Best Flip Flops – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Flip Flops – Reviews & Buying Guide (July 2019)

Updated: June 30, 2019

Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops

After 40 hours spent researching the best flip flops, we think Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: brand, size, color, type, strap, gender, strap material, sole material, footbed, open toe, slip-resistant, lightweight, durable, quick dry, and best use, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceComfortValue for Moneybrandsizecolortypestrapgenderstrap materialsole materialfootbedopen toeslip-resistantlightweightdurablequick drybest use
Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip FlopsOofos Unisex Original Thong Flip FlopsCheck Price4.95.05.05.04.55.0Oofos3 to 147 colorsSlip onThong strapUnisexSyntheticSyntheticTexturedYesYesYesYesYesBeach, lake, camping, outdoor activities
Quiksilver Carver Suede Flip FlopsQuiksilver Carver Suede Flip FlopsCheck Price4.44.54.04.55.04.0Quiksilver6 to 14Black, grey, tanSlip onThong strapUnisexSuedeRubberSmoothYesYesYesYesYesBeach, lake, camping, outdoor activities
Teva Unisex Mush II Flip FlopsTeva Unisex Mush II Flip FlopsCheck Price4.65.04.54.04.55.0Teva7 to 16Black, greySlip onThong strapUnisexPolyesterEVA foamSmoothYesYesYesYesYesBeach, lake, camping, outdoor activities
Crocs Unisex Crocband Flip FlopsCrocs Unisex Crocband Flip FlopsCheck Price4.45.04.54.04.04.5Crocs3 to 1332 colorsSlip onThong strapUnisexSyntheticSyntheticTexturedYesYesYesYesYesBeach, lake, camping, outdoor activities
Havaianas Unisex Brazil Flip FlopsHavaianas Unisex Brazil Flip FlopsCheck Price4.44.54.04.04.55.0Havaianas7 to 137 colorsSlip onThong strapUnisexSyntheticSyntheticTexturedYesYesYesYesYesBeach, lake, camping, outdoor activities
Best Flip Flops

Having the best flip flops lying around is perfect because you can slip them on, keep your feet protected and not worry about tracking sand back to your home.

Easy to wash and wear, they are the shoe that announces the start of summer.

Today is a beach day and you’re absolutely ready to make the most of it. It’s a hot sunny day, but too windy to rely on the beach umbrella anchor, so you ditch the beach umbrella and pitch the beach tent instead. The beach table is set up next to the beach cooler with your beach mat rolled out nearby.

You’ve got enough beach chairs for your friends set up, so you decide to take a swim until the rest of the group arrives. After applying sunscreen, you throw it back into your beach cart along with your sun hat, and grab your water shoes and towel.

With your shoes on and a beach towel handy, you’re absolutely ready to cool down with a refreshing dip. After you get out of the water, though, you’ll want to slip into some shoes that will keep your feet from the burning sand. Did you remember to stash a pair of flip flops in the beach bag?

Great for playing with beach toys, running after a beach ball, or grabbing an ice cream cone on the boardwalk, flip flops are easier to slip on than beach sandals and are great for keeping your feet cool.

Whether you want the standard plastic flip flops in a bright color or an updated leather option, these shoes and the classic sound they make, are a part of summer.

Selection Of The Best Flip Flops

Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops

Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Comfort
Value for Money
Check Price

Quiksilver Carver Suede Flip Flops

Quiksilver Carver Suede Flip Flops
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Comfort
Value for Money
Check Price

Teva Unisex Mush II Flip Flops

Teva Unisex Mush II Flip Flops
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Comfort
Value for Money
Check Price

Crocs Unisex Crocband Flip Flops

Crocs Unisex Crocband Flip Flops
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Comfort
Value for Money
Check Price

Havaianas Unisex Brazil Flip Flops

Havaianas Unisex Brazil Flip Flops
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Comfort
Value for Money
Check Price

Best Flip Flops Buying Guide

Comfort

The best flip flops for walking long distances or wearing all day at the beach are going to be the ones that are comfortable. If you don’t want foot pain after wearing flips flops for a long amount of time, the better options are going to have a footbed that is molded.

