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Rainbow Single Layer Premier Review

A comfortable and attractive flip flop that breaks in beautifully and dries quickly after getting wet
Rainbow Single Layer Premier
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Price:  $54 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, lightweight, dries quickly
Cons:  Odd sizing, minimal support, narrow
Manufacturer:   Rainbow Sandals
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 11, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Support - 20% 5
  • Traction - 20% 5
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Style - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Rainbow Single Layer Premier is an attractive and straightforward flip flop that's easy to fall for. Made with soft finished leather on top of a memory foam midsole, it breaks in gracefully and comfortably as the footbed molds to the contours of your feet. This is a flip that feels better the longer you wear it, so it's no wonder that some people are fiercely loyal to the Rainbow brand — if you keep your eyes peeled, you will see many a deeply loved pair walking about. Well made, durable, and quick to dry when wet, these are an excellent lightweight choice for a simple summer shoe.

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Pros Comfortable, lightweight, dries quicklyVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stableComfortable, no break-in period, affordable, waterproofSuper comfy, simple, true to size, lightweight, made from yoga mat materialCute, molds to feet over time, affordable
Cons Odd sizing, minimal support, narrowSporty look, runs a bit bigMaterial doesn't breathe, less durableNo footbed contouring, minimal outsole traction and supportNot super durable, straps can chafe, pinkie toe slips out side for some people
Bottom Line A comfortable and attractive flip flop that breaks in beautifully and dries quickly after getting wetA durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a proA lightweight and affordable version of the leather original, this flip is fun and functionalThis simple flip flop is impossibly comfortable with wide, supportive straps and a squishy, pillow-like footbed made out of real yoga mat materialThis lightweight, stylish, and affordable sandal is a great addition to any summer wardrobe
Rating Categories Rainbow Single Laye... OluKai Ohana - Women's Birkenstock Gizeh E... Sanuk Yoga Mat Teva Olowahu
Comfort (30%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Support (20%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Style (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Rainbow Single Laye... OluKai Ohana - Women's Birkenstock Gizeh E... Sanuk Yoga Mat Teva Olowahu
Sole Material Rubber clay mix Non-marking rubber or gum rubber EVA Rubber Lightweight EVA-foam
Footbed Material Finished leather on top of foam Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed EVA EVA Mush topsole (a trademarked type of EVA)
Strap Material Finished leather Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit EVA 95% synthetic/5% polyester Fleece-filled polyester webbing
Weight (per pair) 7.1 oz (size 9) 13.7 oz (size 9) 6.5 oz (size 40) 5 oz (size 8) 6.4 oz (size 9)
Length 10.75" (size X Large) 10.75" (size 9) 11" (size 40) 10.25" (size 8) 10.75" (size 9)
Length of Toe Box (just above toe post) 1.625" 1.75" 1.375" (size 40) 1.50" 1.75"
Unique Features Memory foam footbed that molds to your feet over time ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed Adjustable straps Made from real yoga mats Unique strap pattern
Animal Products? Yes No No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rainbow is a flip flop we found ourselves reaching for again and again. The soft finished leather is both attractive and comfortable, and the footbed provides cushion and decent arch support. Even after being completely soaking wet, this sandal dries quickly and efficiently, and the more you wear it, the better it feels. An easy shoe to dress up or dress down, it's an excellent addition for anyone that wants to add a lightweight and classic-looking flip to their summer wardrobe.

Performance Comparison


Brand new and ready to go! We really enjoyed wearing this flip and...
Brand new and ready to go! We really enjoyed wearing this flip and it's clear why this brand has a dedicated following.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Comfort


The Rainbow Premier offers a classic shape and style that is effortlessly comfortable for a wide spectrum of people. While overly contoured footbeds and wide straps can be very nice for many, there's something to be said for a well-made, simple design. This flip has just enough cushion and arch support to work for many foot shapes without running the risk of chaffing or hurting. Rainbow's sizing system is a bit strange, though, so it's easy to end up with a shoe that's not the perfect length. For example, the Rainbow size for a woman's 8.5-9.5 foot is X-Large (yes, you read that right).

