reviews, but does tend to run a bit large when it doesn’t. However, the slip on closure makes it fairly easy to adjust when needed.
The anatomical footbed offers adequate support, and the overall shape and materials help to support the feet and joint even after a long, grueling day outside.
The straps on these sandals are premium leather with soft pigskin lining, and the molded EVA midsole offers cushioning and support that is very good. They also feature a toe grip that allows the wearer to easily keep them on their feet even with the easy slip on and off nature of the sandals.
While the quality of the workmanship and materials is certainly very good in this sandal, the price leaves a bit to be desired, being one of the most expensive available. For some, however, the Olukai name, and it’s reputation is more than enough reason to make a significant investment in flip-flop sandals.
Although they are one of the more expensive choices on the list, they still provide a great deal of support, comfort, and practicality for people who spend a great deal of time in the beach environment.
- Made from premium materials
- Great support and comfort
- Established company offers good customer service
- Very pricey
- Runs a bit large
- Designed primarily for beach and shoreline use
Under Armour Marbella Sandals
Although true to size most of the time, these sandals due run very small according to customer reviews. It is recommended that the buyer consider getting a full size greater than normal.
The support offered in these sandals is fairly minimal, but still adequate for every day use. While these flip-flops are not suited for rugged outdoor use, they are perfectly fine for every day use at a picnic, visiting the park, or lounging around the home.
For the price, these sandals are remarkably comfortable, featuring synthetic straps with foam lining and two layers of 4D memory foam on the footbed for added comfort.
The quality of the workmanship and materials for these sandals are fairly well established, and with average use, the sandals should last for a few years. While not suited for frequent or intense use, for most people, they will be more than satisfactory.
These particular flip-flop sandals are some of the most economically priced ones available.
The Under Armour Women’s Marbella V Sandals are a great choice for hanging around the house or a weekend play date at the park. They’re comfortable, easy to care for and budget friendly; just don’t expect too much in terms of rugged durability.
- Very affordable
- Relatively comfortable
- Durable under normal conditions
- Sizes may run a bit small
- Support is minimal at best
- Designed primarily for women’s feet
Sperry Thong Sandal
These sandals are true to size a respectable 84% of the time, but do run a little small when they don’t.
Inspired by the boat shoes worn primarily by fisherman, these sandals offer fairly good support in a number of situations and environments.
While the rawhide lacing and textured footbed may not be preferable for everyone, they do provide a very lightweight and fairly comfortable sandal for those who break them in adequately.
One of the areas that the Sperry brand excels in is their long lasting quality workmanship. Once these sandals are broken in, they often last for many years, and are often used in work environments where durability is key.
These sandals are moderately priced, and can easily fit into most budgets.
While the design may not suit every person, the overall durability and affordability of these sandals are hard to match.
- True to size the majority of the time
- Fairly durable
- May be a little uncomfortable for some
Freewaters Men's Scamp
Overall, these sandals are true to size, but some customers did experience a few blisters after the normal break-in period of a few days of wear.
These sandals offer adequate support for most people with the use of anatomically correct molding and a Therm-a-Rest contoured footbed with great arch support. .
These sandals offer significant comfort both in and out of the water with their water friendly hydro-leather strap, no slip synthetic sole, and grip-friendly footbed. However, people with larger feet or extra wide feet may find them uncomfortable during the break-in period.
For the price, these sandals could be a little more durable, and in most cases they’ve been shown to last around two years with active use.
The price of these sandals vary widely based on size and style, which makes figuring out whether they are budget friendly somewhat difficult. However, that also means that significant savings can be found with a bit of comparison shopping.
While not at the top of our list, the Freewaters Men’s Flip Flop Sandal does provide significant value for the money. In addition, their design allows them to be utilized both above water and below, which can be quite beneficial to the active outdoor enthusiast.
- Offers adequate support and reasonable comfort.
- Useful in both land and aquatic environments
- Varying pricing makes finding the best deal somewhat problematic
- People with larger or wide feet may want to consider other options
Reef Men's Rover Sandal
These sandals have been reported to be true to size an impressive 79% of the time. In addition, the foam footbed, and synthetic nubuck material easily conform to the feet over time.
The sandals offer compression molded, triple-density construction that provides a respectable amount of support for most people. However, those with higher arches may feel a bit underwhelmed.
The footbed of these flip-flop sandals provides a fair amount of cushioning, and the extra padded textile liner provides additional comfort in the areas you need it most.
These sandals are constructed using high-density sawtooth rubber on the outsole, which helps to protect the sandal from everyday where and tear.
This is perhaps one of the most budget friendly choices on this list, and prices range from the low end of the spectrum to about mid-range.
The Reef brand is well known for their simple, yet effective designs when it comes to footwear. While it doesn’t have all the luxuries of some of the other brands, it is still a very solid choice.
- Fairly comfortable and supportive
- Reasonably durable.
