Best Flip Flops Reviewed and Tested for Comfort
Flip Flops signify the coming summer months, a time when the weather is hot and warm. Along with the coming hot weather comes those certain shoes you have to pull out of the back of your closet. But those old flip-flops or sneaker may not be up to par with the weather, style and comfort you need in a shoe for the summer. So, whether or not the hot weather last a few months or spans the entire year for you, flip-flops are an integral part. Which is why you need to find the best of the best. Summers consist of long periods spent outdoors, the beach, adventures, and vacations that can consist of a lot of walking. Hot days are always spent actively and you need shoes that will be able to keep up with the demand that all of these activities will bring.
When it comes to choosing the perfect summer shoes it’s easy to be caught between shoes like boots and sneakers. But these shoes don’t express the true feeling of summer and they aren’t equipped to handle the hot weather. It’s possible to find flip-flops that have the same endurance as boots and physical attributes of sneakers that will give you just what you need with the hot weather.
- Birkenstocks Gizeh
- Contoured Footbed
- Cork Midsole
- Havaianas Brasil
- 1/2" Platform
- Textured Footbed
- Sanuk Yoga
- Rubber Sole
- Yoga-Mat Footbed
Which is why we’ve created a list of flip-flops that personify summer to the tee. Ones that are perfect for your long excursions, beach trips and days spent in town.
10 Best Flip Flops
1. Birkenstocks Gizeh Thong Sandal
The Shoes also come in 34 different colors giving you a wide variety to choose from and making Birkenstock quite the fashionable choice. The shoes have been a classic iconic summer style since the year the company was founded-1774, which says a lot about the shoes.
The shoes are 82% true to size. The only complaints around the shoe which are few have to do with the shoes being slightly too big. So if you’re unsure of your shoe size then it may be a good idea to get a smaller size than usual.
Although these sandals may not be best equipped for water they’re perfect for all other activities. And have an optimal amount of comfort with their special molded platform. These shoes do lean towards the expensive side but they’re worth it, especially with the technology used to make your shoe wearing summer experience better. This definitely makes Birkenstocks’ Gizeh an optimal choice.
2. Havaianas Brasil Flip-Flop
The flip-flops also include a trademark rice textured pattern and along with this come in 12 different colors, which include three different types of yellow and two different types of pink. The remaining colors are White, Red, Green, Brown, Blue, Black, and Silver. The amount of colors makes the shoes personable and allows for added fashion. Sporting the shoes would give a very simple low-key look and style.
The reviews are nothing but praise except for the small few who warn that the sizing isn’t expected; wearers should perhaps buy a size larger than what’s normal. With a fit expected rate of 78%, this is foreseen. Although the shoes are simple they’re just what’s needed for trips to the beach or long walks about town. With the special rubber recipe that ensures a comfortable experience every step in them feels like you’ve captured a bit Havaianas history.
Runs small to size
3. Olukai Kalupa Kai Sandal
The shoes come in a whopping 39 colors for the wearer. Making the shoes easily personable and a great fashion choice. The makeup of the shoes completely exudes casual simplicity and certain mellowness. The flip-flops doing a great job of describing what one's summer should be like. The shoes fit are 75% as expected and the reviews are all stellar except for a small few on the shoes being less sturdy then described.
Kalupa Kai Sandals seem to be made for the Hawaiian atmosphere from the simple and easy-going nature of their design, to the soles of the sandals which are perfect for beaches, rocky landscapes and lots and lots of sand.
Comes in Many Colors
Runs small to size
4. Freewaters Kaamper Flip-Flop Sandal
Unfortunately, the shoes only come in two colors an unimpressive black and brown. But if you’re looking for a more blander flip-flop, where the comfort and material are much more important than the looks then this may be just the shoe for you. It has an 80% fit as expected, which is surprisingly high compared to other brands. The reviews are nothing but customers gushing over the added cushy factor the flip-flop have.
An added plus the brand is that it’s completely vegan-friendly. And with each pair bought, Freewaters helps donate clean drinking water to lesser fortunate countries. Making the flip-flops not only a comfortable purchase one that helps put change in the world.
Comes in only two colors
5. Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flops
Sanuk, seem like a great choice although they could be considered very simple compared to the other options on this list. Sometimes a little simplicity is all that’s needed.
Made from real yoga mats
Come in various colors
6. Clarks Sea Breeze Flip-Flops
The shoes are an excellent decision for someone who’s looking for a comfortable shoe to wear during the summer. But is also looking for a shoe that will bring them the necessary style that other flip-flops just can’t bring to the table.
