The Flip-Flop-Off: Choosing the Best, Most Comfortable Flip Flops

I am not one of those people who only wears flip flops to the beach. I wear them just about year round. I even prefer wearing them over being barefoot around the house because of the support and cushion. About a month ago, I decided I wanted to try a new brand and ordered a pair Havaianas. I heard a lot about them and the reviews were wonderful. When I shared on my Instagram stories, I immediately had a flood of messages – probably more than I’ve ever received off of one story. Havaiana fans came out in droves, swearing by them and others messaged with their favorite brands. You guys- people are really passionate about their flip flops! I get it. I am too. That’s why we’re here. So after fielding more messages than I knew what to do with, I got an idea. I saw a few brands that were being repeated over and over – I decided to order multiple pairs and put them each to the test. Today, I’m officially hosting a “Flip-Flop-Off”, sharing my findings and review on choosing the best, most comfortable flip flops.

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PUTTING IT TO THE TEST:
CHOOSING THE BEST, MOST COMFORTABLE FLIP FLOPS

The flip flops I ultimately ordered were:

My goal is to “be able to walk around Disney World all day” – while that is the ideal measure, I don’t live close to Disney. Instead, I wore them around the house and on errands. Admittedly, some I knew weren’t “for me” as soon as I put them on. I know there are a ton of popular brands I could have added to the mix but for this project, I stuck with a few because of time and of course $$$. One brand I did not try myself but Dave loves is Rainbow (HERE); if you are a lady and a hardcore fan, let me know in the comment section 😉 As a caveat, keep in mind that these are my personal reviews for my personal preference for my feet. If you have different needs, you may have a different conclusion. So here we go… the pros, cons, and a review on each brand and style I tried.

A review of the best women's flip flops from arch support to comfort - Havaiana vs. Sanuk vs. OluKai Ohana

ONE LAST NOTE before we jump right in. Obviously, I didn’t realize how much lint was on my leggings during my flip flop try-on session. You have been warned haha.

GAP FLIP FLOPS

Ok, to be clear, I did not order these. I have had them forever and tried them on as a reminder of what a “standard” flip flop would feel like as my baseline. Back in the day, I had every color of Old Navy flip flops- I mean, for a few bucks a pair, I’m sure a lot of you did! When I was younger, they were fine. As I’ve gotten older, there is no way I could stand or walk long distance in those things. I need cushiness and support! For shower shoes in the dorm, they are fine. For the pool, absolutely. But if you are looking for a comfortable flip flop, these just don’t cut it for me. The Gap flip flop is basically the same. Fine to throw on for something quick but I wouldn’t want to cruise around a theme park in them. (Find them HERE)

PRO: At $7.95/pair, they are inexpensive. Great basic for throwing on or tossing in your bag.

CON: No support and not comfortable enough to wear all day.

Gap Flip Flop Review

| GAP Flip Flops|

HAVAIANA SLIM FLIP FLOP

You guys. Before I came up with the “Flip-Flop-Off”, these are what I ordered. Havaianas were it. I wanted to love them. I thought I would love them. The reviews were great. But… you guys… I did not love them. The “feel” of the sole was good but they were flat. The worst part for me was the plastic part between my toes hurt. That being said, there are a TON of fantastic reviews on these (and many of you raved about them!) so just because they weren’t for me doesn’t mean they aren’t for you. I’ve gotten pretty finicky in my footwear and need support and sponginess. If you need something basic, I would definitely go for these before GAP or Old Navy. (Find them HERE)

PRO: They have great reviews from thousands of people; come in a ton of colors; are cute for a basic flip flop, and I found them under $20.

CON: On the narrow side; piece hurt between my toes; too flat and thin.

Havaiana Slim Flop Flop Review in Arch Support and Comfort

| HAVAIANA SLIM FLIP FLOP |

OLUKAI OHANA FLIP FLOP

I thought I was finished ordering but there were several people who messaged and said I absolutely had to try these, claiming their arch support was second to none. I love good arch support! So, I ordered ’em up. These were very different than the others I tried- the sole wasn’t squishy – they were more like a sturdy sandal. And that arch support? Well, that was no joke. Unfortunately, it was almost TOO much arch support for me. My foot had to rock forward over the arch (maybe I’m flat-footed?) so the arch support just pressed into my arch, almost uncomfortably. I’ve heard orthopedists have recommended this brand because of the support, but, unfortunately, they were not for me. If you are on the fence or are looking for something with awesome arch support, definitely give these a try. They have free shipping and free returns (HERE) so if they don’t “wow” you, you can return them like I did 😉 (Find them HERE)

PRO: Fantastic reviews (probably the best of the entire bunch); arch support like I’ve never experienced; comfortable between the toes.

