Best Rainbow Sandals Reviewed & Rated

Rainbow Sandals are a front-runner in the world of summertime footwear that started out as a one-man shop operating out of a garage in Laguna Beach. Back in 1972 Jay “Sparky” Longley had a vision of the worlds best sandal and set out, with only two-hundred dollars in his pocket, to make his dream a reality. Jumping to present day, Longleys realized his dream and created ‘Rainbow® Sandals,’ the worlds best sandals.

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By NicoleH:

Updated is our list of top Rainbow Sandals, including a couple newer items. With a long history in surfing culture, Rainbow Sandals are one the premier thong sandals that utilize arch support with superior cushioning. Check our criteria and FAQ sections to help you select one pair that suits your taste and style!

Each pair of Rainbow Sandals is crafted by hand using the highest quality materials and careful detailing to ensure that every customer is delighted with their purchase. These shoes are super-strong and made with the use of individual densities of sponge rubber that make for the ‘memory’ cushion footbed which makes them so comfortable. Longley utilizes a nylon webbing to prevent stretching and a box ‘X’ stitch to hold the toe piece securely in its place and has even created his eco-friendly glue to keep the parts firmly together.

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Single Layer
  • Single Layer
  • 4.8 out of 5
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  • Arch Support
  • Thick Strap
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Double Layer
  • Double Layer
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Premium Leather
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Single Rubber
  • Single Rubber
  • 4.7 out of 5
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  • SBR Rubber
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When it comes to comfort, no one does it quite the same as Rainbow Sandals, which is why they sell over two-hundred-thousand pairs every year. Jay “Sparky” Longley has built up a reputation for his footwear that stands above the competition through word-of-mouth from satisfied customers thanks to his dedication and the fine craftsmanship put into every pair.  There are many different styles of Rainbow Sandals including single or double layered arch supports, premier leather, rubber, and even hemp options to choose. This page will guide you in making your selection and help you pick the pair most appropriate to your needs. Through careful research, we’ve narrowed down the styles available and selected the  best Rainbow Sandals based on several factors including comfort, construction, and style.

 

 Best Rainbow Sandals

1. Single Layer

These trendy sandals are made from premium nubuck leather and feature single layer arch support. They offer a double stitched design for durable and long-lasting wear and a nylon toe piece that's made from bonded nylon thread and secured with box X construction. These triple glued slip-on sandals have a non-slip Rainbow bottom and stylish, trendy design.
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Construction
Crafted from Premier nubuck leather these sandals feature a single layer of arch support and double stitching to ensure a long-lasting shoe. They are complete with a nylon toe piece made from bonded nylon thread and secured with box X construction. Each piece is triple glued for the most durable and long-wearing manufacturing.

Style
These sandals are super stylish and include an embossed Rainbow logo and original Rainbow woven label. They are available in seven colors: dark brown, eXpresso, grey, pink grey, premier black, sand, and Sierra brown.

Cost and value
As with all Rainbow sandals, the single layer premium leather is a budget-friendly and functional shoe that's well made and includes a non-slip rainbow bottom for added security and safety. These modern and trendy sandals would be the envy of all your friends and are perfect for summertime living.
Pros
  • Premium Leather
  • Double Stitched
  • Nylon Toe Piece
  • Non-slip Sole
Cons
  • Tight Straps

2. Double Layer

These Rainbow Sandals are made from premium leather with a double layered midsole for additional arch support. They are double stitched for solid construction and offer a slip-resistant outsole while proudly displaying the Original Rainbow woven label.
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Construction
These comfortable sandals come with a double layer midsole for added arch support and feature double stitching that makes for durable wear. The top sole is made from premium nubuck leather, and the nylon toe piece is well-secured using a box X stitch.

Style
The Double Layer includes the Original Rainbow woven label along the strap and is available in six color variations: dark brown, eXpresso, grey, premier black, sand, and Sierra brown.

