Flip Flop Reviews:
When I grew up in the 1970's and early 80's, we called our flip flops, "thongs". Thongs were not swimsuits back then so I guess the term slowly faded out in the 1990's and that's when the expression "flip flops" took over for sandal looking shoes you wear to the beach, around the house, or just around town. Growing up in California, where the weather always seems warm enough, we wore flip flops year round. We had the basic flip flops that were made of either rubber or a foam type of substance. I did see leather flip flops back then, but they were rare and very expensive. The current flip flops are put into 3 main categories - sport sandals/flip flops, beach flip flops and fashion flip flops. The sports flip flops are made by Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Teva and cost between $20-$65. The beach flip flops are the ones most of us are familiar with that you see on the beach. Manufacturers of beach flip flops and sandals are Rainbow, Reef, Crocs, Havaianas, Roxy, Sanuk, and Quicksilver. They are lightweight, stylish and perfect for sandy beaches. The latest line of fashionable flip flops is a huge market amongst the younger teenage girls and women in their early 20's. The top brands are Juicy Couture, Abercrombie, J Crew, Bebe, Chanel, and Old Navy.
Most flip flops are completely flat and casual looking, but there are some styles that have platforms and add a few inches to a girls height (that's fashion). Dr. Marten makes a great pair of leather flip flops (thong sandals) for about $17 which are comfortable and stylish and have a slight heel on them. Make sure you try on the flip flop/sandal before buying them because some of the cushioned areas on the bottom are better in certain brands than others. Also, expect a little bit of rubbing and perhaps even a small blister when you first starting wearing flip flops without socks. The most common spot for a blister is right next to your big toe where you fit your toes between the seperator piece. Flip flop socks are made specifically to reduce the rubbing and keep your feet smooth and beautiful. To our astonishment, we found out that many brides are wearing flip flops on their wedding days. I can understand how wearing flip flops to a beach wedding can make sense, but other than that it just seems tacky. There is a pair of bridal flip flops with over 300 Swarovski crystals on the straps that cost $140 so it appears they are not your everyday beach flip flops, but still. Savvy Bridal and Bridesmaid Flip Flops are the top sellers in this category and most sell for $35. We visited several online flip flop retailers like Rainbow, Sandalsuperstore.com, Altrec.com to find the best selling brands and most popular flip flops in all categories. Our finding are below with brand, style, and prices listed where available. You can browse their most popular flip flops online here
Best Beach Flip Flops:
For the top selling beach sandals, or flip flops, for men go with the Reef Sandals
that cost about $40. They have comfortable water friendly synthetic nubuck top levels and a contoured compressions molded EVA foot bed with arch support. There is a full 360 degree heel airbag and a rubber outsole. They come in brown, black, grey, and silver combinations. Reef sandals are from Brazil and are considered the top active lifestyle brand in the world. Rainbow sandals/flip flops are a close 2nd to the Reef products in terms of customer satisfaction and excellent feedback. The latest mens Rainbow Sandals
in fish brown color sell for $29 and are comfortable as well as stylish for any surfer/beachgoer. As usual, there is a bigger selection for womens flip flops in this category, but we like the Havaianas sandals. The black or white Havaianas flip flops are very popular and cost less than $20/pair. Roxy flip flops for women are a touch more stylish in our eyes than the Havaianas and the Roxy Ensenada is a small platform flip flop that comes in a chocolate color and looks great ($30). The newly famous Crocs shoes have stolen some market share from the other beach flip flop companies with their Croc flip flop line. The Crocs sell for about $30-$35.
Sports Flip Flops:
If you want a ruggest pair of sport or outdoor sandals, then consider flip flops from Teva or Nike. Teva has the more established line of products, but Nike has done well to introduce new mens and womens sandals and flip flops in recent years. The top Teva men's flip flops are the Mush, Too Mush, Oldtown, Downtown Flip, Elixer 5, and the Guide Thong. The Teva Mush flip flop sells for a little over $20 and is very basic while the Guide Thong goes for $60 and is more rugged and durable. The mens Nike flip flops are the Celso Thong Plus ($20) and the Men's Atee Thong ($20). The Nike flip flops have a leather suede and fast-drying mesh along the upper section and a cushioned and supportive EVA wedge midsole with a waffle outsole. Womens flip flops from both Teva and Nike are stylish and stable, but if we had just one choice it would still be with Teva. Teva flip flops and sandals provide more function and comfort than do those from Nike. Teva's are also more durable, although more expensive. Puma and Adidas have casual flip flops that many athletes wear before or after practice to let their sweaty feet air out and give their regular shoes a break. I own a pair of the Teva Men's Mush Thong Sandal
and they have held up well over the years. I play badminton with the kids on our grass with these and they move smoothly. At the beach they are lightweight and comfortable as well.
Designer/Fashion Flip Flops:
Flip flops took on a whole new life of their own in the last 5 years and girls are now even wearing these "casual" shoes to work. It didn't take long for the upscale brands to catch on and produce their own line of flip flops. Abercrombie and Fitch offers their "casual luxury" flip flops for $17 and they are made from solid rubber. Nothing special, but their brand name sells them to all the young teenager girls that want the latest style. The J Crew elastic wedge flip flops sell for $20 and are made with rubber resistant sole, a rubber footbed, and a 1 5/8" wedge. The classic critter flip flops from J Crew are more stylish with a variety of colors and patterns to choose from and they are cheaper at about $10/pair. We had a hard time finding Bebe and Chanel flip flops online (perhaps they are only seasonal), but we did see several listed on Ebay. Try to stay away from white flip flops since they show being "dirty" much faster than other colors. We found a good selection of designer flip flops online here