10 Best Flip Flop Sandals Tested & Reviewed
Flip-flop sandals, also commonly referred to as just flip-flops, are some of the most versatile pieces of footwear you can own.
Tried and tested for thousands of years and very functional.
If we can identify one choice of footwear which has held as comfortable and functional for thousands of years, it is the humble sandal (flip-flop). Used in every country/region on the planet except polar regions, flip-flops evolved into moccasin style footwear in colder regions but in warmer climates, they stayed true to the design while being refashioned through innovative additions. This is as close to barefoot as it can be. This innovative approach continues today and the results are a very high performing, durable and comfortable piece of footwear.
They are easy to put on and wear around the house, much like a good pair of slippers or loafers, but one benefit they have over these shoes is that they can also be worn outdoors. Flip-flops are designed with the comfort and convenience of leisure shoes with the added benefit of a higher level of resistance to water, dirt, and sand, making them the ideal footwear for trips to the beach or the pool.
While it may not look like much effort goes into the design of a pair of flip-flops, the truth is that they require a considerable amount of thought and finesse in order to design a high-quality pair. Wearing a good pair of flip-flops is immediately noticeable when compared to a shoddy pair; the good pair will feel more comfortable, provide more support to your heel and arch, and won’t get grimy or fall apart after only a few hours of use.
In order to help you find the highest quality pairs of flip-flops, we’ve organized this list of the best ones on the market.
- Birkenstock Gizeh
- Exceptional comfort
- Reef Fanning
- Water resistant material
- Crocs Capri V
- Impeccable arch support
10 Best Flip Flop Sandals
1. Birkenstock Gizeh
On the upper portion of these sandals, the strap is made of leather with an adjustable buckle. This will mold to your foot and absorb warmth and can also be adjusted to your exact specifications. On the bottom, these flip-flops are made mostly of cork. This is porous and water-resistant as well as springy enough to provide a pleasant level of cushion.
One thing to keep in mind with these sandals is that they are not designed for individuals with medical conditions like plantar fasciitis. However, for the average Joe with an average stride, these are supportive enough to maintain a comfortable stride for the entire day. This is due to the design of the cork-based lower portion, which provides weight distribution throughout your sole.
As far as footwear construction material is concerned, leather is one of the absolute best. It’s resistant to tearing and can take changes in weather and moisture without fraying. The cork on the bottom may have some issues if it wasn’t protected from the ground with an additional level of rubber, but they are, so that isn’t an issue.
These sandals are not going to be easy on your bank account. For the same cost of one pair of Birkenstock Gizehs, you could get two or even three pairs of the other flip-flops on this list. However, the style, durability, and comfort offered by these sandals make them worth the price of admission.
The only thing that comes close to a complaint customers have stated when reviewing these sandals is that they come in unconventional sizes. You may need to consult a representative at a Birkenstock store in order to find out your size before ordering. Other than that, these are extremely popular sandals online.
- Excellent construction
- Exceptional comfort
- Solid support
- Terrific manufacturer
- High price
2. Reef Fanning
The upper portion of the Reef Fannings are made from synthetic nubuck, meant to emulate high-quality leather. This material offers the best of both worlds; cushion and comfort from real leather, and water-resistant durability from synthetic material. The bottom portion is comfortable too, but it’s overshadowed by the upper.
The heel drop in the Reef Fannings is a bit higher than you would normally see in a pair of flip-flops. This is due to the addition of a heel airbag, which provides an unparalleled level of cushion in the midsole. This ensures that your shoes are comfortable for the entire day, even when walking on rougher surfaces like rocky beaches.
Considering that the upper portion of these sandals are synthetic rather than real leather, these shoes look a bit more durable than they really are. However, they are still highly resistant to abrasions and will last you a long time if taken care of. More importantly, the Reef Fannings are water resistant, meaning they can take ocean spray and spilled beer in stride.
If you factor in the added value of the bottle opener in conjunction with the sandal itself, these are a terrific deal. It’s also common to see these flip-flops discounted online if you know to look in the right places. For those with larger feet that use exponentially more material, however, the price can get quite intimidating.
Customers thoroughly enjoy and appreciate these flip flops, making them a big hit among party animals and regular Joes. Many customers like the fact that these shoes are available in hard-to-find sizes, but some have remarked that it took them a month or two before they were fully broken in.
