First Look Gear Review
Street Price: $20
Pros: Light, great friction and traction, great value.
Cons: Athletic styling, squeak when wet, few online retailers carry them.
Best Uses: Use in climbing situations: belaying at the crags, between bouldering problems and hiking around.
Without sticky rubber, the Ollie would still be a good flip flop value. Add in the sticky rubber and large comfortable strap and they're a steal. They are the best flip flop for climbers that Outdoor Gear Lab has tested. They were great when cragging; they lets you move around the crag and scramble up to the anchors with some security. That said, they are not most people's idea of a stylish flip flop, so you might be hesitant to use them around town.
Of the flips we have tested, their main competitor is the Reef Fanning Sandal which won our Best Buy award. The Fanning is more substantial, has arch support, more durable and has a better look. But the Ollie is much lighter, arguably more comfortable, and less than half the price. For climbers, the decision from a functional standpoint is easy. For non-climbers, where style is bigger concern, it's harder not to go with the Fanning.
Another drawback to the Ollie is that they may be hard to buy online. The Reef Phantoms which wins our Best Buy Award is widely available at major retailers and is often on sale.
These flip flops are comfortable. Not dreamy comfortable like the OluKai Ohana Sandal but they are also one-quarter the price. They are very light. This is both great for walking and for clipping to the side of a climbing harness.
The tracking on these can't be beat. For the uninitiated, Evolv is a climbing shoe company and these have sticky rubber climbing rubber on the bottom. It is a similar pattern to their Evolv Escapist approach shoes. These stick to granite better than any other flip flop we have tested. And, because they have a generous foot strap, they are reasonable good at staying on your feet during short runs or scrambles on rocks.
These have not been tested long enough to assess durability. Friends who live in these burn through a pair every six months. But these folks also climb and tear around in the wild nonstop. The average person should get a year or more of solid use out of these.
Style and Fit
These have an athletic style with distinct logos and colors. They are not flip flops that capture surf culture cool or the type of flops that can be worn as a dress sandal. But if you are a die hard climber… then who cares!
A minor note, they really squeak when wet. When tested on a surf trip to Hawaii they really spoke up after using the beach shower. Not a big deal, but this wasn't apparent on many other flip flops.
There is no arch support. These are a simple piece of thick foam. But their big comfortable strap mentioned above gives them reasonable stability.
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 27, 2012
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