7. Bogs Hudson Leather Flip Flop
The flip-flops only come in four different colors, which can be somewhat bland. But for someone who is looking for a simple flip-flop with not too much-added color would enjoy the look. They have a 74% fit as expected rate. Along with this many of the reviews on Amazon warn customers to buy a size larger than normal.
These shoes are great for days at the beach because of the amount of water they can handle. But they’re also just as great for a lot of walking because of their sturdy build. Although they don’t come in the most exciting amount of colors, for a prospective buyer looking for a simple flip-flop this just might be it.
Runs small to size
8. Teva Pajaro Flip-Flop
Although the shoes only come in the meager two colors of brown and “dune” this has to do with the fact that they’re meant to blend in with their surroundings. Which includes lots of rocks and sand. The sandals have an 85% fit as expected. Although the reviews warn that after some time the glue on the sides of the sandals begins to wear which is a definite con.
Teva Pajaro are a good idea for those who are looking to include a little adventure into their summer and are willing to get wet and do a bit of walking too.
Small Color Selection
9. Sole Cork Flips Sandals
The flip-flops are also embroidered on the strap and come in a few different colors. While the shoes are very practical this adds a little taste of fashion to the makeup of the sandals. The fit as expected is 74% and many of the reviews on the item criticize the strap and how uncomfortable it can be.
SOLE Cork Flips Sandals are a very practical flip-flop. With a cork base that optimizes comfort and a few colors that present style. With the two options, SOLE sandals are good choices for someone who's looking for maximum comfort and just a bit of style.
Strap Can Be Uncomfortable
Small Color Selection
10. Reef Fanning Prints Speed Logo Flip Flop
The flip-flops come in 11 different colors all resembling types of browns. But what makes the sandals so special is the added bonus that’s hidden in the heel of the shoe, a bottle opener. Which was designed to open ‘soda’ after a long day. They have an 87% fit as expected rate and many of the reviews praise the product for its arches and ‘perfect fit’.
These shoes capture all aspects of the summer making them great shoes for walking around in the heat but also when it’s time to get wet they’re just as useful. And making them even more special, when it’s time to relax the added feature hidden in the footbed allows for a good time.
Various different colors
Here we have a list of flip-flops that are sure to make your summer experience all the better instead of settling with the old worn flip flops or sneakers in the back of your closet. You now have a wide range of flip-flops that can be used for every single activity and need that your summer will have to offer. From waterproof surfer flip-flops which will more than likely help with beach excursions to sturdy durable flip flops that could even be compared to certain boots, which will no doubt get you through those long summer hiking trips or long walks. And you can’t forget the many orthopedic ready shoes that were made just to accommodate your feet and give you the most comfortability when wearing them. Summer may bring in the heat and long days but when you have flip-flops like these to choose from you’ll be ready for it.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Flip Flops
Probably the most important aspect of any shoe is the comfort. No one want’s to walk around on a bed of rocks all day, so of course, flip-flops have to be comfortable. But what exactly goes into comfortable, well-made flip-flops? What should a person look for if they want an insanely comfortable flip-flop? Well, consider these aspects as your trifecta of comfortability:
- Fit: Above all else, your flip-flops need to fit. An ill fitting shoe means blisters, rashes, pain, and lots of tears. To ensure that your flip-flops fit perfectly, try on all possible contenders in store before purchase. If the toe post and straps fit snugly around your foot, but not too snug, then you’re set for a great shoe. Remember, a tight fit means blisters, and a loose fit means slipping and tripping over your own shoes!
- Material: Usually when people think of comfort they think of nice, soft footbeds made of memory foam. And, frankly, that is one of the best materials for a footbed! As well as the footbed, the straps and uppers of your flip-flops should also be as comfortable. When you try on flip-flops, every aspect of the shoe should feel right, not just the footbed. The straps and uppers should cradle and secure your foot for lasting comfort. Materials to consider for flip-flops are leather, polyurethane, cork, gel-infused footbeds, and blended materials like EVA.
- Support: Excellent arch, heel, and joint support is key to a comfortable flip flop. Though not all flip-flops come equipped with specialized support systems, brands like Birkenstock and Clarks got you covered. Without ample support built into your flip-flops, they could be made of the softest material but still give you great pain hours later. If you have certain conditions like plantar fasciitis, be certain to purchase flip-flops designed for that condition.