When you walk for a long time, you won’t experience any fatigue or aches in your back, legs or feet. Flip flops comfortable enough for walking will also have a toe post that is soft and malleable.

Fit

If the shoe is too big, your foot will be swimming in it. A foot sliding around is not a good thing; you are at risk of losing your balance, stumbling, falling and even injuring yourself.

If the design is too small or the sandals fit too tightly without being able to stretch out, your feet are not going to be happy and you may experience blisters, skin lacerations and abrasions. To enjoy your flip flops, it’s important that they aren’t hurting or endangering you.

Straps

The strap of a flip flop keeps the shoe stable on your foot. Thicker straps take longer to break in, but they also don’t cut into your skin painfully the way that thinner straps tend to do.

The best straps are going to have cushioning so red marks from trapped sand or rubbing don’t happen. The best materials for straps are nylon or leather. These will stretch out with wear and offer a more comfortable experience.

Rubber Uppers

This is the most common material for straps and sandal uppers because rubber is very durable and water resistant. Flip flops for kids are often made of rubber for this reason.

When you have rubber sandals, you can play around in the sand and water all day without worrying about ruining your shoes, but there is a downside. Rubber can cause painful blisters and chafing. Make sure you get a design that is comfortable.

Nylon & Leather Upper Straps

Leather is a natural material that is breathable, comfortable and can take a beating. The great thing about it is that it can change shape over time.

All-leather flip flop straps mold to the shape of your feet and are durable, but are not always waterproof. Nylon is comfortable, waterproof and won’t cut into your feet, though both materials make it easy to break the shoe in.

EVA Footbeds

Flip flops for women and men made using EVA, or ethyl vinyl acetate, are the most common type. EVA is a synthetic compound that can absorb a lot of shock when walking, which is especially necessary when wearing flip flop sandals.

Look for sandals with EVA footbeds because they will treat your feet the best. They keep the foot cushioned and comfortable, while also being extremely lightweight. Your feet won’t get dragged down while you go about your day.

Cork Footbeds

Though EVA footbeds are the most common, you may see flip flops that use cork instead. Cork is also a great shock-absorbing material but it can do a little bit more.

Cork has antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties that keep your feet dry and cool on hot days. If you’re looking for a good sandal for a special occasion, those that have cork footbeds would be great flip flops for a wedding because they mold to the contours of your foot for a personalized comfort.

Toe Post

This is the part of the shoe that separates your big toe from the others, and is a well-known design aspect of the flip flop. The way it feels on your toe will determine how much you wear them.

It’s important to find a shoe with a toe post that is malleable and soft. It shouldn’t dig into your skin or cause any blistering. A good toe post will secure and cradle your foot for greater comfort.

Sole Thickness

The sole is the bottom part of the sandal. It can range in thickness, but flip flops for cheap prices generally have thinner soles. Thin soles tend to end up with a hole at the ball of the foot due to how people walk when wearing flip flops.

Soles that combine durability, traction and flexibility can minimize the material wearing thin. Though the sole will still wear over time, a better sole gives you more time in your favorite summer shoes.

Durability

A huge part of a shoe’s durability is whether or not it has a good amount of give and bend. Flips flops must mold to your foot, but also to the terrain that you’re walking on. If it’s too stiff, you’ll lose traction and might be injured.

The way the straps attach to the shoe base is also indicative of durability. Foam bottoms that have the strap shoved through won’t hold up over time. If you want a long-lasting sandal, buy one that has a strap system that is sewn in.

Design & Style

The majority of flip flops have a toe post that goes between your big toe with angled straps, but some are designed without a toe post. Those without a toe post have a thick strap that goes over your toes instead.

Want some height? Flip flops with wedges are also popular and are great for a day at the beach as long as the sole isn’t too thick or the heel to high. Heels higher than 2 inches are generally not recommended because of instability concerns.

Arch Support

The best flip flops are going to only bend at the ball of the foot. If your shoes are able to easily bend in half or twist into a pretzel shape, you’ve got the wrong flip flops! Arch support is usually missing from cheap options, but it is necessary in order to prevent foot fatigue.

If you plan to be on your feet for any length of time, good arch support is going to reduce the pain in your feet. Models with well-constructed arch support help those with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis as well.

