Everybody has read or heard about the best hiking shoes for women but rarely about best women’s flip flops. It is one of the most underrated gears because they are open on the toes and consist of a flat sole held by a a simple strap. This doesn’t provide a lot of protection for the feet from hazards on the ground, bacteria, stone cuts and injuries.
Wearing flip flops can also result in pain in the legs, ankles and feet if worn for a long period of hiking. But while a pair of shoes is on top of the list, comfy flip flops can be worn for different kind of activities.
Types Of Women’s Flip Flops
There are two best flip flops for women and they are as follows:
- Side flip flops are easily identified with its band or strap across the toes.
- Thong flip flops are the ones that have a strap shaped like a “Y” and held in place between the big toe and secondary toe.
For active pursuits like hiking, long walks or water activities, we shall be focusing more on the thong flip flops and classify the types based on footbed design.
- Contoured Footbeds: Footwear companies has incorporated contoured footbeds, which provides arch support and stability. By wearing these, you’ll gain many benefits and improve your health and comfort.
While we cannot expect that a contoured footbed can provide the stability and support that hiking boots or shoes can offer, they are the closest thing to it. Of course we cannot use a flip flop when hiking rough terrain or while carrying a heavy pack but we can demand as much support more from it.
However, because they are built with materials that would provide stability, support and comfort they would always be more expensive than their competitors in the market but if you want all-around flip flops for water and outdoor adventures or just an all-around use to run errand, these are worth your money.
- Light Foam Footbeds: simple design and very cheap but can eventually cause foot problems overtime because they cannot provide arch support and stability. They can be comfortable, but provide minimal traction when wet, so they are not advisable for health reasons.
- Novelty Footbeds: Although these types provide minimal stability and arch support, their use is limited to after workouts or long jogs. They are not suitable for more active pursuits like outdoor and water adventures.
- Foot-Molding Footbeds: It is a footbed that one can fall in love with because the material is either EVA or foam rubber which gives that “ahhhhhh” feeling and remembers the shape of your feet overtime. Although it provides arch support and stability, it is minimal.
Factors to Consider
However, imagine looking at a shop and the assistant telling you that all the flips on display are the best of their kind.
When selecting your flip flop, buying the first one you see won’t cut it because it would mean painful blisters or chaffing, or even serious injuries like sprains. Here are factors to consider when looking for and trying on flip flops:
- Comfort: This is a top feature to look for, but it would still depend on what activity you would be using it. Flip flops are made differently to handle different kinds of activities, and getting the wrong one can lead to a world of discomfort.
Make sure to check the label to see what they’re suited for, or ask an assistant to help you.<br.Otherwise, try on the pairs you’re interested in and walk around in them for a while. Is there any rubbing against your skin? Do they fall off your feet easily? Either try a different size or look into a different bran altogether.
- Versatility: A pair of flip that can be comfortably used as an all-around and would still makes you look stylish even when you are running errands around town or lounging at camp, on the trail or walking at the beach.
- Durabilty: If you are the type that wears flip flops everywhere, you have to find a pair that can withstand the abuse but would still be able to provide support and comfort that you need. Plastic sandals are the worst option to get; look for sturdier materials, such as leather.
- Traction: It is the grip when your feet and flip connects with the ground or any surface to maintain your balance. Your flip flops shouldn’t be making you fall on your face.
- Design: Several flip flops are geared toward classic designs but more and more makers are incorporating a classic look with a youthful vibe or the beach look. This gives you a variety of options that would go with your style and personality.
- Weight: No one wants to be weighed down when they’re walking, so it’s important to look for flip flops that are light. A fine balance has to be found between weight and durability, as you don’t want to get something that’s light but flimsy.
Now that we’ve discussed the various kinds of flip flops and the features you should keep an eye our for, here are some of the top rated products in the market.
Top Products of 2017
Chaco Ecotread Flip-flop
Specific Features: contoured footbed, nylon strap, rubber sole, antimicrobial application for odor control, lightweight, easy to dry, available in various colours.
