Best Jelly Shoes Reviewed For Style & Comfort
Summertime is almost here, and that means it’s the season for wearing your favorite jelly shoes. Back in 1982, a new style of summer footwear broke onto the scene in the form of Jelly shoes, or Jellies, an easy-wearing shoe made entirely from PVC plastic. Over the next decade, jellies would continue to grow in popularity and would even see legendary designers like Jean-Paul Gautier lend a hand at designing new styles of these always fashionable and oh-so-casual shoes.
Jelly shoes gained their popularity based on unique semi-translucent designs and the multitudes of variations that became available. PVC is like the chameleon of materials and can be crafted in any color imaginable and can even be infused with glitter. Women and girls everywhere fell in love with the simple yet fairy-tale like jelly shoe which was available at a next-to-nothing price.
- Crocs T-strap
- Croslite Cushion
- Crocs Huarache Flat
- Strappy Sandal
- Kunstro Bird Nest
- Ballet Flat
Fast forward to present day and jelly shoes are just as popular as ever, only a lot has changed from the no-frills plastic shoes of 1982. Jelly shoes today have all sorts of comfort-enhancing features and are available in many different styles too, including sandals, platforms, flats, and loafers. With so many variations of jellies available, it can be tough knowing which one is the right choice for you, which is why we’ve carefully researched jelly shoes to bring you a list of the very best available today. We have included styles for both women and children and have selected the shoes on this list based on design, functionality, style, and comfort.
10 Best Jelly Shoes
1. Crocs T-Strap
The Crocs T-Strap is a cute, stylish slingback with t-strap thong, keeping a summer aire about them. Fashionable and simple, breathable and light, they make for a great pair to wear with shorts, skirts, or sundresses to your next warmer evening event. And with a number of color options in solid, or color combinations to bump up the appeal, you are sure to find one you’ll fall in love with. T-strap design make these easy to get in and out of without a fuss, so you can get on your way to the next barbeque!
Along with its cute styling, the Crocs T-Strap sandal has a textured footbed, creating a pleasant massaging texture against the foot, helping to reduce foot fatigue, but also allow for traction when the weather is hot out. Crocslite sole adds cushion to your footfalls, so walking along the boardwalk for hours is completely feasible in this pair of sandals. With the T-strap design, irritation is minimized around the toe area while still keeping ventilation maximized.
Cost and Value
Similar to other Crocs brand footwear, it’s quite a reasonable purchase for a cute sandal for summertime. Translucent jelly material give them a shine and color that can make an outfit pop, while open T-strap design makes them comfortable for wearing long periods of time. A great option for casual affairs, BBQs, even the occasional fancy date night!
Heel May Rub
2. Crocs Huarache Flat
The Crocs Huarache Flat is quite stunning with its strappy styling, multicolored jelly material that creates a unique criss cross design. It’s fashionable, fun, and can complement many ensembles including shorts, skirts, dresses, or coverups at the pool or beach. Open toed with narrow strap spaces allow for that great airy feeling without your toes poking through the sides when walking or standing.
Crocs has made the Huarache Flat with its Croslite footbed, so you know each step will be padded with cushion and comfort. It also has supportive features in the arch, and a textured footbed for when it’s a bit too hot out. With a great foot feel, you remain firmly in place with the strappy heel that wraps around the back of the foot, but maintain open ventilation with its sandal design.
Cost and Value
Averagely priced for a pair of Crocs brand footwear, the Huarache Flat is a fun, stylish pair of jellies for summertime. Bright colorful strappy design elements bring its appeal to any outfit you wear, and keep summertime fun in the forefront of your mind. Open sandal design makes them lightweight and breathable, perfect for summer evenings or strolls on the promenade.
Require Break In
3. Crocs Isabella
These aren’t just any old jelly shoes; they provide a similar level of comfort to the infamously foot-friendly Crocs Clogs. The Isabella features a Croslite foam-cushion footbed that will keep your feet feeling great and prevent foot fatigue.
Crafted with a supple transparent TPU upper and featuring a floral cutout pattern, these jelly shoes are a girl's best friend. They’re available in a variety of colors such as coral, black, blue jean, bronze, and turquoise, so you’ll be able to pair them well with any outfit. The Isabella has a low 1.75-inch heel and the shaft measures 1.7-inches from the arch.
Cost and Value
While not as cheap as the jellies from back in the day, these are pretty darn inexpensive. The Crocs Isabella really steps up the comfort level for a jelly shoe and delivers a stylish and enjoyable wear.
- Soft TPU Upper
- Croslite Foam
- Low Heel
- Floral Cutout Pattern
- No Half Sizes
4. Kunsto Bird Nest Ballet
The Kunsto Bird Nest Ballet flat is made from PVC, flexible and translucent, with a bit of sparkle to bump up the classy look. A lace like inspired construction interweaves the form of the jelly to wrap around your foot from toe to heel. And, with three different color options of black, gold or silver, you can find one to go perfectly with any ensemble you dream up!
