Best Flip-Flops Reviewed and Rated for Comfort
Flip-flops are synonymous with summer, sunshine and the beach. Whether you prefer to wear them on a daily basis or only when hitting the sand, flip-flops are one of those sandals that help us throw our cares away, as we head for the beach bar… ahem, the beach.
However, not all flip-flops are created equal. If you have ever worn a pair of bad flip-flops, your feet can ache and hurt by the end of the day. With extended wear, you can acquire serious injuries or medical conditions; so, selecting a good pair that keeps you comfortable and supported is of the upmost importance. Water-friendly, moisture-wicking or breathable materials are a bonus, while the right design and color choice can make or break any outfit you may have chosen for the day.
- Clarks Breeze Sea
- Highly Durable
- Synthetic Sole
- Sanuk Yoga Mat
- Rubber Sole
- Olukai Ohana
- Water Resistant
- Vegan Friendly
This list of our top 10 flip-flops includes some of the highest rated styles on the market. From style-conscious to support-oriented, this list includes products by brands such as Birkenstock, OluKai, Havaianas and Crocs. You’re sure to find something you’ll love and that will love your feet in return.
Top 10 Flip Flops
1. Clarks Breeze Sea
These sandals feature an EVA foam midsole and footbed, which makes them particularly comfortable for everyday wear. Due to its excellent shock absorbing properties, EVA foam is one of the best possible choices in footwear and can prove to be greatly beneficial if you suffer from any foot problems, including arch issues or plantar fasciitis.
The Clarks Breeze Sea feature a synthetic and textile strap with a hook and loop closure which will allow you to adjust these so that they fit you perfectly. This can prove especially beneficial to those whose feet tend to swell during the day, but also those who prefer a more snug fit.
Cost and Value
These shoes are an excellent decision for someone who’s looking for a comfortable shoe to wear during the summer. Ranking average on this list when it comes to cost, they prove to be a good investment, especially if you want to have the best support and comfort features without paying too much.
Hook and Loop Closure
EVA Midsole and Footbed
Run Slightly Narrow
Straps are too rough for some users
2. Sanuk Yoga Mat
Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flops offer a large array of colors and styles at an inexpensive price, using great materials. The shoes come in 25 different colors, so you’re sure to find a pair that fits your wardrobe and matches your swimsuit to the T.
These sandals feature synthetic straps with soft jersey lining which enables long-wear comfort without any rubber or similar hard materials rubbing your skin. The toe post is made out of soft webbing, which is especially beneficial to those with more sensitive skin, seeing that it will completely conform to the shape of your foot.
Cost and Value
These flip flops rank average on this list when it comes to price. They offer excellent quality and comfort, and you’re bound to be happy with wearing these all day and all night for your next vacation.
Made From Real Yoga Mats
Comes In Various Colors
Hard Gripping Sole
Jersey Lined Straps
Cushioning Will Flatten
Runs Slightly Small
3. Olukai Ohana
The footbed on the Olukai Ohana is made out of compression molded EVA foam, featuring a midsole that absorbs shock and impact and provides you with supportive cushioning that will allow you to stand and walk more than regular flat flip flops. The drop in footbed is great for those who need support in the arch or heel area that most flip flops just don’t offer.
These shoes are made out of synthetic materials that all work together to provide you with a sandal that will work excellent at the beach or pool. The outsole will give good grip on wet surfaces, the EVA foam midsole will quickly dry, while the quick-drying and breathable upper will perform well both in and around water, allowing you to dry more quickly than textile or leather.
Cost and Value
The cost of the Olukai Ohana flip flops ranks average to high on this list when it comes to price. Depending on the color (more than 20 available) and size you choose, you can actually get these for a price that is a good bargain for the level of quality you’ll be getting. They’re great both for every day as well as for vacation use, so if you are looking for the perfect pair of flip flops, these definitely have out approval.
Non-Slip Rubber Outsole
EVA Midsole & Footbed
Very High Archs
4. Rainbow Sandals Single Layer
The Rainbow Single Layer flip flops feature a premium nubuck leather upper that has been double stitched to ensure a long lasting wear paired with a high level of comfort that won’t rub or pinch. The nylon toe piece is just the right amount of soft and strong, using a Box X stitch to ensure it doesn’t come apart no matter the type of use you put these sandals through.
