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.For more cush, the OluKai Ohana, our Best Buy for Comfort is seriously comfortable.
Rainbow Single Layer Premier Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, lightweight, dries quickly
Cons: Odd sizing, minimal support, narrow
Manufacturer: Rainbow Sandals
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Rainbow Single Layer Premier
|Price||$54.00 at REI|
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|$95.95 at Amazon|
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|$64.95 at Amazon||$74.95 at Amazon||$69.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Comfortable, lightweight, dries quickly||Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strap||Excellent traction, built in orthotics, very stable||Ankle strap, water resistant, durable, lightweight||Very comfortable, grippy footbed, stable|
|Cons||Odd sizing, minimal support, narrow||Stiff, breaking in takes time||Runs big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to it||Contouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slip||Sporty look, runs a bit big|
|Bottom Line||For a simple, comfortable, and classy flip-flop that feels great and gets cozier the longer you wear it, look no further||Stylish, comfortable, and highly supportive, it's an amazing and durable sandal that can handle all manner of activities||Highly stable with impressive traction, it even has built-in orthotics for some of the best support you can get from a flip flop||With great stability from its ankle strap, good water resistance, and decent traction, this is a must-have for the versatile summer adventurer||A superbly comfortable flip flop that handles water well and provides good support|
|Rating Categories||Rainbow Single Layer Premier||Birkenstock Gizeh||Vionic Tide II||Astral Rosa||OluKai Ohana - Women's|
|Support & Stability (20%)|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Rainbow Single...||Birkenstock Gizeh||Vionic Tide II||Astral Rosa||OluKai Ohana -...|
|Sole material||Rubber clay mix||EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)||TPR (thermoplastic rubber)||Granite Grip rubber||Non-marking rubber or gum rubber|
|Footbed material||Finished leather on top of foam||Cork lined with suede||EVA||Dual-density EVA||Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed|
|Strap Material||Finished leather||Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece||Woven textile fabric and leather with foam lining||Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing||Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit|
|Width of Strap (inches)||.5"||Varied: .75"-2" across top of foot, vertical strap starts at .75" and finishes at 1.5" over toe post||1"||Main: .625"-1", add-on webbing strap: .5"||1"|
|Length of size 9 (inches)||10.75" (size X Large)||10.625" (size 39)||10.25" (size 8)||10.5"||10.75"|
|Length of toe box (just above toe post) (inches)||1.625"||1.25"||2" (size 8)||1.75"||1.75"|
|Weight (pair) (ounces)||7.1 oz||13.5 oz||12.8 oz (size 8)||12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps)||13.7 oz|
|Dry time after being fully submerged||Entire shoe dry in 20 min||Damp but very wearable at 26 min, underside of strap over an hour to fully dry||Footbed 4 min, straps only slightly damp after 30 min||Footbed dry to touch at 7 min but damp with weight until 15 min, main straps dry in 22 min, webbing straps damp but good at 30 min||Feels damp but good by 11 min, fully dry in 40 min|
|Unique features||Memory foam footbed that molds to your feet over time||Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet||Built-in orthotic||Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal||ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed|
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 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, it's an excellent addition for anyone that wants to add a lightweight and classic-looking flip flop to their summer wardrobe.
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 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 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 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 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 find this sandal to be soft, supple, super cozy, and an easy go-to.
Support & Stability
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 Premier is well-made and meant to last a good number of years. However, it IS made from foam and thin rubber with narrow straps. 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 for a day where warm weather shoes are needed, 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.
This flip is one of 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 other component that makes it so successful with water is their ability to wick all moisture away from the surface — even when the shoes are damp, they feel pleasant and secure to walk in.
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 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.
We polled a group of women to help us rate our tested flips in this department, and the Rainbow Premier ended up in the middle. It's certainly not an unattractive shoe, but its simple and humble look just isn't quite enough to pull it into the top. Some will swoon for this flip, and some will feel nothing, it all depends on what you like.
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 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.
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