- Bonus bottle opener
- Superior heel cushion
- Water resistant material
- Wide size range
- Questionable durability
- Uncomfortable initally
3. Crocs Capri V
With an upper portion constructed of real leather, the tops of your feet will be in heaven. It’s a stark contrast to the neoprene material used for the lower portion, which may feel disappointing in comparison. However, the bottom portion is still very comfortable and is designed with several shallow bumps to offer a soothing tactile sensation.
A significant curve is present in the lower portion of these flip-flops. This design accentuates your arches, offering a high degree of support in this area. Customers have worn these sandals while recovering from foot surgery and found them to be quite soothing.
There is no way that the upper portion of the Crocs Capri V’s are going to tear or detach from the lower portion. You would have to go at it with a sharp knife for a decent amount of time in order to sever it. It’s highly likely that the upper portion will far outlast the lower portion, but the lower is also quite durable.
For all the features and benefits offered by these flip-flops, the price is astoundingly low. Nowhere else are you going to find sandals this cheap made from real leather. You are also going to be hard-pressed to find shoes of any kind with this level of arch support in a competitive price range.
Crocs as a brand has received a bad rap in recent years. They’ve been the go-to punchline for horrendous looking shoes, evoking a particular stereotype not unlike the tourist wearing socks with their sandals. However, these flip-flops have managed to avoid this stigma, with overwhelmingly positive reviews and many satisfied customers.
- Numerous color choices
- Solid construction
- Comfortable upper
- Impeccable arch support
- Unpopular brand
- Disappointing lower
4. OluKai Ohana
Soft neoprene is used for the footrest of these flip-flops, offering a pillow esque cushion for your feet. The upper portion is a combination of fabric and synthetic leather, both of which will feel comfortable around the top of your foot and between your toes. These sandals can be worn all day without any chafing or irritation.
A slight heel drop provides a degree of heel support when wearing these flip-flops. The OluKai Ohanas also have a subtle curve near the arch, which provides a small measure of support in that region. Individuals with severe foot pain from a medical condition may need something more supportive, but these shoes will provide the perfect amount of support for regular wearers.
These sandals are highly durable since they are made from high-quality materials. The only way these flip-flops could become stronger is if they were made from real leather, but the synthetic substitute is barely distinguishable from the real thing. The fabric on the thong portion is highly tear-resistant, and the soles won’t crumble with exposure to water or sunlight.
It is true that the OluKai Ohanas cost a bit more than you may anticipate paying for a pair of flip flops. The price tag is higher than many other sandals, and this price isn’t necessarily justified by the material used in manufacturing. However, the level of durability and comfort offered by these sandals, coupled with the solid support and distinctive style, makes these shoes worth the price.
These sandals are extremely popular, with many satisfied customers singing its praises online. Some notable features they liked about the OluKai Ohanas are how comfortable and durable they are, but a few customers remarked that these shoes lacked traction and took a while to break in.
- Pleasant design
- High durability
- Soft cushion
- High price tag
- Disappointing traction
5. Orthaheel Tide Slide
The neoprene material used for the lower portion of these flip-flops provide a moisture-resistant surface that will prevent the pooling of water or sweat. It isn’t as comfortable as memory foam or leather, but it serves a purpose and provides a comfort that can last all day.
The number one draw for these sandals by far is the unsurpassed level of support they offer to your feet. An elevated heel and arch with plenty of extra cushioning ensures that even the most sensitive of feet will be supported, avoiding the pain commonly felt with conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
The material these Orthaheel Tide Slide flip-flops are constructed from is centered around durability as well as support, at the cost of style. This means that if they are treated properly, these shoes can last you for as long as it takes for your feet to recover from any painful injury, and can even be used in the future if your injury returns.
These flip-flops cost a bit more than you may expect for such a minimalist shoe, especially when compared to other popular sandals on the market. However, the additional cost is justified by the superior level of comfort and support offered by the Orthaheel Tide Slide. For those who desperately need the arch support but still want to wear something low profile to the beach, this is a very reasonable price.
Customers of all ages love these sandals, giving them extremely high scores on most online retailers. They are especially popular among individuals with injured feet, as they haven’t been able to find a similar pair with better features suited for their delicate condition. However, some customers have remarked that the sizing can be inconsistent.
- Highly comfortable
- Amazing support
- Decent durability
- High cost
- Unappealing design
6. Clarks Breeze
The most appealing feature of these women’s flip-flops is the unparalleled level of comfort they offer. This is far and away the biggest draw for the Clarks Women’s Breeze sandals, with its soft material and adjustable toe strap. Customers have remarked that these flip-flops are so comfortable that they have started wearing them in the shower!