The single layer midsole in these shoes features arch support which you will love, and it is triple glued to the outsole with the specially formulated Rainbow glue that prevents these flip flops from falling apart. The outsole is a non-slip rubber that will keep you sure-footed no matter where you go.
Cost and Value
These Rainbow flip flops rank average on this list when it comes to price, but they are not a pair of convenience store sandals, so you can rest assured that you are paying for quality and long lasting durability that will keep you comfortable for plenty of summers to come.
Nubuck Leather Upper
Nylon Toe Post
Long Break In Period
5. Sanuk Yoga Spree
The special thing about Sanuk flip flops is that they have footbeds made out of real yoga mats, which are comfortable, cushioning and just divine to walk and stand on. Being so soft and adjustable, these sandals will perfectly follow the shape of your foot, offering support where you need it and comfort throughout the entire sole.
The outsoles on these shoes are made out of rubber that provides excellent traction on most surfaces, as well as protection from the surface underfoot. One of the great things about these sandals is that they can be machine washed on a cold gentle cycle, and they’ll dry overnight (under no circumstances should you put them in the dryer) so that you’ve got a fresh pair of flip flops for the following day.
Cost and Value
These flip flops rank quite low on this list when it comes to price, and this is especially surprising if you consider their excellent reviews, popularity, and the quality they give. You’ll definitely find that investing in these is a good option if you are looking for something comfortable, natural, and easy to maintain.
Footbed Made Out Of Yoga Mats
Slim & Stylish Straps
6. Birkenstock Gizeh
The Birkenstock Gizeh is available in 34 different colors, including both leather and vegan-friendly options. With their simple but elegant style, they will compliment any outfit, while the buckle will allow you to adjust the fit over the top of the foot.
Birkenstock sandals are supposed to fit a certain way: with a roomy toe box, high arch support, and deep heel cup, you might feel like these shoes are too big, but that’s how they’re made. Note that you want the support to be in the correct place, while your foot should not touch the edges of the sandal.
Cost and Value
Although these sandals may not be best equipped for water they’re perfect for all other activities due to the comfort they offer through their special molded platform. These shoes do lean towards the expensive side but they’re worth it, especially with the technology used to ensure proper alignment, support and pain prevention.
Need Breaking In
7. Reef Fanning Prints
These flip flops are great if you want a pair of comfortable beach sandals. But they’re an especially good choice if you know how to party after a long day of swimming and surfing. With a concealed bottle opener in the sole, you’re bound to get plenty of use out of these flip flops.
These flip flops feature a compression molded footbed that is made so as to support your arches, providing you with a comfortable fit you can wear all day. This is a feature especially beneficial if you find yourself suffering from arch or heel pain, or if you just want to take proper care of your feet.
Cost and Value
Being a refreshing, multi-functional item, these sandals offer excellent value. Ranking low to average on this list, you’re bound to love these flip flops whether you plan on using them at the beach, or just around the neighborhood.
Variety Of Colors Available
8. Reef Stargazer
The footbed on these flip flops is made out of EVA foam, which is a very popular material with companies who want to ensure their users get a comfortable pair of footwear. It’ll adapt to your foot, providing great cushioning, good shock absorption and customized support.
Durable Rubber Outsole
With beach use in mind, the Reef Stargazer flip flops have a rubber outsole featuring a tread pattern that will give you plenty of grip but won’t leave you with pebbles or twigs stuck in your shoes. They’ll even work well with water, and can be worn at the pool as well.
Cost and Value
Ranking low on this list when it comes to price, the Reef Stargazer is a style that is affordable, but stylish and comfortable, bringing you excellent value at a reasonable price. If you are looking for something that looks good, and if you don’t need an orthopedic shoe, then these could work well for you.
Variety Of Colors
9. FitFlop Rokkit in Suede
This midsole was designed by two British biomechanical engineers in their attempt to create a midsole that not only absorbs shock, but even more, decreases the pressure on all parts of the foot by evenly distributing it through increasing the contact area of the foot with the midsole. The seamless design ensures comfortable wear throughout the day.
