Hands-on Gear Review

Havaianas Top - Women's Review

Havianas Top Flip Flop Women's
Price:  $18 List | $16.67 at Amazon
Pros:  Quick drying, Inexpensive
Cons:  Uncomfortable for hiking or walking, Not supportive
Editors' Rating:   
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Sole material:  Rubber
Footbed material:  Rubber
Strap Material:  Rubber
Manufacturer:   Havianas

Our Verdict

We couldn't do a flip-flop review without including the most classic of them all: the Havaianas Top. This pair of sandals work great for around the beach and the pool, but anytime we tried a short hike or a big day of walking, we usually developed nasty blisters. The Havaianas are ideal for warm climates, the water, and just lounging around the house. They are not in the same category as a workhorse flip-flop like our Editors' Choice, the OluKai Ohana - Women's or even the inexpensive Teva Women's Mush II. Now, we know what you are thinking, millions of people around the world wear sandals like these Havaianas all day. This is true…and we salute their foot strength and burly skin, but here at OutdoorGearLab we just much prefer a more comfortable, supportive flip- flop.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Flip-Flop Sandals For Women Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amanda Fenn

Last Updated:
Sunday
March 16, 2014

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The Havaianas Top is the most affordable product in our review, unfortunately, it's also the one of the least comfortable and supportive pieces. On the other hand, this sandal dries super quickly and offers much better traction than we were expecting, so if you're just looking for a flip-flop to meet your pool-side, lounging needs, this might be just what you need.

An inexpensive flip that doesn't provide support or stability  the Havaianas Top is only a small step up from super cheap light foam models.
An inexpensive flip that doesn't provide support or stability, the Havaianas Top is only a small step up from super cheap light foam models.

Performance Comparison



Stability & Support


This rubber sandal has a thicker, squishier sole than we were expecting, but it still provides very little support or stability. We could bend it in half fairly easily, but not quite as easily as the Sanuk Yoga Spree 2. Over the long term, we think this piece will eventually mold a bit to the feet and provide a bit of arch support, but since it was so uncomfortable, we weren't inclined to walk long distances in them very often.

We were surprised that the heel of the Top was so hard to bend. This flip is a bit more stable than the Sanuk Yoga Spree 2.
We were surprised that the heel of the Top was so hard to bend. This flip is a bit more stable than the Sanuk Yoga Spree 2.

Comfort


As we mentioned above, the footbed of the Havaianas Top was squishier than expected, but we wouldn't go so far as to call it comfortable. We didn't think it was possible to find a flip-flop with straps that were less comfortable than those on the Sanuk Yoga Spree, but these Havaianas unfortunately fit the bill. The rubber thongs rub and chaff the top of the foot and they came dangerously close to giving us blisters (the only piece in the review that earned this distinction). We've met lots of people who love their Havaianas…maybe they're just better at breaking in their sandals. Here at OutdoorGearLab, we are definitely not averse to suffering - our testers have seen their fair share of freezing ice climbs, long desert trail runs, and unplanned nights at the top of rock climbs - but getting blisters in a pair of flip-flops? Now, that just seems silly.

For a budget piece that provides a heck of a lot more comfort check out our Best Buy Award winner, the Teva Women's Mush II.

The footbed doesn't have that "Ahhh" effect  but we were willing to accept that  until we walked down the block with the terribly uncomfortable rubbery straps.
The footbed doesn't have that "Ahhh" effect, but we were willing to accept that, until we walked down the block with the terribly uncomfortable rubbery straps.

Water Resistance


This is where the Havaianas Top shined. While other competitors took upwards of 1.5 hours to dry, this product was completely beach or gym bag ready in under 15 minutes of full-sun drying. You could also just dry them off with a towel. Kudos to the quick-drying Havaianas.

The Havaianas Top excelled in our water resistance category. The whole flip dried in 15 minutes of full sun. If you're looking for a locker room shower shoe or pool side lounger  this is a good option.
The Havaianas Top excelled in our water resistance category. The whole flip dried in 15 minutes of full sun. If you're looking for a locker room shower shoe or pool side lounger, this is a good option.

Traction


When we ran the Havaianas Top through our traction obstacle course (a stream with algae covered rocks, a slick log, and several steep inclines) we were 100 percent shocked at how well this sandal performed. With its gummy rubber bottom and shallow treads, the Top offered significantly more traction than pieces like the Sanuk Yoga Mat - Women's.

The Top actually offers a fair amount of traction given its shallow treads. Even on the slippery log in our traction tests  this piece did OK.
The Top actually offers a fair amount of traction given its shallow treads. Even on the slippery log in our traction tests, this piece did OK.

Style & Fit


The Havaianas Top comes in a wide variety of fun colors. This simple, classic design isn't particularly stylish, but it will give your outfit a youthful, easy-going look. Havaianas are sized in Brazilian sizes. We tested a 39/40 which converts to a women's 9/10. Oddly, the sandal comes with a "size 7/8, 39/40" imprinted on the footbed. We called the company and they assured us that the Brazilian size was the one to go with. When in doubt cruise over to the Havaianas website, where the "select a size" drop down menu for each product offers a conversion chart. Our size 9.5 tester found these to be a pretty perfect fit. The toe box is fairly wide, so our toes didn't hang off the end.

We liked all the Top's fun colors. This simple flip comes sized in Brazilian sizes - you can check the Havaianas website for a conversion chart.
We liked all the Top's fun colors. This simple flip comes sized in Brazilian sizes - you can check the Havaianas website for a conversion chart.

Best Application


We really only recommend these quick-drying sandals for pool or beach-side lounging. Unless you're a master of breaking in uncomfortable rubber flip-flops, skip this product for serious walking.

Value


Although the Havaianas Top only runs $18, making it the most affordable piece in the review, we don't think it's worth the money unless you're looking specifically for a pool-side sandal. For a quick-drying piece that is only $10 more, consider the Reef Sandy Sandal.

Although this piece is under $20  we don't think it's a great value. It tanked in our comfort scores  plus it doesn't have super solid construction.
Although this piece is under $20, we don't think it's a great value. It tanked in our comfort scores, plus it doesn't have super solid construction.

Conclusion


We wish the affordable and fun Havaianas Top was more comfortable and supportive. Although it's great for lounging by the water, we definitely lean toward pieces that offer more versatility for daily activities.
Amanda Fenn

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Most recent review: March 16, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 100%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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