Cost and Value
Rainbow Sandals offer tremendous value for their price and are reasonable enough to buy more than one pair of. The Double Layer offers solid arch support and a stylish, laid-back design that is perfect for fun in the sun and more.
Pros
  • Original Rainbow Logo
  • Double Layer Support
  • Nylon Toe Piece
  • Premium Leather
Cons
  • Straps Fit Snug

3. Single Rubber

3.  Single Rubber
The Single Layer Rubber has been a popular choice for over 40 years. Made from high-quality SBR rubber that lends a super-soft foot feel and featuring single layer arch support, these are an excellent choice for summer. Their rubber construction is waterproof, and they are made using recycled materials.
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Construction
These classics are made from quality SBR rubber and have a tubular Jacquard nylon strap that’s double stitched and bonded using nylon thread. As with all Rainbow Sandals, the Single Layer Rubber is triple glued to keep each piece firmly held together and are complete with box X toe construction for the most durable of wear.

Style
These versatile rubber sandals are perfect for water-related activities and feature a non-slip Rainbow outsole. They have an SBR filled strap and include the Original Rainbow woven label. They're available in five color choices: blue-black, brown, solid black, black-grey, and a limited edition black with a rainbow sole.

Cost and Value
These are a reasonably-priced and versatile sandal that's great for use on either wet or dry terrain. They offer a super-soft foot feel and single layer arch support and are made with the same level of solid construction as other Rainbow Sandal varieties.
Pros
  • SBR Rubber
  • Arch Support
  • Five Color Choices
  • SBR Filled Strap
Cons
  • Softer Support

4. Narrow Strap

4. Narrow Strap
When it comes to sandals, people tend to either appreciate thong sandals that have narrow, or wider straps to them. The Rainbow Sandals Narrow keeps in mind those who favor a slimmer look and feel when it comes to the straps of the sandal. Perhaps your feet tan easily and you don’t want wider straps creating huge tan lines. Or, like many, having a narrow strap is simply comfortable, classy, and simple, making your flip flop easy to wear anywhere down the beach. Whatever your reason, this one is worth a look!
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Single Support
Keeping in line with the Rainbow Sandals brand, the Narrow comes with a single layer of cushioned support and comfort. The midsole consists of a closed memory foam, making each of your steps light, padded, and cloud like in feel. Straps and footbed have a great foot feel, being made from Nubuck leather of quality grade. Step out in soft style with either sand or sierra brown color options to your next summer event.

Narrow Straps
One of the things that the Rainbow brand is know for, is their comfortable stitching and quality construction of thong style sandals, so you know any pair will hold up for the long haul. The thong toe is bonded nylon in material, with an X stitch for security and durability. Narrower straps run along either side, soft and comfortable against the skin, and suitable for all day wear without irritation.

Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive when compared to other thong style sandals, you pay a slight premium for the quality construction Rainbow Sandals is known for, but also a comfortable and durable design. If you’re a fan of the brand, it’s a sure purchase, and if you’re just looking for a pair to try out, they’ll be well worth the investment and longevity!
Pros

Narrow Straps

Single Support

Cushioned Footbed

Soft Foot Feel

Cons

Run Narrow

Leather Quality

5. Wide Strap

5. Wide Strap
Just the opposite of the Narrow, the Rainbow Sandals Wide is for those who prefer wider thong sandal straps for fit and comfort. It holds the same single layer cushioning and stability with wider leather straps to boost the look and appeal to a bit more luxe in feel. Double stitched to be durable against fraying and breakdown from the elements, the Wide Strap is great for those who want some quality leather option in their thong Rainbow sandal.
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Wide Strap
Some individuals prefer wider straps on thong sandals for more surface area contact and coverage, as well as fit. Straps have been double stitched, so you know that no matter where or what you expose this sandal to, it will keep its integrity and durability over time. No more fraying or tearing straps from simple wear. As with other Rainbow Sandals, the box X stitch secures the toe piece with bonded nylon so it won’t pop out when wearing.

