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 provided enough cushion and decent arch support. Even after being completely soaking wet this sandal dried quickly and efficiently, and the more we wore it, the better it felt. An easy shoe to dress up or dress down, we think the Rainbow is an excellent addition for anyone that wants to add a lightweight and classic-looking flip-flop to their summer wardrobe.
We really enjoyed our time with this straightforward and comfortable sandal.
The Rainbow Premier offers a classic shape and style that is easily comfortable for a wide spectrum of people. While overly contoured footbeds and wide straps can be very comfortable for many, there's something to be said for a well-made, simple design. This flip-flop has just enough cushion and arch support to appeal to a lot of 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 wore an 8.5, so we ordered the X-Large, and the footbed was a bit long. This made for zero issues with breaking in though 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 found this flip to be soft, supple, super cozy, and an easy go-to.
Slipping into the Rainbow Premier after a hard climb was a very pleasant experience indeed.
Support & Stability
As much as we enjoyed 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 a 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 like our Editors' Choice and most supportive shoe, the Birkenstock Gizeh. The Vionic Tide II was also highly supportive, having very pronounced arches thanks to built-in orthotics.
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.
The Rainbow Premier is well-made and meant to last a good number of years. However, it is made from foam and thin rubber, and has narrow straps; thus, it's certainly not like the thicker rubber and webbing straps of the Chaco Flip EcoTread or our Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling, the Astral Rosa. If you plan to be walking for miles or scrambling around on rocks every day, then this maybe shouldn't be your number one choice. But if you plan just to be a normal person in warm weather shoes, then the Rainbow could be your best friend.
If you love the look of this sandal but are concerned with the minimal design, consider spending a mere $4 more and getting the double thick sole, or spending zero dollars more and choosing the wider straps. Both of these options will help increase the lifespan of your flip, as well as the comfort factor.
After several months of traipsing over rocks, through rivers, and up steep dusty hills, the Rainbow showed just a minimal amount of graceful wear.
This flip was one of our two top performers in this category. The Rainbow doesn't resist water so much as absorb it, but it still dried incredibly fast when put to the test of being fully submerged in a river. Within 20 minutes the whole shoe was dry; the only other sandal to perform this well was the Reef Leather Uptown, which also dried in 20 minutes after full submersion. The other component that made both of these shoes so successful with water was their ability to wick away all moisture from the surface — even when the shoes were damp, they felt pleasant and secure to walk in.
Some other models, though perhaps more resistant to the water, would feel slippery and slimy until the water evaporated. Other impressive performers for this metric were the Vionic Tide II, Astral Rosa, and Chaco EcoTread — all of these models have footbeds that dried within minutes and straps that took around a half hour to fully dry.
Whether it was a light sprinkling or full immersion, the Rainbow Premier handled water with ease, all the while feeling great on our feet.
Just like with the support and stability metric, the Rainbow performed well in this category for what it is, but couldn't out-compete beefier more featured models. It is what it is — 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 free-solo boulders, you might want something special like the Astral Rosa which converts from a basic flip to a sandal with an ankle strap. The Vionic Tide II is also a viable option for strong traction in a flip-flop. However, with regular everyday use, we found both the bottom sole and footbed traction of the Rainbow Premier to be more than adequate.
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.
We polled a group of women to help us rate our tested flips in this department, and the Rainbow Premier ended up in the bottom third. It's certainly not an unattractive shoe, but its simple and humble look just wasn't quite enough to pull it into the top. For a similar design that our style raters found just a smidge more fashionable, check out the Reef Leather Uptown. The hands-down winner in this category was the OluKai Lala, our Top Pick for Stylish Adventures. Other fashionista favorites were the Birkenstock Gizeh, OluKai Paniolo, and our Best Stylish Buy on a Tight Budget, the Teva Olowahu.
While not a style favorite, the Rainbow is still an attractive shoe that goes easily with everything from active wear to casual dresses.
This classic-looking flip-flop is best suited for casual summer adventures where comfort and the ability to deal with water are priorities, but that maybe don't require a ton of support or traction. The Rainbow has an understated style that can easily be dressed up or down, and it wears beautifully, becoming more comfortable and personalized the longer you wear it. For languid summer evenings, strolls on the beach, or a comfortable post-workout shoe, this is a solid choice.
This flip-flop sells for $54. If you want the double layered sole, it's $58. An investment to be sure, but a small and worthwhile one, depending on your needs. 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 bit of life, Rainbow will take them back, repair them, and then donate to the homeless, orphaned, and victims of natural disasters.
We found the Rainbow Premier to be 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.
The comfortable and uncomplicated Rainbow easily became one of our favorite flip flops for all casual endeavors.