CON: Most expensive of the “Flip-Flop-Off” at almost $65/pair; arch support was too extreme (almost painful) for me; look a little “sporty”

OluKai Ohana Flip Flop Review in Comfort and Arch Support

| OluKai Ohana Sandal |

SANUK YOGA MAT FLIP FLOP

These were the second pair of Sanuk flip flops I ordered (sharing the first in a bit) – honestly, I just fell in love with the comfortable straps and how thick and cushy the sole was. As indicated in the name, these are constructed of yoga mat material and feel like you are walking on clouds. There isn’t an arch support, per se, but, they are so cushy the sole supports my foot well. I actually ordered these in two colors- white and black 😉 They are mid-priced around $32/pair. (Find them HERE)

PRO: THOUSANDS of great reviews; available in several colors; comfortable straps, cushy sole

CON: They aren’t as “cute” as some of the thin strapped rivals

Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flop review vs. Havaiana

| Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flop |

YELLOW BOX FLIP FLOPS

These were the flip flops that started it all for me. I didn’t order these new; I already have several pairs. These were the first comfortable flip flops I owned and why I wanted to branch out to try other brands. My mom turned me onto these as she has been a faithful fan for years, too. After a year, the sole wears down and I need to toss a lot that no longer “do their job”. These are another mid-priced brand. That being said, I do like the Sanuks better than the Yellow Box! (Find them HERE)

PRO: Comes in a ton of colors and styles; comfortable between the toes; cushy sole (especially the Mellow Mat style)

CON: A little clunky in appearance; wears down after continual wear (note: these are the only pair I can comment on longevity since the others are new)

Yellow Box Flip Flop Review

| Yellow Box Flip Flops |

*THE GRAND WINNER*
SANUK YOGA JOY FLIP FLOPS

These were the second pair of flip flops I ordered (and the first pair of Sanuks). I was nervous when I opened the packaging because they are thin (which I knew but I was nervous they would feel like the Havaianas I tried). I slipped them on and it was like everything I had been needing in a comfortable flip flop- even though they aren’t thick, they are still cushy and supportive (also constructed of yoga mat material). The piece between the toe is comfortable and my favorite part- it has an arch support curvature that fits my arch perfectly. I was also nervous about the slimmer strap and while it isn’t cushy like the Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flop, they aren’t uncomfortable at all. I will be ordering more of these FOR SURE. They have quickly become my go-to and I’ve been wearing them non-stop. Even if you just need something thin for occasional wear, I can’t say enough good things about these. These are mid-priced, coming in just under $30. (Find them HERE)

PRO: My FAVORITE flip flop of the review; has an arch support; comfortable sole; cute with thin straps; can walk and stand for hours

CON: Not as wide of a strap as some of the others but I prefer the thin strap that is a little cuter than those that do have wide straps.

Sanuk Yoga Joy Flip Flop Review in Comfort and Support

| Sanuk Yoga Joy Flip Flop |

Have a favorite flip flop on this list? One I missed? One you want others to know about? Let me know in the comment section below. And, be sure to subscribe to my emails below and never miss a project (or fun review 😉 ) again!


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Finding the best women's flip flops by comparing different popular brands, based on comfort, support, and style

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40 Comments

  1. 3.11.18
    Rem said:

    I wear my rainbows everyday. ?

    • 3.11.18

      Rem, my husband is due for another pair!

      • 3.12.18
        MK said:

        I live in San Clemente, Ca home of Rainbow sandals. ?They even have a factory store here in town down the road from headquarter. Come visit our cute beach town and get some new flip flops

    • 3.11.18
      Dee said:

      Yes! Love my rainbows! The brown, braided are a little fancier and go with almost anything. But, I do feel like they are very casual. I love how worn in they are and last forever, but I can’t wear them with a sundress to dinner. They are too casual. ? Funny to say that about flip flops.

