Is any footwear more comfortable than the flip-flop?
Sure, you can’t wear them to the office or a fancy dinner party, but nothing’s better for times when you need a casual shoe you can slip on and off with ease. Wear them when chilling at the beach or hanging out in the yard.
Finding the perfect pair of flip flops isn’t always easy. Cheap, flimsy flip flops are a dime a dozen. You don’t want flip flops to hurt your feet or fall apart.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best flip flops for men available right now. Whether you’re looking for something simple for vacation or a nicer pair to add to your wardrobe, we’ve got you covered. From the best choice overall to some excellent value options, we’ve found the perfect pair for you.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Under Armour UA Ignite II Thong
- Best Premium Product: Reef Men’s Fanning Flip Flop
- Best Value: Mio Marino Men’s Flip Flops
If you’re looking for more info, we’ve also got a detailed buyer’s guide which starts right now.
How to Choose the Right Flip Flops for You
Do you know why they’re called flip flops? The name is an onomatopoeia. When you walk while wearing a pair, they make a noise that sounds like “flip flop” with every step.
Flip flops are a type of sandal. They have two distinguishing features:
- No heel
- A strap across the front
Strap: What’s the Difference Between a Flip Flop and a Slide Sandal?
The strap is what keeps the flip flop on your foot when you walk. The strap fits between your big and first toe.
The other type is called a slide. The strap goes horizontally across the shoe, so you slide your foot in underneath it.
The between-your-toe kind is the most secure, but it can be uncomfortable. It can rub against your skin and cause blisters or other irritation.
Check the material. Leather is usually softer against your skin than rubber. Keep in mind some people don’t like the feeling of a strap between their toes no matter what, even when wearing a top-of-the-line flip flop. If that’s you, you’ll want a slide sandal rather than a flip flop.
A slide is a more comfortable option. However, it’s usually not quite as secure. Your foot can slip right out of the sandal in wet conditions or if you run. Technically, a slide sandal is not a flip flop, although they do have many similarities.
Flip flops use less material than a regular shoe, so what material is there needs to count. Most flip flops are made from either:
- EVA foam
- Leather and suede
The majority of flip flops have EVA foam construction. It’s a lab-made foam known for its durability, flexibility, water resistance, and shock absorption. You’ll find it in a variety of products which rely on sturdiness including:
- Orthotic support equipment
- Cervical collars
- Exercise mats
EVA foam has many properties that make it an excellent material for flip flops. It’s strong enough to resist damage when walking on tough terrain. However, it’s also flexible enough to conform to your foot.
Another major benefit of EVA is how it reacts to water. It doesn’t retain water well, so it won’t take on extra weight when wet. Also, it dries quickly.
However, there are also a few downsides. EVA foam can feel stiff at first. You might need to wear your flip flops for a few days before they’ll “break-in.” However, once they conform to the shape of your feet, they’ll feel like a second skin.
You can also find flip flops made from leather, typically suede. It’s a far more comfortable option. Plus, it’s stylish, too.
However, leather flip flops have much less weather resistance than EVA foam. Sure, they won’t fall apart after a rainstorm, but you shouldn’t expose them to water day in and day out. Also, they don’t dry quickly. If they get wet, they’ll stay wet for a while.
Leather flip flops are great to wear around the house or neighborhood, but they’re not the best choice for the beach or gym.
You wear the same size in flips flops as you do in a normal shoe. As with any footwear, brands have their sizing quirks, so try before you buy or make sure the manufacturer has a return policy you’re comfortable with.
Although this might sound obvious, make sure you get the right size. Improperly-sized flip flops are annoying and uncomfortable.
If they’re too large, you’ll trip over your own feet. More than an inconvenience, wearing flip flops that are too big can be an honest-to-goodness safety hazard.
On the other hand, if your flip flops are too small, the strap will likely dig into your foot. You certainly don’t want your flip flops to cause foot pain!
Also, never wear flip flops that are small enough to where your toes protrude beyond the front, as that seriously increases your risk of injury.
While some flip flops have a flat base, others provide arch support. Flat ones are okay for occasional use, but you probably want arch support.
