Left: The flip flops in our updated review (L to R, Front to Back): Havaianas Top, Reef Sandy, Crocs Capri, Sanuk Yoga Spree 2, Sanuk Yoga Mat, OluKai Ohana, Nike Comfort Thong, Teva Mush II, Reef Fanning. Right: From our old review! (L to R): Keen Florence, Chaco Flip, Reef Sandy, OluKai Ohana, Sanuk Yoga Mat
Analysis and Test ResultsIt's that critical moment: summer's just around the corner and you're out shopping when you pass by the big display of $5 bargain zories. Sure, you could rock a pair of these thin, traction-less flips for half the summer, but we're here to introduce you to a whole new world of open-toed, warm weather footwear! Although choosing the right sandal is less important than finding the right trail running shoe or the best fitting hiking boot, opting for a sandal with extra support, traction, and comfort can help keep your feet and joints healthy, especially if you spend lots of time in open-toed footwear. In this article we'll break down the pros and cons of 11 different pairs of flops and describe the metrics we used to rate them. For more information, be sure to check out our buying advice article How to Choose Women's Flip-Flop Sandals.
Types of Women's Flip-Flops
In our review, we limited our product selection to pieces with thong-style straps that join together at a toe post between the first and second toes and then create a "V" shape across the top of the foot. That said, there are numerous other strap configurations on the market. For example the Teva Olowahu and the Chaco Zong both have straps that criss-cross across the forefoot, but don't have the heel strap. These models are a little more difficult to slip on and off, but they stay in place a little better once you have them on, especially for individuals with low-volume feet. They also offer a different look than their thong-style sisters. Once you decide on a strap configuration that works for you, another thing to consider is footbed type. In our review, we tested products with the following different footbed styles:
Models such as our Editors' Choice winner, the OluKai Ohana - Women's and our Top Pick Award winner, the Reef Women's Fanning both feature contoured footbeds with a fixed anatomical mold. Generally, these footbeds offer more support, specifically underneath the arch, and they provide greater overall stability. Typically, they are more expensive, but if you spend lots of time in open-toed footwear, they are definitely the way to go.
The OluKai Ohana's contoured footbed provides enough support for light hiking, like this trip to the top of the tungsten hills outside Bishop, California.
The Reef Sandy Sandal and our Best Buy Award winner, the Teva Women's Mush II, both have foot-molding footbeds. As the wearer begins to break in these flops, the footbeds form to the shape of the foot. The personalized fit increases comfort and provides some support, but typically does not offer as much stability as a model with a contoured footbed.
A foot-molding flip flop with a broader sole, the Reef Sandy is a comfortable, affordable choice.
In our review, we tested several products that have "novelty footbeds." The Nike Comfort Thong (with its memory foam footbed) and both Sanuk models (with their yoga mat footbeds) offer an interesting take on sandal comfort. We found that these pieces didn't provide much stability or support, but they do have a unique "Ahhhh" effect that earned them extra comfort points.
The Sanuk Yoga Spree 2 flop flops have a novelty yoga mat footbed that offers unique comfort but very little support or stability.