There isn’t a great deal of material for the Clarks Women’s Breeze to work with, but they still manage to accomplish a decent level of support in these shoes. Heel support is lacking, but arch support is present to such a degree that women with plantar fasciitis have sought out these sandals for their ability to relieve arch pain.
These flip-flops are almost entirely constructed from synthetic fabric, providing durability as well as comfort. They are highly water and sun resistant, making them perfect as an all-day shoe. Obviously they won’t be very protective during a rainstorm or a long hike, but these are still a perfect choice for a trip to the beach or the pool.
Due to having so little material used in its construction, these shoes are extremely affordable. Unlike some low-priced sandals, there really isn’t much of a trade-off in paying less for these flip-flops when compared to others on the market; they offer a perfectly reasonable level of comfort and durability, and an above-average level of support, all for a below-average price.
These sandals have the closest thing to a perfect score out of any other shoe on this list, hands down. Customers love these flip-flops, with many of them buying multiple pairs in different colors. They especially appreciate the arch support, but some customers were a bit disappointed with the level of traction they offered.
- Excellent arch support
- Highly comfortable
- Extremely affordable
- Limited heel support
- Lackluster traction
7. Cushe Manuka
Above average materials are used in the construction of these stylish, albeit unsupportive, sandals. Comfort and stability are sacrificed for anti-microbial material and a stylish design, which is fine for customers looking for something to wear around the house or the pool. However, there are more comfortable flip-flops available for a similar price.
There isn’t very much material in these sandals; the design is based around form rather than function. Because of this thinner construction, you shouldn’t expect any real heel or arch support. This may be remedied with the aid of a pad, but the far better option is to try a different set of sandals if comfort is such a pressing concern.
The fabric textile used for the thong portion of these flip-flops will retain its shape and color longer than some of the other brands of sandals that use inferior material. This is ideal for maintaining the appearance of the Cushe Manuka’s, which is the main draw. Synthetic rubber on the soles will last a bit longer too, but shouldn’t be used on rough surfaces.
These are some of the least expensive pairs of sandals on this list, even in the larger sizes. This makes the Cushe Manukas a terrific impulse buy or gift, and it also explains one reason why they’re so popular. Because they’re so affordable, customers can afford to buy a pair of these for looking good and another pair for support and comfort.
Customers love these flip-flops! They have nearly perfect scores on major online retailers and a plethora of reviews. Despite not being geared towards it, several customers have noticed a level of comfort and support while using these shoes, and they all love the way they look. Unfortunately, the manufacturer Cushe has closed its doors, so it may be difficult to find the Manukas new.
- Hygenic material
8. Sanuk Yoga Mat
Comfort was the number one priority when these sandals were designed. The sole of the Women’s Yoga Mat flip-flops were based off the same material and construction used in Sanuk’s yoga mats, as the name might imply. This provides a soft cushion and a surprising level of springiness, making these shoes comfy all day long.
The springiness of the material used for these sandals’ soles offer some support from contact with hard surfaces, but it may not be enough for women with more sensitive feet. One area in which these sandals are most notably lacking is in arch support, meaning that women with plantar fasciitis would be better off with a different pair.
The most durable part of these flip-flops is the strap, which is made of synthetic leather. In addition to being comfortable, this upper portion won’t fray or come undone over time. However, the bottom portion of these sandals aren’t as durable, meaning that they are best suited for soft terrain such as beach sand or sidewalk.
These shoes are one of the most cost-effective models available to purchase, given the level of comfort they offer. It is possible to find a less expensive pair of flip-flops, but you won’t be able to find a less expensive pair as comfortable as these. For yoga enthusiasts who want to keep their positive vibes everywhere they go, the cost of admission is extremely reasonable.
People love these sandals! Compared to the other flip-flops listed here, these are the most popular and are almost universally loved. Customers love the comfort offered with the Sanuk Women’s Yoga Mat sandals. The few criticisms levied at these shoes are at the lack of durability and traction.
- Extremely comfortable
- Sturdy straps
- Inferior durability
- Disappointing traction
9. Vionic Orthaheel
The level of comfort for these shoes vary from customer to customer, but the general consensus is that they are a soft and pleasant fit. The neoprene used for the sole is geared to handle moisture, helping to prevent soggy feet. Synthetic leather and woven fabric used for the thong portion prevents chafing and proves to be surprisingly durable.