The arches of our feet absorb most of the pressure when we walk. Proper arch support in your footwear helps distribute the impact of every footfall evenly. Arch support helps prevent a variety of potential problems, including:
- Ankle injuries
- Heel pain
- Back and hip pain
If you plan to wear flip flops for any significant amount of time, choose a pair with some arch support.
Also, consider heel support. Many sandals have a cushion that wraps around your entire heel.
Flip the shoe over and check out the bottom, which is called the outsole. Make sure the outsole has sufficient traction. Most flip flops have a rigid pattern of some sort.
Traction is especially important in a flip flop for two reasons. First, they’re not the most secure type of shoe to wear because they don’t have laces or a heel. If the flip flop slides against the ground, there’s very little to keep your foot in place.
Also, you’ll likely wear your flip flops around slick surfaces such as poolside or in the locker room of the gym. Traction helps keep you from slipping.
Flip flops are popular footwear for hanging out and relaxing. It’s probably not surprising you can find many options with a built-in bottle opener, usually located on the bottom of the shoe.
Of course, high-end flip flops typically don’t include bottle openers. Instead, you’re more likely to find them in the cheaper, novelty versions of the shoe. However, we did find a few nicer options you’ll want to check out.
A History of Flip Flop Fashion
Flip flops are often considered simple and casual, but they’re far more fascinating than many people realize. They’re the first footwear ever invented, dating back centuries to early civilizations found in Egypt, China, Japan, and elsewhere.
These simple sandals first hit US shores when GI’s returned from the Pacific Theatre following WWII. They’d discovered the Japanese version, called the zori, and didn’t want to give them up when they returned home.
In the 1960s, California surfers popularized the shoe even more. They became a must-have swim accessory, as necessary for surfing as a board and swim trunks.
Today, the popularity of flip flops has grown far beyond the surf set. Guys and ladies of all ages rock flip flops. Even Barack Obama sported a pair on vacation.
How and Where to Wear Flip Flops
Flip flops don’t leave much to the imagination. You’re showing the world your entire foot. As expected, flip flops aren’t appropriate for every situation.
Typically, these shoes fit into the following settings:
- At the beach
- In the gym
- In casual settings
Even then, you’ll want to follow a few rules. Make sure your feet are presentable when wearing flip flops. We’re not saying you need to pay for a professional pedicure, but keep your nails trim and your feet clean.
This writer from Esquire has a tongue-in-cheek look at the “horrors” of wearing flip flops inappropriately. While it’s a humorous article, he does make some good points.
Also, keep your flip flops clean. Because your bare food touches the surface directly, bacteria can build up quickly. Never store your flip flops in a damp, dark location as that also encourages bacterial and fungal build-up.
Finally, let’s answer the classic question: Should you wear flip flops with socks?
The answer is: pretty much never. While it’s somewhat common in certain Asian cultures, generally wearing socks with flip flops is a fashion faux pas here in the States. It typically associated with older, out-of-touch folks who don’t care about style.
True, socks do add a layer of warmth. However, if it’s already so cold enough outside that you feel the need to wear socks, then it’s too cold for flip flops.
Flip Flop Reviews
Now that you know what features to consider, and what options are available, let’s take a closer look at some of the highest-quality, most popular flip flops available today:
These flip flops from Alpine Swiss are a comfortable, stylish option for chilling at the beach on a warm summer day.
The sole of the shoe is made from 3/4-inch thick EVA foam. It conforms to your feet for targeted support. You can wear them all day, and your feet won’t feel tired or sore.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding on wet surfaces. The outsole has a ribbed traction pattern, which helps you maintain a sure grip.
While they’re comfortable and durable, you want them to look cool, too. So, how do they rate on the style front?
To be honest, they’re not exactly cutting-edge fashion. However, they do have a classic, clean look you can rock in a restaurant or store without looking like a beach bum. Three colors are available: tan, black, and gray.
Keep in mind these flip flops have a single thong strap that fits between your big toe and its neighbor. Even though the strap is soft, it can still irritate your skin over time. If you don’t like the feeling of material between your toes, you might want a flip flop with a different design.
Finally, you can feel good about buying these flip flops. A portion of your purchase goes to the Children’s Hunger Fund, an organization that provides over 2,500 meals a day to children around the world.