Single Layer Comfort
The Wide Strap has a single layer of Rainbow brand support and cushion, with supportive midsole and arch. Glued together for greater longevity of the sandal, it will hold up throughout the elements and time. Base sole of the Wide Strap is the branded non-slip sole to keep you walking on any surface, even slippery rocks!

Cost and Value
Similarly priced to other models in the brand, the Rainbow Sandals Wide Strap is great for those who prefer wider strap fit with quality leather construction. Rainbow logo completes the look, and single layer construction will keep your steps stable, supported and cushioned. Well worth the investment if you’re in search of this kind of option for your next pair of Rainbows!
Pros

Single Layer Support

Wide Cushioned Straps

Arch Support

Color Choices

Cons

Run Small

6. Flirty Braidy

6.  Flirty Braidy
The Flirty Braidy features a classic finished leather and single layer arch support. These stylish shoes are a hit with women everywhere and offer a super-cute alternative to the usual Rainbow Sandals styles. The Flirty Braidy boasts a narrow strap and asymmetrical design for a classy vibe that’s still laid-back enough for casual summer wear and is available in three colors: classic tan, classic mocha, and classic black
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Construction
The Flirty Braidy has single layer arch support and is made using double stitched and bonded nylon thread and has a securely wrapped leather toe piece. They feature the traditional non-slip Rainbow outsole and have an upper made from finished leather.

Style
These cute sandals offer a change of pace from the usual Rainbow looks and are a welcomed breath of fresh air. They have a braided outer strap with stitched trim on the inside and display both an embossed Rainbow logo and the Original Rainbow woven label. The upper part is made of high-quality nubuck leather and has a polished finish for a smooth and clean appearance. The toe piece offers their newly designed V-style construction and comes covered with soft leather.

Cost and Value
The Rainbow Sandals Flirty Braidy is in-line with the price point for these shoes and is available for a relatively low-cost. They bring a new style to the table and provide a welcomed change to the traditional designs seen with the Rainbow line.
Pros
  • V-style To Piece
  • Non-slip Outsole
  • Arch Support
  • Color Choices
  • Braided Strap
Cons
  • Short Toe Strap

7. Crystal

7. Crystal
The Crystal Collection of Rainbow Sandals are similar to the single-layered leather design but include a narrow strap with embedded Swarovski Crystals. They are made using the same stable structure as the most popular designs and include the signature non-slip Rainbow outsole so you can walk with a sure foot on any terrain.
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Construction
The Crystal Collection has the same construction as the single layer leather styles including box X stitching and bonded nylon thread. They offer a narrow leather strap and an upper made from premier leather, along with the signature Rainbow non-slip outsole and triple glued layers.

Style
These sandals are highly rated thanks to their gorgeous embedded Swarovski Crystal elements along the strap. They are available in six colors: dark brown, eXpresso, pink grey, premier black, Sierra brown, and wedding white.

Cost and Value
While these cost a bit more than other styles, but that’s expected when you incorporate Swarovski Crystal elements. These are a very chic and stylish sandal that’s elegant enough for formal occasions and tough enough for fun in the sun.
Pros
  • Swarovski Crystal Accents
  • Arch Support
  • Leather Upper
  • Non-slip Outsole
Cons
  • Sizes Run Large

8. Bentley

8. Bentley
The Bentley is a newer style available and offers a trendy woven strap design. It’s made from premier leather and has a single layer footbed for substantial arch support. The underside of the strap is made from pigskin for an ultra-soft and comfortable finish, and the straps feature two-colors for an original feel.
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Construction
The Bentley is constructed using the same box X double stitching as the traditional styles and is triple glued to prevent them from coming apart. They are made using bonded nylon thread stitching at the nylon toe piece which makes for an extra durable foundation.