The main draw of these sandals is the Orthaheel branding, which signifies a design that emphasizes support for troubled feet. In this respect, these Vionic flip-flops do not disappoint. If you have feet with sensitive arches, these sandals provide excellent support in this department, with some customers saying it offers as much support as a good pair of tennis shoes!
Although these shoes aren’t made of the best quality materials, they are designed with material that is a step up from the absolute lowest quality. Synthetic leather may not give the feel of the real thing, but it offers a comparative level of durability. This is coupled with the neoprene sole, which implements the same technology used in wetsuits and waterproof electronics cases.
These sandals are middle-of-the-road in terms of cost when compared to other flip-flops on this list. You aren’t paying for the material when you pay the slightly larger price, nor are you paying for a stylish brand. Instead, you’re paying for a comprehensively designed and medically sound pair of orthotics that give off the appearance of standard sandals, and these are well worth the price in this instance.
The reception to the Vionic Orthaheel line of flip-flops has been overwhelmingly positive, with near-perfect average reviews on several online retailers. The customers that seem the most satisfied with their purchase are the ones with foot issues like plantar fasciitis; they were usually recommended this brand by a podiatrist and were not disappointed with the result.
- Excellent design
- Unparalleled support
- Comfortable material
- Higher cost
- Lackluster style
10. Skechers Cali
What’s nice about these sandals is that they accomplish the often difficult task of being both nice to look at and comfortable to wear. Many customers have remarked that these flip-flops conform to their feet and provide comfort that lasts all day long.
A high concentration of padding in the heel offers support as well as elevation, but arch support is practically nonexistent. Women who need better arch support in their shoes due to medical concerns would be better off with a different pair.
Despite being designed mainly to look pretty and being made of relatively inexpensive material, the durability of these shoes is very impressive. Several customers have mentioned how durable these shoes are, remarking that it can even be used for pregnant women.
These shoes are extremely affordable, especially when compared to some of the other offerings on this list. Although prices do vary based on the size ordered, the largest size is significantly cheaper than some of the smallest pairs of other sandals mentioned here.
Due to the high affordability of these shoes and the popularity of the Skechers brand, these are some incredibly popular flip-flops. Customers have sung the praises of these sandals on many review sites, although they do warn that it may be a good idea to order one half size larger than normal because the shoes run a bit small.
- Very comfortable
- Decent heel support
- Highly affordable
- Surprisingly durable
- Inferior build material
- Smaller size
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Flip Flop Sandals
The flip-flops we picked for this list were selected based on a few key features. These metrics are used to determine the effectiveness and value of all footwear, not just sandals, but they are especially important for flip-flops. In order to determine our criteria for judging these products, we researched customer feedback, consumer buying guides, and medical journals. The exact features used to judge these flip flop sandals are detailed below:
It’s important for any piece of footwear to be comfortable above all else. The shoes you wear are supposed to function as a more comfortable alternative to simply walking barefoot. When determining the level of comfort offered by these sandals, we evaluated the material, design, and overall construction quality of the upper and lower portion. A good upper portion will secure your foot to the shoe without slipping or causing any chafing, and a good lower portion will absorb shock from touching the ground and prevent excessive moisture from accumulating under your feet.
This can be considered as an aspect of comfort, but we felt that it was important enough to deserve its own category. The level of support offered by footwear is extremely important, as your feet bear the entirety of your body weight when walking. Any kind of footwear, sandals included, will need to distribute that weight evenly through your foot in order to prevent soreness or the potential for injury. The support offered by these flip-flops were evaluated by observing the curvature and drop off their lower portion, identifying if they offer special supportive properties for the arch, heel, or forefoot.
One caveat when choosing to wear flip-flops over standard shoes is that they are less durable. However, that doesn’t mean you should expect your sandals to fall apart after only a few weeks or months of use. The best sandals are the ones that will retain their shape, support, and comfort over the longest possible period of time. To determine how durable these flip-flops are, we compared the material used in their construction, any additional properties such as waterproofing or anti-microbial technology, and customer feedback on how long their pairs lasted.
Many people choose flip-flops over other styles of footwear not only for the sake of convenience but for the sake of affordability. Logically speaking, these sandals use less material in their construction, so they should cost less to purchase. While that is true for the most part, some flip-flops with especially nice material or with a design meant to favor individuals with specific medical conditions may cost more on average. This category not only determines how affordable a particular pair of sandals are but also whether or not they are worth that price.