- EVA foam sole keeps feet comfortable
- Outsole traction provides a sure-footed grip
- Three color options
- The purchase helps kids in need
- Thong strap might irritate your skin
- Style is rather plain
Under Armour UA Ignite II Thong: Best Overall
If you’re looking for an athletic flip flop, there’s a lot to like about UA Ignite II from Under Armour. Two layers of Performance 4D Foam help protect your feet from shock and impact. Even better, anatomical contours provide an extra layer of cushion. They feel great on your feet, even when walking or running on rough terrain.
Plus, they’re a great choice if you’re concerned about slipping and falling. A re-engineered EVA outsole features traction pods in the heel to help you maintain your center of gravity, even on slick footing.
They don’t have any cloth sections, so you can throw them in your bag or locker when wet without worrying about mold or musty odors.
Also, if you’re not a fan of the toe strap, but like the security it creates, you’ll likely prefer these sandals. The synthetic strap is small, soft, and unlikely to irritate your skin.
Plus, the strap is lined with HeatGear, a unique UA material which pulls water, moisture, and sweat away from your feet. Also, it helps the sandals dry quickly when wet.
Note that they require a brief break-in period as they’ll likely feel stiff for the first day or two. You’ll probably want to wear socks for a few days until the soles soften.
Another issue to note relates to sizing. Order them one, or possibly even two sizes larger than your shoe size. Otherwise, they’ll likely feel too narrow.
· Excellent traction, especially in the heel
· Two layers of foam create a comfortable cushion
· Comfortable strap with moisture-wicking HeatGear tech
· Quick drying
· Well-suited for active exercises
· Sizing is confusing (order at least one size larger)
· Requires break-in period
FitFlop is a popular, trusted manufacturer of flip flops. Although the style looks a bit basic at first glance, there’s more going on here than meets the eye.
They’re designed specifically for a day at the beach so that they can withstand hot temps and salty water.
An EVA midsole is fairly standard across brands, but it’s rare to find a triple-density midsole with Microwobbleboard technology, as you’ll find here. Although the name seems silly, Microwobbleboard is a unique way to increase the flexibility of the sole without weakening the construction.
Additionally, the contoured footbed creates truly fantastic arch support. If arch support isn’t optional for your feet, these are the sandals to buy.
The woven thong is soft and flexible. Truthfully, if you don’t like the toe thong design, this one probably won’t win you over, but it’s not as rough or irritating as plastic or rubber.
Finally, the textured outsole handles sand like nobody’s business. While it’s not ideal for hiking or walking on any wet surfaces, it will keep you steady at the beach.
- Designed for use in the surf, sand, and sun
- Top-tier arch support
- Features unique Microwobbleboard technology
- The textured outsole is built for beachcombing
- Design is a bit on the bland side
- The woven tow strap is only average
Teva is an icon in the world of outdoor apparel. Of course, a famous name doesn’t mean a thing if the shoe hurts your feet. Let’s take a look at how the Teva Mush Ii lines up with the other selections on our list.
If you care about performance but don’t concern yourself with style, the Teva Mush Ii is for you. Let’s start with the benefits.
First, it’s well-made. You’ll find plenty of standard stuff here like a dual-density EVA midsole with a fabric thong strap. Teva’s not reinventing the wheel, but that’s okay. Everything features solid construction, tight stitching, and obvious care.
After all, Teva invented the sport sandal back in 1984. They know what works and they stick with it.
That said, their style seems a bit behind the times. The phrase “utilitarian” comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with the no-frills approach, but you won’t score any fashion points sporting a pair of these around town.
Also, they have a long break-in period. Many people say it takes about a week before the sole conforms to their feet. While that’s a big improvement over the month-long break-in period Teva sandals required back in the 90s, a week is still a long time to wear uncomfortable shoes.
- Solid construction is built-to-last with quality materials
- Comfortable, durable dual-density EVA midsole
- Fabric thong strap is soft but strong
- The overall design is plain and downright dull
- The break-in period lasts about a week
Quiksilver’s flip flops have a classic style combined with a comfortable feel.
They’re made from leather with a suede strap. It’s a 3-point design, which means the strap splits into two across your foot. It allows for better weight distribution so that the thong won’t pinch your skin.