Just because flip-flops are these super light, flexible shoes, doesn’t mean they aren’t durable. If you’re planning on walking in flip-flops for any amount of time, durability is key to an excellent and well-crafted flip-flop. Though some flip-flops are more durable than others, key aspects of durability include:
- Water Resistance: Though you typically see water resistance in athletic shoes, most flip-flops were made with the beach in mind. Any flip-flop worth its salt should hold up well to damp weather, but brands like Teva and KEEN are especially great for water resistance.
- Flexibility: Part of being durable is having a good bit of bend and give. A flip-flop needs to not only mold to your foot, but also to the terrain in which it’s subjected. If a flip-flop is too stiff, then major injuries could occur to the flip-flop or you. When purchasing flip-flops, test the shoe out against a wall to see how far back the shoe can comfortably bend.
- Stiffness: Though this might seem counterintuitive to the previous aspect, there must be a balance between stiffness and flexibility. If the flip-flop is too flexible than the support it gives will be lackluster and the flip-flop itself won’t be as durable. A good test of stiffness is also the test for flexibility. It’s up to you how flexible or stiff you want your flip-flop, but a good rule of thumb is that you want some give.
A good flip-flop should be hassle free and almost always hands-free. You want to be able to slip in and out of your flip-flops without a second thought because these shoes were designed for convenience. Now, athletic flip-flops aren’t the most convenient of flip-flops, but they’re definitely the most convenient of the athletic shoes. The break in time for flip-flops should usually be nonexistent since they were designed for comfort from the first use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What occasions call for flip-flops?
A: Well, since flip-flops come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, the answer could vary from flip-flop to flip-flop. The general rule of thumb, however, is that anything formal calls for closed toed footwear. Even business attire, though not as upscale as formal events, would not be appropriate with flip-flops. Casual events like going to the beach or spending an afternoon with friends are the perfect settings for flip-flops. But if you’re uncertain on what to wear to an event or on what’s appropriate, speak to those hosting the event for clarification. Who knows, maybe your boss is totally cool with casual wear to the office party.
Q: What kind of flip-flop is best?
A: That completely depends on your own style and needs! So let’s do a quick run through of the types of flip-flops you could purchase and what they work best for:
- Thongs: Probably the most well-known flip-flop style, thong flip- flops feature a toe post and straps that form a ‘Y’ shape over the top of your foot. If you’re looking for casual footwear that’s easy to slip on and off, then the classic thong is perfect for you!
- Platforms: If you’re looking for something with a bit more support or cushion than a regular flip-flop, try platforms. These flip-flops offer 1 to 1 ½ inches of height, naturally elevating your heels and absorbing shock better than regular flip-flops. Platforms, also, are better for pain relief, and they’re much easier on your arches and heels.
- Wedges: Similar to platforms, the wedge has a gradation of height from the toe to the heel. While to toe area might be a single inch high, the heel area can be anywhere from 3 to 6 inches high. Wedges are the most formal of the flip-flops and could pass as business casual wear in warmer weather. If you can handle a bit of height in your life, consider the wedge flip-flop for some flair.
- Back Straps: Back strap flip-flops aren’t technically flip-flops, but for the day to day grind they might as well be. Back strap flip-flops offer more security and stability than the average flip-flop due to their ankle straps. Essentially, if you like the look of flip-flops, but don’t want to sacrifice stability for them, look into back strap flip-flops as a compromise.
- Athletic Flip-flops: Athletic flip-flops are exactly what you think they are. Meant for rigorous outdoor training, these flip-flops usually included water-resistant material, super-gripping outsoles, shock absorption, and security straps. I would not recommend training in any kind of flip-flops besides one specifically designed for your sport.
Q: How should flip-flops fit my feet?
A: You never want to be stuck with an ill fitting flip-flop. The best advice I can give is to always try on shoes in the store before purchasing them. This makes online shopping a bit more tedious, but most online stores have size guides to mediate the guessing. When trying on shoes in the store, be sure the straps and toe post contour to your feet rather than pinching. If the shoes pinch now, then look forward to blisters in the future. But if the flip-flops are too loose, then the chances of slipping or harming yourself increase dramatically. I usually spring for flip-flops with adjustable straps to annihilate the problems with fit, but if you buy a shoe that fits a little snug on your feet, you should be fine.
Q: Are flip-flops healthy for your feet?