Style
The Bentley is a traditional single layer leather styled sandal which offers a woven two-color strap and includes an embossed Rainbow logo and Original Rainbow woven label. It's available in two color combinations: Sierra/Dark Brown and eXpresso/Dark Brown.

Cost and Value
These are a newer model. Therefore, they cost a bit more than some of the choices on the list. The Bentley is a well-made a fashionable choice of summer footwear that are going to bring you countless hours of enjoyment.
Pros
  • Woven Strap
  • Two Colors
  • Nylon Thread
  • Box X Toe Stitching
Cons
  • Small Fitting

9. Classics Hemp

9. Classics Hemp
Even if you’re a long time fan of the Rainbow brand, sometimes sandals aren’t the best option of footwear for certain occasions. Enter the Classics Hemp, a closed toed flat that still embodies the brand’s arch support midsole and comfort concepts. Natural hemp material covers the foot in a lightweight breathable protection, and makes for a slightly more versatile pair of Rainbows for both casual and a bit more formal events.
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Full Coverage
Sometimes wearing sandals may not be the best etiquette in certain scenarios, but you can still keep all the support and comfort Rainbow Sandals is famous for, in a full coverage pair of flats. The Classics Hemp utilizes natural hemp material to create a pleasing textured upper that covers the whole foot. Hemp make the shoe lightweight and breathable, so you can wear on hotter nights without worrying about hot feet!

Single Support
True to the brand, the Classics Hemp uses the single layer midsole with arch support features, so you’re guaranteed the comfort and stability you’ve come to love from the brand. Cushioned and soft, you can hit the ground protected in this pair. Sticky non-slip soles provide ample traction, while a lightly padded collar helps protect you against any blistering or irritations when walking.

Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive than other sandals the brand has, it’s worth the extra little bit of cost for its great styling, natural hemp coverage, and single layer midsole support. The Classics Hemp provides an alternative style of footwear for Rainbow Sandal lovers, making it easy to wear your favorite brand to events where the usual thong style sandal may not be appropriate.
Pros

Natural Hemp Uppers

Full Foot Coverage

Single Arch Support

Non-Slip Sole

Cons

Durability of Hemp

10. Single Leather Two Tone

10. Single Leather Two Tone
If you are a leather lover, but like to have a bit more flash in your footwear than monotone color, consider the Single Leather Two Tone sandal for your next pair of Rainbows. Complete with patented single arch support layer the brand is famous for, it also sports a tonal contrast in the arch to add in a little pizzazz to the sandal. Durable leather keep this sandal’s longevity high, and non-slip bottom will have you stepping out confidently.
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Nubuck Leather Straps
If you love leather, you’ll love the Single Leather Two Tone, which sports durable nubuck leather straps and has a soft footbed for a great foot feel when wearing. Leather does give this pair a bit of style to wear out in the evenings on hot nights or if you just want some added sophistication in your thong sandals. With a few color varieties to select from, you’ll be able to get a pair perfect for your wardrobe style.

Two Tone Support
The Single arch support midsole will make sure that you walk comfortably and feel stable when wearing, cushioning you with every footfall. The two tone design contrasts the straps and footbed color with the arch midsole color along the sides, creating a pleasing aesthetic. Great for those who want to add a little flair to their sandals.

Cost and Value
Similar to other Rainbow Sandal models, it’s averagely priced for the brand. The Single Leather Two Tone is a great option for those who enjoy the look and feel of leather on their feet, but prefer some color contrast for additional sophistication. Single layer midsole provides great arch support, and makes for a wonderful pair of sandals for strolling the boardwalk!
Pros

Durable Straps

Single Arch Support

Contrasting Aesthetic

Soft Foot Feel

Cons

Can Be Slippery

In conclusion, when choosing a pair of Rainbow Sandals, you won’t need to worry about how well they’re made, or how long they’ll last. Every pair comes with the Rainbow Guarantee which means in the event of any damage or failure you can have your sandals repaired or replaced. Rainbow Sandals are unique in their use of specially formulated densities of sponge rubber which create a ‘memory’ footbed that conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot and the utilizing of patented eco-friendly adhesives. No detail is overlooked from the stitching to the material, and especially in the making of a pair of Rainbow Sandals.

Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Rainbow Sandals

Neon-Rainbow-Best-Rainbow-Sandals

Construction

What makes Rainbow Sandals so unique is the care taken while making them. Each pair of sandals is handmade using only the highest-quality materials and careful attention to detail. These shoes are built to withstand the summer weather and are sturdy enough to wear while engaging in all sorts of outdoor activities. They feature specialized styles of stitching and are available with different layers of arch support to accommodate the needs of each customer.

  • Layers

Rainbow Sandals are available with either single or double layered construction. Both offer arch support, but the double layer sandals provide an additional layer which raises up the back side of the shoe by 5/16th of an inch.

Double layer sandals are best for wearers looking for an added cushion at the heel. They are also better suited for people who have a higher arch or who would typically wear an insole. Other than the difference in cushion height both single and double layer sandals are made the same.

  • Durability

All Rainbow Sandals are made to last thanks to specific design features which enhance their longevity, these include:

  • Bonded Nylon Thread
  • Nylon Toe Piece
  • Premium Leather
  • Triple Glued

All stitching consists of a double bonded nylon thread which is more durable for use outdoors and can withstand hot, humid conditions. Rainbow Sandals are constructed using two leather straps which join to a nylon toe piece that features a box X parachute stitch. Every side of the shoe is triple glued to ensure that they don’t come apart even with extensive wear and tear.

  • Box X Stitching/V-style 

Box X Stitching is a stitched box which has an ‘X’ sewn through the middle of it. This type of stitching is extremely resilient and provides superior stability and strength, and when properly sewn it adds a fancy looking pattern. Box X stitches are used in the industrial and manufacturing industries to hold extreme loads and is used in the making of a parachute harness.

The V-style toe strap sees two separate straps join together at the front to form the toe piece. The single straps are overlapped at the joined part and create a unison doubled-up toe piece that’s secure and solid in design.

Comfort

Five-Friends-At-Sunset-Best-Rainbow-Sandals

  • Memory Footbed

Rainbow Sandals are designed with the use of particular densities of rubber which form a soft ‘memory’ footbed that makes these sandals oh-so-comfortable. The footbed will mold to the shape of your foot within roughly one week of wear and will perfectly hug and cradle your feet in comfort. The rubber will retain the shape of your foot and deliver the same level of cushioned and customized support time after time.

  • Materials
Rainbow Sandals are available in different materials including leather, rubber, and natural hemp. Each style has its benefits, and each differs from the others. See below for a description of each material.
  • Leather
    Leather styles are the most popular choice of Rainbows and are available in either Premier or Classic variations. Premier options are made from top-grade nubuck leather while Classic styles are made from a lesser, while still high-quality, leather. The leather is a breathable and comfortable wearing material that wicks moisture away from the skin for a fresh and dry feeling. Though leather offers many benefits, it also has its drawbacks including the limited ability to wear on wet terrain or for use while participating in water-related activities.
  • Rubber
    Rainbow Sandals made from rubber have a rubber sole which is water-resistant and non-slip, along with an upper strap made of nylon, polyester, canvas, or suede. They’re available for men and women in a double or single layer and differ mostly because of the strap material.
  • Hemp
    Hemp styles are made using the same construction as the leather styles but are made from 100% natural hemp fibers. Hemp sandals are made with both a single and double layer of arch support and are available for men, women, and children. Hemp is better suited for wear on wet surfaces than leather and does not lose their shape or texture if they become wet. Hemp, however, tends to lose its coloring over time which can be prevented through proper preventative care and cleaning.