While flip flops will never pass for formal attire, these have a far more sophisticated style than most of the others on our list. They look right at home in a beachside restaurant or a boardwalk.
The rubber sole is durable with a confident grip, even on wet surfaces.
Of special note is the detailed stitching on the suede straps. They have an elegant, understated look. You can choose between three colors: tan, black, and dark brown.
If you want (or prefer) solid arch support, this is the shoe to buy. The anatomically-correct arch support is ideal for anyone with high arches or general foot issues.
While the suede is comfortable and fashionable, it’s not the best material for water resistance. The shoes take a long time to dry. Plus, repeated exposure to water can dull the appearance. If you’re looking for flip flops to wear poolside or at the beach, these might not be the best choice.
Additionally, some wearers report the flip flops left behind a (temporary) green stains on their feet. While this doesn’t seem to be a common problem, it is worth noting.
- Stylish and soft suede
- Includes anatomically-correct arch support
- Three-point design is comfortable on your toes
- Poor water resistance
- The material might briefly dye your skin green
Reef Men’s Fanning Flip Flop: Premium Product
These flip flops are all about fun!
They’re the official sandal of three-time world champion surfer Mick Fanning. As expected, they’re made to withstand an active day in the surf, sand, and sun.
The footbed is soft, durable, and comfortable. It’s made from contoured, injection-molded EVA foam. Arch support is top-of-the-line, not just compared to other flip flops, but compared to other shoes, too!
Heel support is also excellent. A 360-degree airbag circles the heel to help keep your heel from sliding around.
The upper section is made from synthetic nubuck. It’s extremely water-resistant and dries quickly.
The outsole is made Reef Icon Herringbone rubber, a brand-specific blend that is strong but lightweight. It can handle repeated, consistent exposure to water — even saltwater.
Sure, it’s a well-made shoe, but why is it fun? Well, the fun’s in the footbed, which includes a built-in bottle opener.
The only downside we can see is the product’s lifespan. Don’t expect your shoes to last more than three or four years.
- Created by legendary surfer Mick Fanning
- Includes arch and heel support
- Dries quickly when wet
- Made from durable Reef Icon Herringbone rubber
- Features a built-in bottle opener
- The average lifespan is about three years
Naturally, Nike’s Kepa Kai thong sandal is a top choice if you’re looking for footwear for running, hiking, and other activities.
They have a simple, understated look with a curved, aerodynamic shape. While they’re not quite as fashionable as leather sandals, they look right at home in a gym.
The memory foam conforms to the shape of your foot. Not only are they comfortable, but the foam helps absorb the impact of every step to protect your feet.
Additionally, the toe thong is soft against your skin. If you normally don’t like the feeling of the strap between your toes, but like the secure fit of this strap style, this might be the shoe for you.
It’s also water-resistant. The upper material is a lightweight synthetic which dries quickly.
Surprisingly, the branding is subdued. You’ll only find a small Nike logo on a tag on the top of the strap.
Finally, the rubber outsole provides plenty of traction. You can confidently stride around the pool without slipping or falling.
Overall, it’s a solid pair of sandals for the gym or pool. While they’re not the most stylish option on the list, they’re well-made and designed for athletes.
- High-quality Nike construction
- Soft toe strap reduces skin irritation
- Synthetic materials are water-resistant and quick-drying
- Rubber outsole provides sure-footing even in wet conditions
- The style is relatively simple
- Sizing runs large (order one size smaller than your regular shoe size)
Add some hipster style to your footwear with these flip flops from Hammer Anvil. They’re available in a variety of cool colors, including Navy blue, bright green, orange, and yellow.
The sole of each shoe also displays the vintage-inspired logo of the Hammer Anvil brand. If you want the ultimate in beach style, you can choose a pair with an image of the Santa Monica Pier or the Palisades Beach Tower.
Construction is durable, although nothing remarkable. The sole is made from a flexible, soft foam with a thickness of 5/8”. Although there’s no added arch support, these shoes are comfortable and supportive.
They’re not ideal for exercise, hiking, or long walks. Instead, they’re made for casual living. Pop them on when you need to run a quick errand or take a short stroll in your backyard.