Best Use: water adventures and outdoor adventures like hiking and camping
Description: The American Pediatric Medical Association approved Chaco Ecotread Flip-flop as one of the first brands to carry arch support and this pair definitely did not disappoint. The contoured footbed helps control the natural movement of the feet which rolls inward for impact distribution, thus providing stability and support and also has a heel riser designed to allow lateral stability.
Although it sacrificed a little on the comfort zone, it is comfortable enough and is still lightweight enough for hikes and camping trips, which is a rare feature for tough flip flops.
This sporty pair is best in water activities because the traction is surprisingly good when wet, and it dries easily. The design is also simple and available in many different colors that would suit your mood and personality.
If you are the type who demands durability from your sandals, it can bear heavy use and will last years. However, the straps made of polyester jacquard webbing can cause chaffing during the breaking-in period but should be comfortable afterwards.
Reef Fanning Flip-flop
Specific Features: contoured footbed, sporty design, molded rubber sole and EVA footbed material, standard bottle opener, lightweight, easy to dry
Best Use: water adventures, beach, lounging at the pool
Description: Inspired by a professional surfer, Mick Fanning, the sporty design has the perfect look for a beach activity. But don’t be fooled by Reef Fanning Flip-flop comfortable style because this pair features synthetic nubuck strap, molded rubber sole, heel airbag, EVA footbed material and a standard bottle opener to open your favorite soda or beer. How is that for a change?
Being an ultimate athletic sandal and true to its design, this flip is water-resistant with the straps being wide and the contoured footbed providing full support. It also offers stability and traction good for a walk on the reef and let you go as far as you’d want.
Although it the inclusion of the bottle opener seems like a good idea, the idea of taking off your flips to open a bottle of beer does not look appetizing and the recess where it resides collects dirt and other debris.
Teva Mush II Flip-flop
Special Features: lightweight, cottony soft, feet-molding
Best Use: all-around, short walks, lounging at camp during the summer
Description: This Teva Mush II Flip-flop is a favorite because true to its name, its foot-molding capability provides that godly comfort and remembers the shape of your feet over time. It features an EVA sole, durapontex rubber / foam compound footbed and nylon straps.
For more active pursuits, it does not provide stability and support required for hiking or more than a half day of walking, but would still be good camping gear because it is lightweight, folds under pressure and is foot-molding.
Imagine that heavenly feeling when you slip into a pair of cushioned flips after a long hike in boots.
Crocs Capri IV Flip-flop
Special Features: footbed easy to dry, stable and comfortable, massage-like feel
Best Use: running errands around town, short walks, campsite use
Description: This Crocs Capri IV Flip-flop provides a footbed with circulation nubs for a massage-like feel while walking because the footbed is double cushioned. If you like the feel of any other Croc sandals, you’ll probably like this pair too.
Thanks to its Croslite sole, which is made of rubber, this flip flop dries easily; the nubuck suede strap is a different story, as it takes more than 2 hours to dry.
It also does not offer much on traction and can get slippery when wet, but it is good in terms of stability and comfort compared to other all-around flip flops. If the arch of your feet fits the arch on the footbed, you’ll appreciate the support and the double cushioning really provides comfort and absorbs a lot pressure.
This pair can be a good camp flip-flop because it is does not add much weight to your pack and is priced just right.
Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip-flop
Special Features: yoga mat footbed, comfortable straps
Best Use: daily wear around town, short walks, after work out or long runs
Description: This Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip-flop would make you feel like you are walking on pillows because the thicker sole is made of rubber sponge, the footbed of real yoga mat material, and the strap of synthetic leather with jersey liner that makes comfort its most endearing quality.
For water activities, this endearing quality became its disadvantage because the material absorbs a lot of water and it takes too long to dry. Another weakness of this pair is that it provides very little stability and support because the footbed is not contoured and does not remember the shape of your feet.
The traction and durability are also not its strength, but if you are looking for a sandal that would comfort your feet after a long hike during the summer or running errands around town, this is a good choice.