The upper of these sandals is both sturdy and supple thanks to being made out of a suede material that will hug the foot, but will also mold to the foot’s shape. By offering more than just thin straps, this design ensures that the sandals stay securely on your feet no matter how much you plan on walking.
Cost and Value
More expensive than the average pair of flip flops, these shoes are a great investment if you are looking into investing in a pair of orthopedic sandals that look stylish and go with a multitude of outfits. With their non-slip rubber outsole, these will serve you well on a variety of surfaces, while the one of a kind midsole will provide you with plenty of comfort.
Sizing Runs Large
Not For High Arches
10. Teva Pajaro
Completely outdoor-oriented, these shoes are styled so as to blend in with the surroundings. Available in two colors - brown and dune - these will work great with most outfits.
These sandals are comfortable out of the box and provide excellent support throughout the entire foot. The rugged outsole has great traction on all types of surfaces, including slick or wet rocks, which makes these a good choice for outdoor adventures. The upper ensures a secure fit without you having to worry about the sandals slipping off.
Cost and Value
Teva Pajaro is 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. Ranking a bit above average on this list, they provide solid value and excellent performance.
EVA Foam Midsole
Small Color Selection
Before you take your on next hiking adventure, make sure you pick up (at least) one pair of flip-flops from our Top 10 list. Each product on our list was vetted for craftsmanship, style, comfort, durability, versatility and more. Look at our complete list of criteria we used to identify our Top 10. We also have a handy FAQ at the end in case you have any more questions. See you at the beach/beach bar.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Flip Flops
One of the most important aspects of any shoe is comfort. Not only does a comfortable pair of footwear ensure a good wearing experience, but it also contributes to the overall health of the wearer. A good fit over the entire foot means no pain, proper support, good protection and ease of use. To get the most out of your next pair of flip-flops, make sure to look out for the following factors:
- Fit: Above all else, your flip-flops need to fit. An ill-fitting shoe means blisters, rashes and pain. If the toe post and straps fit snugly around your foot, then you’re set for a great shoe.
- Material: Look out for a soft footbed, made of memory foam. In addition to the footbed, the straps and uppers of your flip-flops should also be as comfortable as possible. 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 Birkenstockand Clarks have 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 light, flexible shoes, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be durable. If you’re planning on walking in flip-flops for any amount of time, durability is key to a good experience. 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 to 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.
The way the straps attach to the base of the shoe also plays a role in the overall durability of your favorite summer shoes. A foam bottom with a thong strap shoved through it is not going to be as durable as a sandal that offers a sewn-in strap. If you are only looking to get through a summer, then picking up a pair of flip-flops form your local store may be fine, but you will be buying a new pair each year. This is not only a waste of time, but also of money. Putting a little time into researching which sandals offer great durability, as well as style, can give you a favorite pair for many fun-filled summers yet to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of flip-flop is best?
A: That completely depends on your own style and needs! 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 the 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: Backstrap 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. If you like the look of flip-flops, but don’t want to sacrifice stability for them, check out 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 include water resistant material, super-gripping outsoles, shock absorption, and security straps. Note that training in flip-flops is not recommended, unless they have been designed for that specific use.
Q: How should flip flops fit my feet?
A: You want your heel to fall right at the back of the shoe. In addition, you want to make sure your feet are not hanging over the sides of the sandal. There should be just a bit of room at the end of the sandal near your toes. Ensuring your feet stay in your shoes helps to avoid injury and keep your feet feeling great no matter what you find yourself doing.
Q: Are flip-flops healthy for your feet?
A: In short, the average flip-flop isn’t the best option for your feet when it comes to health. If you wear flip-flops casually, then no major damage should 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.
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 blisters, or you don’t have 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: How long will a pair of flip-flops last?
A: The average flip-flop lasts about 1 to 2 years, if they’re properly cared for. Flip-flops, however, should be changed out or exchanged regularly to keep your feet healthy. Certain brands, like Clarks and Birkenstock, tend to last longer than the average, but they’re also more expensive.
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 on the materials of your flip-flop. If they’re machine washable, follow the instructions provided; however, if you’re uncertain, 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 solutions sticks to your shoes. Towel dry afterward and enjoy!