At first we were intrigued by the memory foam footbed on the Nike Comfort Thong flip-flop. We had high hopes for this interesting and unique feature, but we were left a little bit disappointed. With its athletic styling, this sandal seemed like it would be the perfect gym locker room sandal, but then we discovered how much water the memory foam absorbs. Although the Nike Comfort Thong offers superior traction, we got pretty hung up by its lack of comfort, support, and stability. For a flip-flop that performs extremely well at the beach or in the locker room, be sure to check out our Editors' Choice winner, the OluKai Ohana - Women's.
Nike Comfort Thong Review
Cons: Memory foam footbed absorbs lots of water
Our Analysis and Test Results
A slim-fitting sandal with a memory foam footbed, the Nike Comfort Thong offers a new take on flip-flop comfort. Unfortunately, the padding just didn't quite do it for our testers. Read on as we break down the pros and cons of this unique shoe.
Stability & Support
This flip-flop has a thicker sole than either of the Sanuks we tested, but like the Sanuks, the Nike model easily folded in half, revealing its poor stability. From a support perspective, we had hoped that the memory foam footbed would provide a little more arch support. Nike divided the memory foam into two sections: one that essentially goes under the toes and arch, and one that goes under the ball and outer edge of the foot as well as the heel. Since the foot sinks down into all areas of the memory foam except the arch portion, it almost seems like the arch is receiving support. Depending on the height of your arch, this part of your foot might rest upon the Comfort Thong's arch "support," but realistically, we don't think that this small piece of memory foam provides the support needed for healthy all-day wear. Both the Reef Women's Fanning and Chaco Flip - Women's have contoured footbeds that do a better job of supporting your feet.
At first, the memory foam footbed of the Nike Comfort Thong feels like a dream come true. You step in and pleasantly sink down…and then you realize that you have sunk down to the not-so-cushy rubber sole. That said, the memory foam did feel really nice under the feet when it's not weighted (i.e. when you're sitting down). Additionally, the wide straps are padded, and they are lined with slick fabric underneath, which helps make them quite comfy.
Not surprisingly, this piece absorbed a TON of water and took several hours to dry out. Although it would be an awesome post-workout shoe, if you're planning to shower after your jog on the treadmill, you'll need to pack something else for the locker room shower.
Inspired by the Nike Free running shoe, the Nike Comfort Thong comes fitted with fairly deep square-shaped treads made of phylon rubber (the treads are deeper in the thicker part of the sole under the heel.) Interestingly, Nike also incorporated squares of grippier BRS rubber under the heal and the outer edge of the foot to help increase traction. While we liked that this product features the foot-mapped high-grip rubber, we were also left wondering why Nike didn't just use the more effective BRS rubber across the whole sole.
Style & Fit
This flip-flop was one of the most athletic-looking pieces we reviewed. This is definitely not a shoe that you can dress up and wear with a casual skirt…unless it's a tennis skirt. These thongs are extremely slim fitting and run quite small. We tested a size 10 and our size 9.5 tester barely fit into them length-wise. Additionally, the strap and toe box design do not lend themselves well to people with longer/wider toes. Because of the narrow cut and the placement of the thong, longer toes hang off the front of the shoe. The Reef Sandy Sandal has somewhat athletic styling but offers more width.
Nike suggests that the Comfort Thong is the perfect post-workout recovery shoe and we think that this could be a good use for this product…until you're ready to take a shower in the locker room, in which case you'll need to change into something that will dry out more quickly. These sandals offer short term comfort, but wear them for a longer period of time and the novelty of the memory foam cushion quickly wears off. We often found ourselves reaching for the Sanuk Yoga Mat - Women's after workouts, but this flop poses the same water absorption challenges.
The Nike Comfort Thong will set you back about $34. We're still sort of wondering what the best use for these flip-flops might be, so it's a little bit hard to justify spending our hard-earned bucks on something that doesn't have a distinct purpose or an incredible comfort rating.
Lined with a memory foam cushion, the Nike Comfort Thong initially feels comfortable, but quickly loses its appeal when you sink through the footbed and hit the rubber sole. Although it would make a great post-workout shoe, it soaked up tons of water during our testing process, making it useless as a shower shoe at the local gym.
— Amanda Fenn