Some jelly style shoes can easily tear or wear from daily use, but the Bird Nest Ballet from Kunsto is designed so that the uppers are connected to the soles in one single form. This allows for a more sturdy design so you can wear without worrying if the shoe’s integrity will come undone. Great for working in the garden or house, wearing out running errands, work, or even some fancier events, this little flat will keep you looking stylish no matter what the occasion is.
Cost and Value
Quite budget friendly, the Kunsto Bird Nest Ballet flat is a great option to consider if you’re a fan of jelly shoes, and are in search of a full coverage flat style of footwear. It’s sparkle and lace like design give it sophistication, and it’s versatile enough to wear in any sort of occasion. A solid purchase for such a cute styled pair of jelly shoes!
Lace Inspired Design
5. Domucos Hollow Out
These beautiful jelly loafers are available in four colors: black, gold, pink, and white so you will have no trouble matching these with your favorite summer outfit. Complete with a hollowed-out design and glittery woven-basket textures the Domucos Jelly is a fashionable summer shoe.
The Domucos Loafer is made using ultra-soft synthetic materials and features a comfy PVC insole. Its flat heel and convenient slip-on style make for easy on and off wearability, while its synthetic material is quick-drying making these an excellent choice for a day at the beach or by the pool.
Cost and Value
These jellies are inexpensive and super-cute making them a great option for fun in the sun and more. They are available in four colors and feature a glittery-textured finish that will look great with any outfit.
- PVC Insole
- Low Heel
- True To Size
- Minimal Support
6. Katy Perry The Geli
The appeal of the Katy Perry The Geli comes in the form of different shapes which will sit on top of your toes, as they are attached to the thong that slips between your toes. You can choose from lips, rainbows, a glittery eye, and several cute fruit options. Believe it or not, they actually smell like the fruits that adorn them! It adds some fun and playful styling to your wardrobe, and is sure to be a hit at the beach or pool.
Each of the shape selections comes with different colored shoes, so if you prefer lime color, you’ll find a cute lime fruit shape. If you prefer a little bit of sass, cherry red has kissable lip shapes atop the thong! Each sandal utilizes a buckle closure around the ankle to keep you securely fastened in.
Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive on our list, but certainly worth consideration, the Katy Perry The Geli is a fun, colorful take on a jelly style sandal, making your footwear festive and bright for summertime. If you’re looking for something that will bring unique compliments to your attire, look no further!
7. SNJ Retro Slingback
The SNJ Retro Slingback is reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s, when bright colors and chunky heels were all the rage. Strappy styling brings you back to having summertime BBQs at home and drinking from the hose while you run through the sprinkler with neighborhood friends. With some toe protection, you can walk around in confidence with this pair of jellies!
Available in a number of colors, from blacks and whites, to brighter shades of blues, oranges, and even sparkly gold, the SNJ Retro Slingback can suit many summertime outfits. Its sportier look makes it perfect for casual outings, and the adjustable ankle strap closure makes them comfortable for all day wear. A textured sole helps give grippy traction, so you can take these out in summer rain showers if you like!
Cost and Value
Reasonably priced, with some variation depending on heel height selected, the SNJ Retro Slingback is a great active shoe for jelly lovers. Strappy styling gives some toe protection, and adjustable ankle closures make them comfortable to fit. With many options for colors and heel height, you are certain to find one for your next BBQ.
Durability of Straps
8. Tengyufly Bowtie
Perfect for any occasion, the Tengyufly Bowtie is a flip flop thong you can wear to any sort of casual outing or occasion, and can keep you looking stylish. Jelly construction make them super lightweight and easy to clean, with soft soles to make them comfortable for wear. Great for the pool or the beach, they can dress up a causal pair of shorts or capris for summer evenings.
The Tengyufly Bowtie stands apart from other jelly styled shoes because of its somewhat urban flair. Metallic rivets stud the strap and bowtie of the flip flop, dressing it up with some rockstar appeal. Opaque blacks and reds to translucent greys and golds give you styling options for individual taste, so you’ll find the perfect pair for your needs!
Cost and Value
Another budget friendly option on our list, the Tengyufly Bowtie is perfect for anyone who loves a flip flop, and wants some metallic fun and flair to their footwear. Jelly construction keeps them easy to clean, waterproof, and comfortable, while bowtie and metallic studs bump up the urban appeal of this pair. With a 6 month guarantee, you can purchase worry free!
9. Clapzovr Saltwater
The jellies are designed to provide total comfort. They provide shock-absorption and include a cushioned footbed for added support that's removable and massages your feet while you walk. Made with an EVA midsole that's lightweight and designed with ventilation holes to prevent sweating, these are the perfect choice for warm days spent on your feet.
