The Vionic Tide II offers stellar traction, arch supports from built-in orthotics, and a durable, water-resistant design. It has the best arch support of all the models in our review and a lightly textured footbed for additional good feels. It's truly a top-tier shoe that will easily last you for many, many years. Keep in mind that the arches are very pronounced and may feel intense for folks who aren't used to it or have naturally flatter feet. This flip also runs big, so we highly recommend sizing down if you are a half-size.If support and stability are necessities for your feet but you'd like to have something a bit fancier, take a peek at our Editors' Choice, the Birkenstock Gizeh. We also really love the convertible design of the Astral Rosa, our Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling.
Vionic Tide II Review
Cons: Runs big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to it
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Tide II is, at first glance, an unassuming sandal that, test after test, showed us what a well-constructed flip-flop should offer. While the prominent arch support won't be for everyone, those that prefer a heavily contoured footbed will likely find this shoe quite dreamy. It finishes at the top of the pack for support, stability, durability, traction, and more. The Birkenstock Gizeh is the only model to score higher in this very close race.
The Tide II has a particular kind of comfort that some people either won't like or will need time to adapt to. The footbed has orthotics built into it, giving it intense arches that could cause pain for people with flat feet. Even our main tester, who has naturally high arches, felt some discomfort and cramping at times. The shape isn't for everyone, but for those that love full arch support, there is no better model in our test group. Combine that with a pleasantly textured footbed and foam-lined straps, and you have an excellent package.
For comfort that is more readily accessible and less aggressive, check out the OluKai Ohana, our Best Buy for Comfort.
Support & Stability
The Tide II has some of the best support of any of our tested models. Only the Gizeh with its ergonomic footbed scored higher. This experience is contingent on getting the proper size (no surprise), and to achieve that we had to size down. Our chief tester is an 8.5, so we ordered 9's for almost all of our sandals. But the size 9 Tide II was so large it almost looked like a random men's shoe had been thrown in with our women's models! We returned it and opted for a size 8 instead, which was a smart choice. It put the arch in the proper place and gave us a satisfyingly snug fit. This affected how stable and supportive it felt and, ultimately, increased its score for this metric. Even with minimal footwear like flip-flops, proper sizing is crucial. We recommend trying things on in person whenever you can, or at least obtaining a footbed measurement from the manufacturer or another reputable source.
The Vionic is a well-constructed flip flop that still looks brand new, even after several months of rigorous testing. We have zero reservations in saying that this model will have no problem lasting you many years (as long as it doesn't undergo something extreme like puppy teeth of course). The materials are robust and almost completely impervious to water, dirt, and all manner of general everyday abuse.
No surprise, the durable rubber, and webbing of the Tide II is also highly water-resistant. After getting completely drenched, it had a dry footbed in four minutes flat after laying out in the sun. The straps took a full half hour to dry, but they felt fine to wear while damp. When walking around with a wet footbed, we experienced a bit of temporary slipperiness and some farting noises, but the material is so nonporous that it was dry again in no time at all.
Once again, the Tide II outperformed almost all the other models we tested. Frankly, we were shocked at the level of traction we received from this simple flip flop. The treads are sticky and secure, and hiking up steep and chossy slopes feels great. Since this shoe has relatively small straps, this level of security is contingent on having the proper fit and, as explained above, we had to size down to achieve that.
Style is the only category where the Tide II is just mediocre. The thick soles and predictable design aren't as fashion-forward as other options on the market and in our review. Vionic does offer some fun colors and similar models that have patterned straps, rhinestone or sequin bejeweled straps, and even a version with a wedge heel, but these still retain a relatively sporty and clunky look that can't measure up to more fashionable designs like the OluKai Lala, our Top Pick for Stylish Adventures or the Birkenstock Gizeh.
The great thing about this flip flop is that it's well suited for almost any kind of situation. Need amazing traction? Check. Impressive arch support and stability? Done. Want to play around in the river and be dry again quickly? No problem. From a simple walk to dinner or a tenuous hike to the crag, this super durable sandal has you covered from practically every angle. It's maybe not the shoe you'll grab when you want to get dressed up, but for every other aspect of a fun and activity-filled summer, it will treat you well. Do be aware that the arch supports from built-in orthotics are aggressive, so it's also not the model to pick if you prefer a flatter footbed.
The Tide II is a bit of an investment, but not so much as to break the bank — and we think it's well worth the price tag. Durable and well-constructed with amazing support, this sandal will have no problem lasting you for many years.
The Tide II is a highly impressive piece of footwear. It performed at the top of the pack in almost every rating metric, just barely falling short of first place. Traction, stability, durability, water-resistance, this flip flop has it all. It isn't as plush or soft as other models, and its slightly sportier look makes it a bit less stylish, but this is a great option for anyone with an active lifestyle looking for superior arch support.
— Penney Garrett