Podiatrist Approved

Flip flops that provide your feet with proper support and promote the health of your feet are recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (AMPA) with a Seal of Acceptance. This seal means that podiatrists have reviewed the shoe and determined it is safe for use and of high quality.

Only a few companies have received such a recognition, but if you are looking for flip flops for plantar fasciitis, they are going to have an AMPA Seal of Acceptance on their site.

Heel & Joint Support

Heel and joint support is another key to the ultimate comfort of your warm weather sandal. The softest material cannot keep your feet from pain hours later, but support can.

Look for deep heel cups; they are the best support and will provide the motion control and balance you need when walking. Cushy materials made of memory foam are good and for those with joint pain, look for specialized support systems.

Price

Cheaper flip flops can be purchased for low low prices in every color your heart desires, but they probably won’t last long and won’t be the best for your overall foot health.

If you are looking for a quick upgrade, you can find options that are affordable with thicker soles and nylon straps to protect your feet. There are many expensive brands, but the best flip flops don’t have to, and shouldn’t, cost you a lot of money.

Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops
Our pick for the best flip flops is: Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching flip flops.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do flip flops last?

Flip flops can last for a long time, but depending on the material, you should make it a habit to replace your sandals once a year.

The most common flip flops are cheap plastic and rubber sandals that are basically a magnet for bacteria. If you’d prefer to avoid contact with germs that can be surprisingly harmful, do yourself a favor and buy a new pair of plastic or rubber sandals each year. They are inexpensive and replacing them should be no problem.

What are the best flip flops for walking long distances or engaging in athletic activity?

Honestly, there isn’t going to be a pair of flip flops that is a great choice to wear on a long stroll or running around on the beach playing volleyball. They don’t have the kind of support that you need when engaging in such activities.

Your toes can easily get irritated or you can twist your ankle. Walking in shoes, of any kind, without the proper orthotic support can cause tendinitis and even back pain. Limit your flip flops to short distances.

How do you clean flip flops?

If you have rubber sandals, a paste made of water, baking soda and liquid dish soap provides a gentle cleaning. Smooth the paste over the entire shoe and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then use a soft bristled brush to scrub the mixture off.

For leather, start by removing any surface dirt with an old t-shirt or cotton material that has been dipped in a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution. Suede can be cleaned with an emery board or gentle sandpaper to lift dirt.

Are flip flop sizes the same as regular shoe sizes?

Flip flops are notorious for incorrect sizing. When selecting the right shoe size, it is a good rule of thumb to try a sandal that is about a half size larger than your typical shoe size.

There should be no spillover when it comes to the heel or toe. If you are in between sizes, it is always a good idea to have flip flops that are a little too big rather than a pair that is too small.

What’s the best way to break in my flip flops?

Breaking in your flip flops is going to take some time. Don’t attempt to do it too quickly, or you’ll risk ruining them.

The first thing to do is get them wet – they were made for it! Submerge them in a bucket or water; they will be easier to break in when wet. Never take long walks in new shoes as that can cause cracks, chafing and high stress on the materials. Go for short walks and let the material stretch to make the perfect fit.

Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops
Our pick for the best flip flops is: Oofos Unisex Original Thong Flip Flops. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching flip flops.

Sources

  1. Effect of flip-flops on lower limb kinematics during walking, National Institutes of Health, May 18, 2016
  2. Safety share: Your flip flops may cost you toes, Argonne Today, Jun 7, 2016
  3. DMV Encourages Motorists to Wear Safe Footwear While Driving, Virginia Highway Safety Office, Apr 16, 2012
  4. Effect of thong style flip-flops on children’s barefoot walking and jogging kinematics, National Institutes of Health, Mar 5, 2013
  5. A Flip Flop Revolution, UC San Diego News Center, Oct 5, 2017
  6. Flip-flops, Wikipedia
  7. Egypt: The Birthplace of Flip Flops?, The Sheridan Libraries Blog, Jul 21, 2017
  8. The trouble with your flip-flops, UCI Health Orange County, CA, Aug 8, 2017
  9. Tips on Wearing Flip-Flops, Wake Forest Baptist Health
  10. A guilt-free flip-flop, University of California, Aug 16, 2018

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