These slip-on jellies offer a slip-resistant outsole and are made to prevent sweating. They have a hollowed out PVC upper that's breathable and provides ventilation holes, along with a quick-draining design which is ideal for water-related sports and activities.
Cost and Value
These are a budget-friendly jelly that provides great value for the price. They are perfect for water sports and offer a soft cushioned removable footbed, along with ventilation holes to prevent sweat and odors.
- Removable Footbed
- Slip-resistant Outsole
- Ventilation/Drainage Holes
- Massaging Insole
- Sizes Run Large
10. Ollio Ribbon Ankle Strap
Atop the Ollio Ribbon Ankle Strap sits a T-strap design with beautiful ribbon accessory to embellish the sandal. The bowtie’s center has some sparkle as it’s studded with small rhinestones to catch the light when wearing. Perfect for a night out dancing, causal evenings to dinner, or perhaps even a summer wedding event, it bumps up the classy sophistication of the jelly shoe to new heights.
Along with it’s cute T-strap design and bowtie, the Ollio Ribbon Ankle Strap keeps you in place with an ankle strap buckle. The buckle allows for an adjustable fit, so you can be comfortable in this sandal for extended timeframes. With the shiny, translucent construction, this cute pair of jellies comes in several color options that can pair wonderfully with many different ensembles.
Cost and Value
Quite budget friendly, The Ollio Ribbon Ankle Strap sandal is a cute, more sophisticated styling for a jelly sandal. It bumps up the class with sparkle and ribbon detail, while keeping the shiny jelly look at the forefront. Great for casual or formal occasions, you’ll find one pair to fall in love with as your new favorite sandal!
That brings us to the end of our list of the best jelly shoes and hopefully, you’re that much closer to finding the perfect pair for you. It’s important to keep in mind that jelly shoes today aren’t the same plain-jane plastic shoes they once were. Jellies come with all sorts of comfort-enhancing features and are available in tons of styles and colors so surely there is a style for you.
Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Jelly Shoes
Since the early 1980’s the jelly shoe has been reinvented by several big-name fashion designers and now come in many styles and designs. Some of the most commonly found variations of jelly shoes are:
Along with the wide variety of styles jelly shoes also feature a plethora of accents such as bows, stylized straps, rhinestones, sparkle glitter, and more. Though jelly shoes are mainly a shoe for summer, there are variations available which are lined with a warmer material for wear in colder weather.
Plastic footwear is a popular choice for children due to its long-lasting build and no-fuss wearability. Its also multi-functional so kids can easily transition between wet and dry terrain without the need to change their shoes which is why parents often turn to jelly shoes. The PVC plastic used in the making of a jelly shoe is very durable and holds up well under harsh wear and tear which makes it an excellent choice of materials for summertime footwear. When it comes to children’s footwear, popular styles of jelly shoes are:
An important thing to think about when purchasing a plastic shoe whether for yourself or your child is that many plastic shoes have been found to contain toxic chemicals. PVC plastic materials are found to be exceptionally high in certain chemicals which is why many manufacturers now produce jelly shoes using different plastic material and have ceased the use of PVC altogether. For shoes that are made using PVC, it’s crucial that high-quality materials and safety standards are maintained during production to prevent overexposure to possibly harmful chemicals. Look for manufacturers warnings on the product before purchasing and make sure that you buy shoes from a reliable brand and always research the product before purchasing.
When it comes to safety, especially for children, it’s also vital to consider the security of a shoe design including straps, fit, flopping, and the possibility of slips or falls. Look for a jelly shoe that is designed with a secure strap at the heel to prevent your child’s shoe from flopping, also make sure that your children’s shoes fit correctly (no flopping, no extra room in the toe, the heel does not hang over the back, etc.)
A shoe needs to function well on a variety of levels to provide an enjoyable experience for the wearer. There are many factors which make up the functionality of a shoe including materials, design, closures, and how well it fits. There are also specific considerations to incorporate into your final decision before purchasing a pair of shoes such as;
The type of terrain you intend to wear footwear on is a big part of how well it will function. If you are planning on a day at the beach or by the pool you should consider a shoe designed for water sports. This type of shoe usually has a different outsole design than other shoes and will include better traction for wet and slippery surfaces.
Whereas a shoe for hiking or off-trail wear will have a more profound lug pattern and will be designed for the loose dirt and difficult underfoot terrain encountered while hiking or venturing off-trail. A shoe for casual wear in the city will have a smoother outsole and will require far less traction than options for other types of terrain, though they will still need to offer reliable protection from the potential hazards one may encounter on the city streets.