Our main tester wears an 8.5, so we ordered the X-Large, and the footbed was a bit long; this made for zero issues with breaking in, however, because no part of the sandal was tight or constricting. But if you prefer a snug fit and are on the low end of Rainbow's size brackets, we suggest sizing down. All in all, we find this sandal to be soft, supple, super cozy, and an easy go-to.

Slipping into the Rainbow Premier after a hard climb is a very...
Slipping into the Rainbow Premier after a hard climb is a very pleasant experience indeed.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Support


As much as we enjoy this shoe, we couldn't score it very high in this category because it has a relatively flat and minimal design. There's nothing wrong with this, as many people don't want a lot of contouring or structure with a flip flop. If you prefer moderate, non-aggressive arch support and an uncomplicated fit, this is a great choice. If you need more support and integrity, then you may want to look to a more heavily featured model.

The Rainbow isn't a highly stable or supportive shoe as it has a...
The Rainbow isn't a highly stable or supportive shoe as it has a simpler, more minimalistic design. However if you're not looking for super intense support in your flip flop then this is a fun and comfortable shoe to consider buying.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Traction


Like with the support metric, the Rainbow performed well in this category for what it is but couldn't out-compete beefier and more featured models. This is a great flip flop, but it's simply not made for super-advanced terrain — and that's okay! If you plan to fjord rivers or scramble around on boulders, you might want something more burly, but with regular everyday use, the traction of the Rainbow Premier is more than adequate.

As long as you don't plan to get into crazy terrain with your flips...
As long as you don't plan to get into crazy terrain with your flips, the Rainbow Premier has adequate traction for simple hikes and everyday use.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Versatility


This sandal is decently versatile — it's well made and available in various footbed and strap thicknesses. The version we tested — single thickness with narrow straps — is perhaps not quite as long-lasting as thicker variations, though one of our testers has still been wearing hers for years now with no issues and a ton more life left in the shoe. That said, if you want a flip flop for miles of walking or rock scrambling, we suggest sizing down for a snugger fit (if you're on the cusp) and considering thicker straps and perhaps even the double-thick footbed.

While this leather kick may not strike you as a particularly water-friendly shoe, it actually handles moisture excellently. The Rainbow doesn't resist water so much as absorb it, but it still dries incredibly fast even after being fully submerged in a river — within 20 minutes, the whole shoe was dry. The other component that makes the Rainbow so successful with water is its ability to wick all moisture away from the surface — even when the shoes are damp, they feel pleasant and secure to walk in.

Whether it's a light sprinkling or full immersion, the Rainbow...
Whether it's a light sprinkling or full immersion, the Rainbow Premier handles water with ease, all the while feeling great on foot.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Style


To rate our tested flips in this department, we polled a group of women, and the Rainbow Premier ended up in the middle. It's certainly not an ugly shoe, but its simple and humble look just isn't quite enough to pull it into the top for this metric. Some will swoon for this flip, and some will feel nothing — it all depends on what you like. Rainbow does offer some styles in colors outside of the standard earth tones as well as with braided straps if you want to up the style ante just a smidge.

The comfortable and uncomplicated Rainbow easily became one of our...
The comfortable and uncomplicated Rainbow easily became one of our favorite flip flops for all casual endeavors.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Value


This flip flop is moderately priced — on the higher end for a minimal shoe, but not bad. The double-layer version is just a few bucks more, which is nice. And though this particular model is thin and dainty, it's still noticeably well-made. Rainbow makes high-quality shoes that are known to last, and they offer repairs to help extend their life as long as possible. Your dollars are also going to a company with integrity: when your flips are past the point you enjoy wearing them but still have a little bit of life, Rainbow will take them back, repair them, and then donate to the homeless, orphaned, and victims of natural disasters. We love it.

Conclusion


The Rainbow Premier is a comfortable and approachable sandal that wears well and dries quickly after being wet. It's not fancy or burly, but it's comfortable, relatively affordable, and provides decent traction for low-key everyday use. This is the kind of flip flop you pick for easy walks and summer hangouts, and it's the kind of flip flop that may very well become one of your most beloved warm-weather accessories — it certainly did for us.

Penney Garrett