A: In short, the average flip-flop isn’t the best option health wise for your feet. If you wear flip-flops casually, then no major damage will occur. But if you wear flip-flops all day, every day, then you’re likely to experience pain and long lasting joint damage. If you wish to wear flip-flops all the time, invest in orthopedic flip-flops with tons of support and cushioning. The main problem with flip-flops is that they don’t offer enough support for your feet, but certain flip-flops were built for extended use. If you’re overly concerned with the condition of your orthopedic health, wear flip-flops sparingly whenever possible.
Q: How can I avoid blisters or painful rubbing in flip-flops?
A: The sure fire way to avoid blisters is by buying proper fitting flip-flops. A good fit will not cause irritation or pain, and should feel natural against the bottom of your foot. But if you still experience blister, or you don’t the money to buy a new pair, try one of these techniques:
- Strategically place band aids or shoe tape around afflicted areas to prevent further irritation or pain.
- Prevent friction with creams or powders on the afflicted area. Dr. Scholl’s Blister Stick is an excellent and cheap solution.
- Cut back on your activity. After the proper healing time, the blistered area grows back thicker and is less likely to re-open.
But the best method for blister prevention is a properly fitting flip-flop.
Q: Is there such a thing as an ‘athletic flip-flop?’
A: Yes! Athletic flip-flops do exist, and they’re quite amazing! If you’re looking into purchasing an athletic flip-flop, be sure to purchase one designed for your sport. And the one shoe you don’t want to skimp out on is an athletic shoe. So look into all the features offered and purchase the most well designed rather than the cheapest.
Q: How long will a pair of flip-flops last?
A: The average flip-flop lasts about 1 to 2 years, but that’s if they’re properly cared for. Flip-flops, however, should be changed out or exchanged regularly to keep your feet healthy. This rule doesn’t extend to athletic flip-flops, but most other flip-flops abide by this rule. Certain brands, like Clarks and Birkenstock, tend to last longer than the average, but they’re also more expensive.
Q: What materials constitute a well-made flip-flop?
A: A well-made flip-flop should have a comfortable footbed, straps, and offer some traction on the outsole. Here’s what you should generally look for:
- Footbed: A good footbed will typical be made of memory foam, cork, or a specially formulated blend of fabrics. If the footbed is squishy yet springy, as in it springs back to shape after touching, it’s generally supportive and comfortable enough for use.
- Straps: Good straps will typically consist of leather or polyurethane blends. While the leather is more resilient than polyurethane, it’s not as stretchy or soft. Typically, you’ll find leather on casual flip-flops and polyurethane on the athletic variety.
- Traction: Most good flip-flops have some sort of traction or grooving along the bottom sole. Casual flip-flops have very shallow grooves for the basic grip needed in day to day life. Athletic sandals, however, have multi-directional lug patterns for optimal grip and traction. Avoid flip-flops with a completely smooth outsole, as these offer no traction.
Q: What is the best brand of flip-flops?
A: While the best flip-flop may vary from person to person, some of the most highly rated flip-flops are from Birkenstock, Clarks, Olukai, and Sanuk. All these brands have supportive and comfortable footbeds, great traction, and secure straps. If you aren’t sure where to buy flip-flops, or if you’re looking for an upgrade on your flip-flop game, consider one of these brands.
Q: How do I care for my flip-flops?
A: Flip-flop care depends mainly on the materials of your flip-flop. If they’re machine washable, follow the instructions provided. However, if you’re uncertain if you’re flip-flops are machine washable or not, look up the model on the brand’s website. If you still can’t find a proper answer for cleaning your flip flops, here’s a general guide:
- Leather: Leather material should never go in a washer or dryer. To properly clean the leather of your flip-flops, spot clean any blemishes with a gentle cleaner and towel dry. If the leather is treated, use leather polish/oil to keep your flip-flops shiny and new looking.
- Cork: If cleaning instructions were not provided, then cleaning cork is very similar to cleaning leather. Use one part gentle cleaning detergent to one part warm water and gently scrub the area. Be sure to use circular motions while scrubbing down your cork. Rub down afterward with warm water to ensure none of the cleaning solution sticks to your shoes. Towel dry afterward and enjoy!
- Suede: It’s rather unlikely that you’ll come across a pair of suede flip-flops, but stranger things have happened in the fashion world. If you find yourself with suede anything and you’re hopelessly lost, simply spot clean with a gentle detergent. And, if you’re in a tight spot but need clean shoes like now, take an eraser and gently rub over small scuffs.
If you have a used pair of flip flops you want to clean, check out our guide to cleaning footwear!
For those dealing who can’t seem to get rid of foot odor, here’s our complete guide on how to combat smelly feet!