  2. 3.11.18
    Karen said:

    I am also a Yellow Box fan but I’ve recently started wearing Skechers flip flops. They have a lot of cute styles and are cushy and comfy on my feet and between my toes.

  3. 3.11.18
    Kelly said:

    I love the Sanuk yoga joy! I used to be a hardcore Cobian flip flop fan and they were pretty much the only brand I’d buy. I do still love them but I was pleasantly surprised by the Sanuks. If you ever come across Cobians, give em a try I think you’d like them too 🙂

  4. 3.11.18
    Stephanie Nicholson said:

    The Brazil style Havainas are the ones I wear. Can’t wear the slims. ?

    • 3.11.18
      Sally said:

      Ooh, yes, I agree – I think that the Brazils are exponentially more comfortable and bouncy than the slims. Also worth trying are the Fitflop ones – super comfortable and in lots of good colour combos.

      • 3.12.18
        Lindsey VanPelt said:

        I couldn’t agree with you more here! I love the Brazil style, but can’t stand the slim lines. They hurt my toes too, and I had a huge problem with the plug pulling out from the sole.

        I did end up buying some Reef’s last summer. We live in the southern California desert, and flip flops are worn daily. We also have a place at the river, so it’s a must!

  5. 3.11.18
    Morgan said:

    Major Rainbow fan right here! Have had my same pair for 4 or 5 years and they only get more comfy with time 🙂

  6. 3.11.18
    Linda said:

    Team ?! I have flat feet so especially struggle with sandals. I’ve owned my pair for maybe 4 years now.

  7. 3.11.18
    Katie Alred said:

    Rainbows ? I won’t wear anything else. I can walk miles in them.

  8. 3.11.18
    Debbie said:

    Thanks for this timely review! I was just looking at ordering flip flops for an upcoming trip and was looking for a more supportive pair. I ordered the Sanuk Joys to try.

  9. 3.11.18
    Vicki Wilson said:

    I love your straw bag! Where did you find it?

  10. 3.11.18
    Jodi said:

    You should try vionic by ortho heel I have a pair for inside and pairs for outside(I emphasize pairs):) many different styles and colors I like you prefer a thinner strap and these flip flops will not disappoint !

  11. 3.11.18
    Marla Daniel said:

    The most comfortable flip flops I have bought are the Crocs capri V. Most comfortable footbed and sole. Very supportive. I have plantar fasciitis and can walk around easily for hours in these. I have tried several other brands. Nothing compares, in my opinion.

  12. 3.11.18
    Angie said:

    You need to try Fit Flops, I live in them during the summer. I have multiple pairs and they are on the pricey side, but worth every penny. They have great support and come in lots of different styles and colors.

  13. 3.11.18
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    I imagine you already know my vote goes for the Yellow Box flip flops from ten years ago. The between the toe piece and sole are my determining factors. I still have two pairs from that era. So sad they don’t make ‘em like they used to. The current version fades out fast. Looking forward to the Sanuks you brought. Will be testing at the next Arts Festival! Loved this post!

  14. 3.11.18
    Louise said:

    I have worn flip flops every summer of my life & being Canadian – we think summer is when there isn’t snow on the ground. That means about 8 months a year. I will be 65 soon & have learned support is key. I already notice the calcification forming on your big toes. Ultimately flip flops are not good for the feet – but I love bionics, reebok & the cushy wobbleboard flips by fitflop, Ecco & sketcher. You must make sure your toes aren’t always ‘gripping’ – that’s what causes damage (along w lack of support). Take care of your feet!! If your feet hurt you don’t move, you don’t move you lose mobility, you lose mobility you take 10 years off your life. Happens before you know it.

  15. 3.11.18
    Gail said:

    You might want to try Fit Flops – the best of all! You can wear them all day and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association

  16. 3.12.18
    katy said:

    I love the Olukai’s, live in a beach town and these are my go to in winter as well as summer. Have a gold thin strap pair, perfect for dresses and skirts! What I really want to know is what NAIL COLOR that is!! Gorgeous red Kelley!