The type of footwear you will require also depends on the kind of event you are participating in. For example, sporting activities require an athletic style of shoe that is flexible by nature and provides supportive and protective wear. While shoes for a night out on the town will not need to offer the same level of flexibility or protection, but instead, will be assessed far more for their physical appearance than for functionality.
Duration Of Wear
The amount of time you plan to spend wearing any one pair of shoes affects the kind of features you should be looking for. Any footwear that’s meant to be worn for many hours on end should provide a cushioned and comfortable footbed to prevent foot fatigue. Odor and moisture control also become a factor when wearing shoes for an extended period and you should consider an option that offers a moisture wicking material as well as odor-controlling properties.
Plastic is a tricky material especially in warm weather as feet tend to sweat more inside of a plastic shoe. Plastic doesn’t offer any moisture wicking properties or odor control which can become a problem when bare feet are worn inside of a jelly shoe. When your feet sweat inside of a plastic shoe, they will rub which causes friction and painful blisters.
To prevent unwanted odors and rubbing look for a pair that have a footbed made from a material other than plastic. There are many styles of jelly shoes on the market today which have a comfortable footbed that will wick moisture out and away from the foot while also stopping odors before they start if the pair of jellies you love doesn’t have an improved footbed consider purchasing a separate insert to fit inside of your shoes. There are tons of inserts you can buy with loads of great features for preventing sweat and blisters. Look for options that provide additional cushioning, while also wicking moisture and protecting from odors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are jelly shoes safe to wear?
A: As long as the jellies you’re wearing are made from high-quality materials than, yes, they are safe to wear. Look for manufacturers warning labels regarding any chemicals or possible toxins and make sure the brand is a reputable one.
Also, take into consideration other safety features such as straps, closures, and heel height. Ideally, a sandal should feature an ankle or heel strap and should have a secure closure system such as a buckle, or hook-and-loop fastener. A secure fastener will prevent your feet from sliding around and keep your shoes securely in place on your feet which will discourage slips and falls. When a shoe fits more securely, it lessens the chance of rubbing and friction which are the leading causes of blisters.
Q: How can I keep my shoes from smelling?
A: Unfortunately with plastic footwear, it’s hard to prevent odors from occurring. The best ways to help keep odors at bay are to look for a jelly that has a footbed made from other materials like leather which is a great material that wicks moisture and prevents smelly feet.
If your favorite jellies don’t have an enhanced footbed than you can try purchasing a separate insert for your shoes, or you can spray your feet and shoes with a deodorizing spray which will also help to prevent sweating.
Q: How much do jellies cost?
A: Depending on the brand and style, they can range from as low as $5, up to a few hundred dollars. The options we have included in this list are relatively inexpensive but are manufactured by trusted brands.
Q: Can men wear jelly shoes too?
A: Yes, men can wear jellies too. There are lots of jelly sandals available for men, and there are even unisex pairs like the Lijeer Jelly Water which we have included on the list.
Q: Is it safe for my child to wear jellies at the beach?
A: Yes, they are made of plastic which is safe for use in the water, so there is no need to change shoes when kids go from the sand to the water. Plastic is also easy to clean just by wiping them off with a damp towel or hosing them off.
Q: Why are they called jelly shoes?
A: They are called jelly shoes because of their semitranslucent appearance, similar to that of jelly.
Q: Who makes the best jelly shoes?
A: There is no one brand who makes the best but there some leaders in the industry of plastic footwear including the Brazilian brand Melissa and the ever-popular Crocs.
EVA: Ethylene vinyl acetate(EVA) is a manmade foam material that is flexible and lightweight making it ideal for use in the construction of footwear.
Footbed/Insole: The inner part of a shoe on which the foot sits.
Hydrophobic: Repels water and prevents it from entering a shoe.
Inserts: A removable inner sole for a shoe which can be purchased separately and offers several potential benefits including temperature control, moisture control, and odor control, as well as, additional comfort.
Jelly Shoe: A shoe made entirely from PVC or other plastic materials which is usually semitransparent in appearance and can include glitter-infusion.
Loafer: A slip-on shoe which has no fastening device or closure system.
Moisture-wicking: The act of pulling moisture away from the foot and out towards the top of the shoe.
Outsole: The sole that’s the outermost part of a shoe that directly connects with the ground.
Peep Toe: A closed-toe styled shoe with the exception of a hole which exposes part of the toes.
PVC: Polyvinyl chloride(PVC) is a thermoplastic material which is resistant to oxidization and occurs more naturally than other forms of plastic material.
Safety Standards: A set of rules or guidelines that must be followed for something to be considered acceptable.
TPU: Thermoplastic polyurethane(TPU) is a flexible and lightweight plastic material that’s often used in the construction of footwear.
Unisex: Something which can be worn or used by both women and men equally without the need for any alterations.