The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Vionic Tide II Review

A seriously impressive flip-flop with pronounced arch support and excellent traction.
Vionic Tide II
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Price:  $65 List | $64.80 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent traction, built in orthotics, very stable
Cons:  Runs big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to it
Manufacturer:   Vionic
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 13, 2019
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Support & Stability - 20% 9
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Style - 10% 5

Our Verdict

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.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Vionic Tide II
This Product
Vionic Tide II
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $64.80 at Amazon$71.95 at Amazon
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$74.95 at Amazon$64.95 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Excellent traction, built in orthotics, very stableAttractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapAnkle strap, water resistant, durable, lightweightVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stableComfortable, well-made, attractive
Cons Runs big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to itStiff, breaking in takes timeContouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slipSporty look, runs a bit bigExpensive, narrow
Bottom Line A seriously impressive flip-flop with pronounced arch support and excellent traction.A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and some of the most personalized comfort a shoe can offer.A fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip-flops and sandals and wants everything combined in one shoe.If you're looking for a durable flip flop that feels amazing, this is an all-around great shoe to own.This is a beautiful and durable sandal that feels luxurious and is easy to break in.
Rating Categories Vionic Tide II Birkenstock Gizeh Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana - Women's OluKai Lala
Comfort (25%)
10
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8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
Support & Stability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Durability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Traction (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
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5
10
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9
10
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7
10
0
7
10
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10
Specs Vionic Tide II Birkenstock Gizeh Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana -... OluKai Lala
Sole material TPR (thermoplastic rubber) EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) Granite Grip rubber Non-marking rubber or gum rubber Non-marking molded rubber with traction pods
Footbed material EVA Cork lined with suede Dual-density EVA Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed Molded polyurethane wrapped in full-grain leather
Strap Material Woven textile fabric and leather with foam lining Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit Full-grain leather with microfiber lining
Width of Strap (inches) 1" Varied: .75"-2" across top of foot, vertical strap starts at .75" and finishes at 1.5" over toe post Main: .625"-1", add-on webbing strap: .5" 1" 1.5" at side of foot, 3.5" vertically from top of foot to toe post
Length of size 9 (inches) 10.25" (size 8) 10.625" (size 39) 10.5" 10.75" 10.375"
Length of toe box (just above toe post) (inches) 2" (size 8) 1.25" 1.75" 1.75" 1.75"
Weight (pair) (ounces) 12.8 oz (size 8) 13.5 oz 12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps) 13.7 oz 14.3 oz
Dry time after being fully submerged Footbed 4 min, straps only slightly damp after 30 min Damp but very wearable at 26 min, underside of strap over an hour to fully dry 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 Footbed 4 min, straps 25 min
Unique features Built-in orthotic Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed Hand-sewn toe post for comfort
Animal products? Yes Yes No No Yes

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.

Performance Comparison


This is an impressive flip flop all around that we really enjoyed wearing.
This is an impressive flip flop all around that we really enjoyed wearing.

Comfort


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.

The intensely contoured footbed of the Tide II has the potential to be really comfortable if you happen to like high and pronounced arch support.
The intensely contoured footbed of the Tide II has the potential to be really comfortable if you happen to like high and pronounced arch support.

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.

Once we figured out our perfect size  the Tide II was an impressively stable and supportive flip. They seem to run quite large  so if you have a half size foot you will want to size down.
Once we figured out our perfect size, the Tide II was an impressively stable and supportive flip. They seem to run quite large, so if you have a half size foot you will want to size down.

Durability


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.

The Tide II is among the most durable of all the flip flops we tested.
The Tide II is among the most durable of all the flip flops we tested.

Water Resistance


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.

Some of our top performers in the water resistance test  from L to R: the Reef Leather Uptown  Olukai's Lala and Ohana  the Rainbow Premier  and the Vionic Tide II.
Some of our top performers in the water resistance test, from L to R: the Reef Leather Uptown, Olukai's Lala and Ohana, the Rainbow Premier, and the Vionic Tide II.

Traction


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.

Outfitted in the Tide II we were able to confidently get up uneven and unpredictable terrain  even with a heavy pack.
Outfitted in the Tide II we were able to confidently get up uneven and unpredictable terrain, even with a heavy pack.

Style


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.

Some women like the look of the Tide II  but compared to the rest of our test suite it wasn't a style favorite.
Some women like the look of the Tide II, but compared to the rest of our test suite it wasn't a style favorite.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

The Tide II is one of the more secure and supportive options in our test suite.
The Tide II is one of the more secure and supportive options in our test suite.


Penney Garrett