- May not be supportive enough for people with high arches
Olukai Holomua Sandal
Specifically designed to be used by lifeguards, the fit of these sandals is fairly impressive, being true to size the majority of the time.
While the sandal is designed to offer superior support for those who are on their feet the majority of the day keeping the beach safe, a number of customers have reported the loss of support and cushioning over time.
There are quite a few features that significantly add to the comfort of these sandals including adjustable nylon straps, a lightweight design, and a soft neoprene base.
Durability is where these sandals are designed to shine. Considering the lightweight TPU performance chassis, the the ICEVA footbed, the durability of these sandals are respectable, but not exactly the most impressive we’ve seen.
While not the most expensive on the list, these sandals are certainly a sizable investment.
When it comes to working the beach, the Olukai Holomua sandal is a fantastic choice based on their comfort, and support. While the durability leaves a bit to be desired based on the price, it is still a worthwhile investment if the shoreline features regularly in your life.
- Good comfort and overall support
- Well known company with great customer service
- A bit higher priced
- Not as durable as preferred, given the price.
Criteria for Evaluation
The Right Fit Means the Right Sandal
Depending on your age, weight, and other factors such as hormones, your feet can alter their size and shape on a fairly routine basis. As such it’s important to make sure that you have sandals that not only fit properly, but also can be adjusted easily when the need arises. Because of this important factor, we took a long hard look at how many sandals could be considered true to size, and could be easily adjusted. Thankfully, the examples found on this list were found to be true to fit more than one-half the time, with the average being approximately 74% of the time. This means that you’ll have a greater chance of finding the right fit the first time.
Save Your Feet and Joints with Proper Support
If you’re on your feet most of the day, the support offered by your sandals becomes very important. Through the use of quality materials, certain molding techniques, and knowledge of anatomical structures, each of these flip-flops offers significant support for those with an active lifestyle.
Comfortable Sandals Means All Day Wear
Let’s face it – if the flip-flop sandal isn’t very comfortable, chances are it’s not going to be used, right? Many of the manufacturers on this list realize this, so they do what they can to increase the comfort of the person wearing the sandal. These can include using soft memory foam, like the Reef Woman’s Dream Sandal, or using breathable materials and adding a venting system to help keep your feet cool, like the Cushe Men’s Manuka Spindrift flip-flop. Others choose to rely on the feet-friendly molding of the bottom part, or the use of synthetic material that can adapt over time.
How long will the Sandal Last– Durability
In today’s world of disposable living, it can sometimes be difficult to find something that lasts, especially in something that is used nearly every day during the warmer summer months. These sandals, to the very last one, have been shown to be durable enough to last through quite a few summers of normal use. Indeed, quite a few like the Oofos Original Thong and the Sperry Top Sider Batfish Thong Sandal are specifically designed with durability in mind, with impressive results.
How Budget-Friendly is the Sandal?
Ah yes, the price. While some of these sandals might set you back a very pretty penny, such as the Olukai brand, many on this list are moderately priced, and can be compared to a nice evening date of a nice dinner and a movie. Most people also spend a comparable amount on a nice pair of athletic or dress shoes. There are other more budget friendly examples on this list, so finding one that can fit both your needs and your budget won’t be very hard at all. Just remember that these sandals are there to protect your feet, and help ease the stress on your joints and lower back.
Additional factors to consider when purchasing a new pair of flip-flop sandals
Where are you most likely to use the sandals?
Most people start to consider buying a pair of flip-flop sandals when they are thinking about the summer vacation at the beach. The truth is though, there are many situations, and many places where a sandal can be an ideal choice for footwear. Not only are they fairly easy to get on and off, but they also allow your foot to breathe like no other piece of footwear. In most cases, unless your feet need to be protected from injury to the toes or cold air, sandals can be a very comfortable choice.
So before you buy your next pair of sandals, ask yourself the question “Where will I be using these?” If you will be using your sandals mostly around the house, yard or park, something like the Reef Men’s Rover Sandal, or the Under Armour Marabella V are great choices. If, however you see wearing your flip-flops in a more rugged environment, such as fishing a stream, playing volleyball at the beach, or even hiking in the woods, something a bit more solidly built, like the Olukai Holomua Sandal or the El Naturalista Woman Sandal N319-G Torcal may be a better choice.
How often are you likely to use the sandals?
Depending on your lifestyle, you may be using your sandals more often during the warmer weather than the colder months. You could use them primarily inside your home, in your backyard, or only at the beach during your summer vacation. In addition to knowing where you’re going to be wearing the sandals, it’s also important to know how often you will be using them.
Why? Well, like any other shoe, sandals do wear down over time. It’s just that nature of the beast. So if you’re only going to be wearing the sandals during a summer beach vacation or honeymoon, you might want to focus more on comfort rather than rugged durability. If however, you know that these sandals are going to be your daily footwear, taking the quality of construction and durability into consideration will be important.
