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.
Havaianas Top - Women's Review
Cons: Uncomfortable for hiking or walking, Not supportive
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 16, 2014
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