Style

Sandals-On-Rock-Best-Rainbow-Sandals

Rainbow Sandals have been stylish for over 40-years, and to this day there are new and trendy looks released. Take the Twisted Sister or the Flirty Braidy for example; both are modernized twists on the original classic style of Rainbows that offers an updated edge to their overall style. Over the years the addition of multiple aesthetic features has kept these shoes in the forefront of peoples minds, things like braided straps or pairs made from hemp.

Today there are options for men, women, and children, and the brand has expanded to include apparel and accessories, further adding to their credibility and staying power.

The styles of sandals available are:

  • Single Layer
  • Double Layer 
  • Rubber
  • Hemp
  • Classic Leather
  • Premier Leather
  • Wide Strap
  • Thin Strap
  • Braided Strap
  • Children
  • Men
  • Women

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can I wear Rainbow Sandals even though I have plantar fasciitis?
A: Yes. Rainbow Sandals are made with either a single or double layer arch support which will adequately support and cushion the foot. Individuals with plantar fasciitis may benefit from wearing a dual layer arch support because it offers a thicker cushion.

Q: Are there styles available for children?
A: Yes, there are styles available for men, women, and children, and many of the same options for adults are also available in kids sizes. Children will love the comfort and style of these shoes and are sure to enjoy the way their feet feel while wearing them.

Q: Are there men’s styles with a braided strap?
A: No, braided straps are only available for women’s styles at the moment, but men can choose from a wide or thin strap and have the option of choosing between two variations of leather, rubber, or hemp options. There are also different colored and multi-colored outsole choices for men, women, and children to pick from and every year Rainbow Sandals come out with new twists to their classic styles.

Q: Will there be a break-in period with these sandals?
A: When you buy a new pair of Rainbow Sandals they will more than likely feel a bit tight, this is normal, and within one weeks time they should have conformed to the shape of your feet and fit much more comfortably. As with any new shoe, it does take a little time to adjust to these sandals, but once they contour to the shape of your feet, they will retain this shape and continually provide a customized level of comfort. It’s best to wear these sandals for a shorter period of time during the first few days of wear to prevent blisters from forming.

Q: Can I get my leather Rainbow Sandals wet?
A: When exposed to water, leather tended to become brittle and cracked over time. It is not advisable to reveal a pair of leather sandals to water, but instead try opting for a couple of Rainbow Sandals made from rubber which is water-resistant and is an ideal material for use during water related-related activities. As for hemp shoes, they will not incur water damage if they become wet but will the content may feel rough against your bare skin.

If you have accidentally gotten your leather footwear wet leave the shoes out to thoroughly dry making sure they’re not in the direct sunlight, this will prevent cracking. If your sandals are left to dry while in the direct sunshine you may find that they curl up slightly once they’ve dried, don’t worry too much because with continued wear they will flatten back out and return to their regular shape.

 

Terminology

  • Densities: The density of an object is it’s depth (how thick it is).
  • Embossed: Embossed means to mold, carve, engrave, or stamp a picture, name, or logo onto an object.
  • Footbed/Midsole: The part of a shoe where the foot rests and sits directly on.
  • Hemp: Hemp is the fibers of the cannabis plant and is tough material when used in the manufacturing of apparel and footwear.
  • Nylon Webbing: Webbing is a strong and flexible piece of fiber that can be used in place of rope. Nylon webbing is flexible, strong, and breathable.
  • Outsole: The outer most sole of a shoe that connects directly connect with the ground and protects the foot.
  • SBR Rubber:  Styrene-butadiene rubber is a synthetic rubber which is resistant to abrasions and ages well.

Sources

  1. Liz Johnson, How to Sew An X Box to Secure Straps & More, Article, Mar 30, 2016
  2. Rainbow Sandals, Rainbow Sandals, Product Page, May 11, 2018
  3. Hansen Surf, Rainbow Sandals Products,
  4. Tatics, Rainbow Sandals Reviews,


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