They’re also perfect for shower shoes. They dry quickly when wet. Plus, they have light traction on both the inner and outer sole to help keep you steady even on slick floors, including wet tile.
On the downside, they might have a strong smell initially. Many flip flops made from synthetic materials like foam do have a chemical smell at first. It’s a side effect of the manufacturing process.
Unfortunately, more than a few users said the smell of these flip flops was darn-near overpowering. It took days for the stench to dissipate, and an odor lingered even then.
Keep in mind that not every pair smells. If you end up with a pair that has a strong odor, you might want to return it and try your luck with a replacement.
- Stylish design options include several famous beach scenes
- Durable construction with thick foam soles
- Quick-drying and water-resistant
- Light traction keeps you on your feet even on wet surfaces
- No extra arch support
- Shoes might have a strong chemical odor
- Not durable enough intense activity like running or hiking
Mio Marino Men’s Flip Flops: Best Value
Talk about a beautiful beach style! These flip flops from Mio Marino combine function with fashion.
Let’s start with their appearance. The shoes have stylish tan-and-gray coloring with a sleek, classic shape. We love the two-toned look, which adds a sophisticated, but understated style.
Aside from looks, they’re well-made, too. The 1” foam outsole is waterproof, breathable, and flexible. It helps absorbs impact to keep your feet feeling great even after all-day wear.
The top sole consists of memory foam. It conforms to the exact shape of your foot. Even if you have high or low arches, the foam provides comfortable support.
While they’re not ideal for heavy exercise, they’re perfect for long drives and walks around town.
Plus, they’re made entirely from vegan materials, including a faux-leather toe strap. No animals were harmed in the making of these sandals, making them an animal-friendly option you can feel good about wearing.
Finally, the manufacturer is committed to customer satisfaction. You can return or exchange the flip flops if you’re not 100% satisfied with their look or performance thanks to an unlimited warranty.
Overall, these are among the least expensive flip flops on our list. However, you wouldn’t know it to look at them. Their fashionable design rivals the look of any designer options.
- Fashionable two-toned design with faux-leather strap
- Animal-friendly construction uses 100% vegan materials
- An unlimited warranty backs all shoes
- The thick, comfortable outsole protects feet from impact
- Memory foam sole conforms to your foot’s shape
- Not designed for intense activity
- Strap placement doesn’t line up with shoe 100% accurately
Love them or hate them, no shoes look or feel quite like Crocs. Their classic sandal has a unique style all its own.
Fortunately, at least in the opinion of most people, these flip flops don’t resemble the classic Croc styling. Instead, they have a simpler, sleeker look (without all the air holes).
What they do have is the same comfortable feel as the classic clog. It’s lightweight, but strong, with a cushy, comfortable sole that wraps around your foot like a hug. Say what you want about the company’s style sense, but they certainly know how to make footwear comfortable.
Another feature we like is the toe strap. It’s soft and thin to help prevent skin irritation. If larger leather straps drive you crazy, you’ll love the comfortable alternative provided here.
Also, these Crocs are ready to go swimming. They won’t soak in water even when fully submerged, so they stay light and easy to walk in even when wet. Plus, they dry super-fast and resist mold and mildew.
The textured footbed keeps your feet in place even when the sandal is soaked. Three sections of separate traction patterns support the shape of your foot in targeted ways. Although the traction doesn’t look like much visually, in practice, it’s truly top-of-the-line.
It’s a one-piece shoe, so don’t have to worry much about components falling off. On the downside, you only have two color options: black or Navy.
- High-quality Croc construction is built to last
- Excellent custom traction pattern on sole keep your feet securely in the shoe
- Off-the-charts comfort
- Water-resistance is among the best in footwear
- Style is simple and uninspired
- Only two color options available
Although Ebu GoGo isn’t a brand as well-known as, say, Croc’s or Under Armour, there’s a lot to like here. They’re well-made, comfortable, and have a classic look.
Let’s start at the bottom. The EVA outsole has solid traction with enough flexible to comfortable move with you while you walk, even uphill or across uneven terrain.
EVA foam is the main material used in the footbed, too. You can wear them all day. They’ll feel just as supportive and comfortable at the start of the day as they do by the end.