Q: How can I make sure that I have a good fitting sandal?
A: Finding a good fitting sandal depends greatly on how you are in fact buying the sandal. If you are shopping in a brick and mortar store, it’s imperative that you actually try on the sandal, testing it’s fit and ability to move with your foot in a comfortable way. Also, be sure to shop for the flip-flop in the afternoon. Most people’s feet swell slightly in the afternoon, and if you buy flip-flops without taking that into account, it can lead to a painfully small sandal later on.
Once at the store, you’ll need to take a number of things into consideration. Is the width of the sandal comfortable for your foot? Is the molding helpful, and supportive of your arches? Are the grip points in the correct places? Does my heel come up too short, or hang over the back of the sandal. Does the strap feel comfortable on the top of my foot and between my toes? Discomfort in any of these areas may signal that the flip-flop under consideration might not be the right size for you.
Of course, another buying option is to go on the Internet and purchase your sandals that way. While there is no question it is more convenient, it does raise some interesting challenges. First, it’s impossible to try the sandal on. Second, the number of potential choices are often much greater than what you’ll find in a normal shoe store.
So what is a person to do? First, take a look at what the on line retailer says in regards to the “true to fit” or “true to size” for the sandal. Often that can let you know if a size 6 in their sandal might be a bit larger or smaller than what you’re used to. Second, take a quick look at the reviews for the product. Often, one of the first things people will comment on how well, or poorly the sandal fit them. It’s not perfect, but it can give you a pretty good starting point to work from.
And finally, if you wear a half-size in your shoe, your best bet Is to go up one full size in the sandal. Most sandals, including flip-flops, are sold only in whole sizes.
Q: What are some of the common materials that these sandals are made of?
A: The materials used to make sandals often fall into two different broad categories – that of natural or synthetic. Both groups have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, natural materials such as leather, natural rubber, cork, cotton, or even wood often will provide great breath-ability and durability, but some people may have adverse reactions to them. Synthetic material, while often very friendly to sensitive feet, may not offer as much flexibility as the natural counterparts.
Most flip-flops are comprised of multiple different types of material, both synthetic and natural. For example, the Reef Men’s Rover sandal uses natural rubber for the outsole to provide superior traction, while the straps and footbed use synthetic foam to aid in the cushioning and comfort.
Q: How should I care for my flip-flop sandals?
A: One of the great things about flip-flops is that they are relatively easy to care for. In most cases, a simple wipe down to remove excess dirt and grime, and storing them away from pets who might see them as a tasty chew toy Is basically all you have to do. There are, of course, exceptions. Sandals that use foam cushioning often require that you keep them relatively dry, and to air them out on occasion. This helps to prevent bacteria from forming in the foam, and giving your sandals that not so pleasant foot odor smell. Thankfully, there are quite a few products on the market today designed to absorb that moisture from shoes and sandals alike.
Q: What should I look for in a flip-flop sandal if I do a lot of walking?
A: If you’re an active person, and you suspect that your sandals are going to be your main footwear on your summertime jaunts, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. First, make sure that your sandals are well constructed and can go the long haul. Second, make sure that there is adequate cushioning. After all, the more walking you do, the more tired your feet are going to get, especially if you are wearing uncomfortable sandals. Also, consider finding a sandal that has a toe grip, which makes it easier to keep the sandal on your foot. Just scrunch up our toes with each step and your flip-flop should remain fairly secure.
And finally, make sure that you buy sandals that fit your feet well. It may take a few tries of course, but if you do a lot of walking or physical activity, the last thing you need is a flip-flop that gives you blisters instead of comfort.
Q: What can I do to make sure flip-flops won’t hurt my feet?
A: One of the few disadvantages of flip-flops is that if they don’t fit right or are not worn properly, they can contribute to achy, tired feet. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent such an occurrence.
First, never be afraid to pay for the quality. Flip-flops, more than most shoes rely on quality materials and construction to produce a well-made sandal. This is important, since a good flip-flop can offer the support that your feet need to keep them from developing blisters, tired feet, or sprained ankles.
Second, make sure you give your flip-flops a rest from time to time. While it may be tempting to wear them constantly, your feet do need a break from the flip-flops to allow them to more easily stretch out.
Third, make sure that you keep your flip-flops in good condition, or replace them if needed. A little bit of wear might make the sandal look rustic, but a little bit more can be dangerous. How many people have tripped and fallen injuring themselves badly because of a broken strap, or a broken part of the sandal?
The fourth thing to consider is the actual fit of the sandal. It’s very important to make sure that your sandal fits just as well as any other shoe you may wear, if not more so.
When it comes to summer fun, or really fun during any warmer weather, flip-flops can be a great addition to your wardrobe. Not only are they easy and comfortable to wear, they often can create their own practical fashion statement as well. Whether you’re just looking to buy a pair for this years backyard barbecue, or to help you conquer the waves at the beach, the choices presented here are a great place to start.