  17. 3.12.18
    Lisa said:

    This is such a fun post and those cute toes are making me think it’s time for a spring pedi! The brand Roxy with the little heart emblem makes a great flip too!

  18. 3.12.18
    Pam said:

    My favorite is Reefs. Not the plastic ones, but the thin leather strap ones. I literally can walk miles in them and I have. Give them a try!

  19. 3.12.18
    Sandy said:

    I love yellow box “Jello” style. So cute and so comfortable. I’m on my 3rd pair. Haven’t found a flip flop that comes close to these for both comfort and style.

  20. 3.12.18
    Dawn Sams said:

    Kelly, I’m a bit older than you so maybe not as cute but I’m a Birkenstock girl – fairly new convert – so comfortable and I would/could walk around Disney in them- did walk around San Diego in them

  21. 3.13.18
    Lilia Calderon said:

    I wear Reef cushion flip flops all summer long in Arizona. Which is basically year round! They are both cute & comfortable. They hold up great for around $30

  22. 3.13.18
    Karen said:

    Sanuk hands down for me too! I had your same dilemma until I found Sanuk flip-flops 2 year ago. Teva and Reef brands are all the rave down south, but they just didn’t work for me, not only did they look weird on me they were so uncomfortable!
    Last summer while shopping at Costco I came across a brand (new to me) I’d consider a dupe for Sanuk, called Flojos. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much, but for $20 I thought why not. They feel and look like the soft and comfy yoga mat material, even had the cute black plaid on the inside. The thong part is leather (outside) and soft fabric (inside), which never had to be “broken in.” Actually they have held up better vs Sanuk after being exposed to water at the pool and beach all spring and summer-my Sanuk lost the soft, cushion quality I loved them for after they got wet. I went to buy another pair online and was amazed at the variety of choices! I found the style I have, it’s the “women’s April flat sandal.” It is no longer on the flojos site so just google if you’re interested. Looks like they may have replaced it with the Billie flat sandal, and I may just have to buy another pair!!

  23. 3.13.18
    Cecilia said:

    I enjoyed reading all the responses…cute post! I love the flips by Lindsey Phillips; they come in many styles from plain to fancy. The fun part of these flips is you can change the button on top to match your outfit or maybe mood!! I don’t think they would hold up for a trek around London, but they are comfortable for normal use.

  24. 3.22.18
    Jill said:

    Did you end up wearing to Disney yet?

    • 3.26.18

      Haha no- but I have worn for full travel and shopping days!

  25. 3.25.18
    Janie said:

    The Olukai ho’opio is the most comfy flip flop I have ever owned. The arch is not as extreme as the Ohana. Which Olukai works best for a person just depends on their foot. Some people need more arch support than others. To me the ho’opi is perfect. I wear them to walk all day at Disneyland and my feet never hurt.

  26. 3.26.18
    Lacy Price said:

    https://www.teva.com/women-flip-flops/olowahu/6840.html?dwvar_6840_color=LNDB#start=64&cgid=women-sandals

    You need to try these. I had a pair that I have been wearing for like 10 years. The foam bottom forms to you and is so durable yet so light weight. Best shoes I have ever bought!

  27. 4.4.18
    Ivory said:

    Thank you for the pros and cons of different flip flops. I love wearing these during very hot summer days. They help keep my feet aired, however, after a few hours of wearing them, (you are so right) they started to hurt the bottom and sides of my feet like crazy.

  28. 4.8.18
    Kim said:

    nothung Beats rainbows, double stacked, white or brown are my FaVs

  29. 5.25.18
    Melanie said:

    I love Rainbow flip flops. I have gone through several pairs over the past decade. However, I will say that they are not for everyone. I also love my Chaco flip flops. I usually buy them on sale at the end of the season. They are def the quality to walk around Disney!

    • 5.25.18

      Melanie, my husband prefers his Rainbows; I actually tried them briefly recently and didn’t care for the style I tried. If I find any other serious contenders, I’ll definitely be posting! Thank you for weighing in!

  30. 8.13.18
    Michele Siano said:

    I tried a pair of Yellow Box for the first time this year and I really like them, but my all time favorite go-to is the Reef “Sandy”. I can literally walk in them all day.

    • 8.16.18

      Michele, I still haven’t tried Reefs- putting that on my list for next year!

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