The denim strap has a classic look with fine stitching. Additionally, the straps have a mesh lining to help them dry quickly.
Although denim isn’t the most common material for straps, it’s arguably the most comfortable. Most people find it far less irritating against your skin compared to rubber and plastic.
Also, these are some of the lightest sandals we’ve seen. They weigh just .6-lbs per pair. Even better, they also float, so you don’t have to worry about losing them in the pool or ocean.
Finally, Ebu GoGo offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Wear them all day, every day, for a month with no financial risk. If you don’t like them, you can return them for a full refund with no questions asked.
- Denim straps add a touch of classic style
- Incredibly lightweight design allows for easy walking
- All products include a 30-day guarantee
- The outsole is made from resilient EVA foam
- The manufacturer isn’t particularly well-known
- Traction is only so-so
These flip flops from Maiitrip have the comfort and durability of foam construction combined with a handsome, classic style.
The dual-density EVA midsole provides support rivaling a tennis shoe and comfort rivaling a slipper. However, they do run a bit small, so you’ll likely want to go a half size up from your regular shoe size.
The rubber outsole has a non-slip design to protect you from falling. It provides excellent traction in wet conditions.
Another plus is the stylish strap. It’s made from breathable, water-resistant synthetic material, but it looks like hand woven leather. It’s fashionable but also functional.
On the downside, these flip flops are another one of the “smelly” types. You’ll need to air them out for a day or two to remove the chemical smell created during manufacturing.
Also, they’re slow to dry, especially compared to other EVA-based shoes. While they can withstand a splash of water, you probably don’t want to use them as shower shoes at the gym. If they get soaked with water, they’ll stay wet for hours.
- The synthetic strap resembles woven leather
- Foam construction combines comfort and durability
- Rubber outsole provides rugged traction
- Don’t submerge them in water or they’ll stay wet for a long time
- The manufacturing process gives them a (temporary) chemical odor
The world certainly has no shortage of flip flop options. You can probably pick up a pair at your local grocery store or even the gas station!
However, finding a quality pair gets a bit more difficult. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you. Here’s the final word on the three best options.
Let’s start with the best overall. Here, we’re looking for the shoe which we feel has a well-rounded selection of benefits with little-to-no drawbacks.
Our choice in this category is the Under Armour UA Ignite II Thong. Quite frankly, it doesn’t have any major problems.
The construction is solid but lightweight. The two layers of Performance 4D Foam plus the anatomical contouring help make this flip flops one of the most comfortable options by far. Plus, it provides substantial impact protection.
Also, its water resistance is as good as it gets. The HeatGear technology, found only in Under Armour gear, helps wick water (and sweat) away from your foot.
While you’ll most likely want to order a size or two larger than normal, once you find the right fit these flip flops will serve you well for years.
Best Premium Product
Although it’s a bit pricier than the others on our list, you get what you pay for with the Reef Men’s Fanning Flip Flop. At first, we figured consumers were paying for the Mick Fanning celebrity endorsement, but after trying them out, it’s clear you’re buying a premium product.
The EVA foam is comfortable and waterproof, while the support is top-of-the-line. Not only does the sole have arch support, but it also has a 360-degree airbag for heel support.
While we typically associate bottle openers with much cheaper flip flops, we were pleasantly surprised to find one here. Their humorously-named Thirst Quenching Technology lets you pop open a bottle, but its placement doesn’t interfere with traction.
Although we wish they’d last a bit longer than an average of three to four years, they’re still a premium flip flop packed with useful and fun features.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend big to get a first-rate flip flop. The Mio Marino Men’s Flip Flops are our choice for the best overall value.
They have a terrific sense of style with two-tone coloring and a tasteful faux-leather strap. You can wear them places where other flip flops would seem out of place.
Also, they’re plenty comfy with a thick 1” foam outsole and foot-fitting memory foam. Finally, you’re not just saving money; you’re helping to save the planet, too. These flip flops are made entirely from vegan materials for maximum animal friendliness.
Treat your feet with a comfortable, stylish pair of flip flops. They’re just what you need for the gym, the beach, or any casual gathering. We’re confident our list above has the perfect pair just for you.