Sometimes, the best way to ascertain if a certain product is right for you is to simply see what other customers have to say. If a shoe has a high amount of reviews from satisfied customers, chances are that they are a solid product. While it is possible that an underrated or unpopular product is still a good buy, it doesn’t hurt to see what others have to say. This category was judged by the number of reviews a given product had, how high the average rating was and some key statements made by customers about positive or negative aspects of these flip-flops.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Although the criteria listed above are important for deciding what sandals to buy, there are a few more factors that are worth considering before making a purchase. These metrics don’t apply to all of the flip-flops in our list, but they may be important to individual customers when deciding on their footwear of choice. If you need a bit more help narrowing down the correct pair of sandals for you, these are some other aspects you may want to consider:
So long as the material used for constructing these sandals will maintain their shape and support over time, they are perfectly adequate for the majority of individuals. However, particularly discerning clientele may want to seek out flip-flops that are made from alternate substances. For example, customers prone to foot infections such as athlete’s foot will want to seek out sandals that are made from the anti-microbial material. Individuals who object to the use of animal products such as vegans will want to avoid flip-flops that use real leather and will want to wear footwear that uses fabric or a synthetic leather substitute instead.
Depending on the shape of your foot, certain types of footwear will be preferable to you in order to avoid foot pain. Some of the sandals listed here are designed to accentuate arch support, which is very helpful for treating pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Others offer more support in the heel, which can help with Achilles tendonitis. If a doctor or podiatrist has diagnosed you with one of these running injuries, you can purchase special flip-flops that address these concerns by implementing orthopedic properties.
Weather and Terrain Resistance
Flip-flops are primarily designed to be worn in casual environments, such as around the house, by the pool, or at the beach. Because of this, they offer significantly less foot protection and aren’t ideal for situations of extreme weather, or for use when walking on harsh terrain. However, there are some types of sandals developed to meet these needs. These types of footwear will have extra cushioning made of a stronger material in order to provide traction and protection when walking or running on rocky or slippery paths. Other types of special flip-flops will be splash-resistant or entirely waterproof, which can help if you wear them in the rain.
Q: Will flip-flops ruin your feet?
A: In the past, flip-flop sandals were cheaply made and poorly designed, resulting in many people injuring their feet from use. It’s still possible that purchasing and wearing an inexpensive pair of flip-flops can cause damage to your feet, but none of the ones listed here will carry that risk. If you only wear your sandals inappropriate environments for short periods of time, you shouldn’t have to worry about permanent foot damage.
Q: Which flip-flops are best for Plantar Fasciitis/Achilles Tendonitis?
A: It’s important to know that nothing in this buying guide should be considered professional medical advice and that you should always go to a doctor if you are worried about or are currently experiencing foot pain. However, some of the sandals listed here were designed with the help of podiatrists to alleviate the symptoms of particular foot injuries. In general, individuals with plantar fasciitis will want to wear flip-flops that have better arch support, and individuals with Achilles tendonitis will want to wear sandals with better heel support.
Q: How do I keep my flip-flops clean?
A: Depending on what kind of material your flip flop sandals are made of, there are different methods to clean them. For most synthetic flip-flops made of rubber or neoprene, these can be safely washed in a standard laundry washing machine. For sandals that are made up of materials such as leather and cork, these will need to be hand-washed with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Some manufacturers of these flip-flops will also sell their own cleaning products specifically designed for their brand of sandals.
Q: When should I replace my flip-flops?
A: Not all flip-flops are created equal; some will only last for six months to a year, while others can last you upwards of four years. You should consult reviews or official documentation from the manufacturers in order to find out what the average lifespan will be of your sandals. However, some general tips on a good time to replace your flip-flops are when the soles have become too thin, the toe strap begins to fray, the colors are faded, or you start to develop stains and smudges on the soles of your feet after wearing them.
Q: Should I fix damaged flipflops?
A: Depending on how expensive your flip-flops were at the time of purchase, it may be more cost-effective to simply replace a broken pair instead of attempting to repair yours if they become damaged. Some of the more expensive sets of sandals will also have warranties, so you can simply send them away to be repaired by the manufacturer. In general, there isn’t much benefit to fixing flip-flops yourself if they become broken because one of these two alternatives is usually more favorable.
Q: Can I wear socks with sandals?
A: If the sandals you purchase don’t have a toe strap, it is possible that you can wear them with a pair of socks. Otherwise, you will most likely experience discomfort from your socks bunching up around the strap, and may even run the risk of damaging your socks. Wearing socks with sandals is considered unfashionable and may cause some unwelcome stares and remarks, but it is feasible in a situation where you want a bit more foot protection without wearing a different set of footwear.