Sanuk Yoga Spree II Flip-flop
Special Features: yoga mat footbed, comfortable straps
Best Use: daily wear around town, short walks, after work out or long runs
Description: It is almost the same as the Sanuk Yoga Mat with little variances. This Sanuk Yoga Spree II Flip-flop has thinner soles, which doesn’t provide the stability and support of the Yoga Mat, but comfort is still its finest feature.
While the footbed is sealed at the edges, it still absorbs a lot of water and takes too long to dry so it is not good for water activities and the thin textile straps rubs against the skin.
As mentioned on the Yoga Mat, traction and durability are Sanuk’s best features, and is a winner in terms of style because the thin straps and thin profile make it adorable and can even be paired with a summer dress.
Havaianas Top Flip-flop
Special Features: good traction, easy to dry, economical
Best Use: lounging around at home or at the pool, beach
Description: The classic flip-flop made of rubber and preferred by many for beach or lounging at the pool side.
This Havaianas Top Flip-flop is water-friendly because the sole, strap and footbed are made of rubber. And with the characteristics of rubber, there is a good traction when it connects with wet surfaces.
But for longer walks and hikes, it is not recommended because the continuous contact of skin and rubber can cause painful blisters on the soles of your feet, as well as chafing due to the strap.
As mentioned, traction is better than its competitors for this classic flip but do not expect stability and support because the footbed is not contoured.
Reef Sandy Flip-flop
Special Features: foot-molding, quick dry, good traction, classic design
Best Use: water adventures, a day at the beach
Description: With a footbed made of EVA, this Reef Sandy Flip-flop offers just the right amount of stability and moderate arch support because of its feet-molding feature.
The wide straps are wide enough to hold the feet in place. These are super lightweight enough to bring it along when going hiking as a camp flip.
Conversely, the sole flattens and the straps are worn out with continuous use but compared to its competitors that provide the same level of comfort, it dries up quickly. The sole surprisingly provides good traction especially when wet as well.
Although they come in limited colors, the style and design is classic and can be paired with any casual outfit during the summer.
Nike Comfort Thong
Special Features: memory foam footbed, lightweight, superior traction, athletic design
Best Use: after work out or after a long jog/run flip
Description: This Nike Comfort Thong is equipped with a 8mm memory foam footbed and an EVA midsole that enables the feet to sink into heavenly comfort.
The sporty design inspired by their Nike Free running shoes gives off that sporty look and is definitely stylish with its thong style straps made of mesh & synthetic leather.
The rubber sole is also much thicker than its competitors but this piece is interestingly lightweight and has incorporated deeper treads, giving this pair a superior traction.
The memory foam, however, allows the feet to sink in as far as the solid sole and does not provide much stability and support like the impression it first gave. Like its competitors with the same features, the footbed absorbs a lot of water and takes a long time to dry. With the thong style straps, the toes can hang off the front of the sandal.
Olukai Ohana Sandal
Special Features: contoured footbed, comfortable, good traction, lightweight, quick-dry
Best Use: outdoor and water activities, all-around flip
Description: Priced at $65, this Olukai Ohana Sandal is way more expensive than the other flip flops, but if you are willing to spend on a pair that ticks all the requirements you need for an all-around pair, this one is definitely worth the investment.
For its competitors, to be able to tick off one feature like stability and support you would need to sacrifice comfort or durability but for this piece, you get to enjoy it all without sacrificing one feature.
Since contoured footbed provides amazing stability and just the right amount of arch support, it manages to keep the feet in place. It does this with its footbed made of ICEVA over EVA midsole, and the sole is gum rubber paired with a synthetic nubuck leather strap.
Now that you’ve read about the best flip flops found in the market and what features to keep in mind, you have a better starting point for finding the right pair for you.
Finding a pair of flip flops for summer should be easy, as long as you keep these important features in mind, minimizing your chances of making returns in the future. Save yourself the hassle and get the right pair on your first try.
Have we missed a flip-flop you adore or found our review helpful? Share your experience on the comment box.