Vionic Tide II Review
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Vionic Tide II
$74.95 at Amazon
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|Pros||Excellent traction, built in orthotics, very stable||Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strap||Very comfortable, grippy footbed, stable||Comfortable, no break-in period, affordable, waterproof||Super comfy, simple, true to size, lightweight, made from yoga mat material|
|Cons||Runs big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to it||Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensive||Sporty look, runs a bit big||Material doesn't breathe, less durable||No footbed contouring, minimal outsole traction and support|
|Bottom Line||An impressive flip flop with pronounced arch support from built-in orthotics and good traction||A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and personalized comfort by molding to your feet over time||A durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a pro||A lightweight and affordable version of the leather original, this flip is fun and functional||This simple flip flop is impossibly comfortable with wide, supportive straps and a squishy, pillow-like footbed made out of real yoga mat material|
|Rating Categories||Vionic Tide II||Birkenstock Gizeh||OluKai Ohana - Women's||Birkenstock Gizeh E...||Sanuk Yoga Mat|
|Specs||Vionic Tide II||Birkenstock Gizeh||OluKai Ohana - Women's||Birkenstock Gizeh E...||Sanuk Yoga Mat|
|Sole Material||TPR (thermoplastic rubber)||EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate)||Non-marking rubber or gum rubber||EVA||Rubber|
|Footbed Material||EVA||Cork lined with suede||Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed||EVA||EVA|
|Strap Material||Woven textile fabric and leather with foam lining||Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece||Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit||EVA||95% synthetic/5% polyester|
|Weight (per pair)||12.8 oz (size 8)||13.5 oz (size 39)||13.7 oz (size 9)||6.5 oz (size 40)||5.0 oz (size 8)|
|Length||10.25" (size 8)||10.625" (size 39)||10.75" (size 9)||11" (size 40)||10.25" (size 8)|
|Length of Toe Box (just above toe post)||2"||1.50"||1.75"||1.375"||1.50"|
|Unique Features||Built-in orthotic||Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet||ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed||Adjustable straps||Made from real yoga mats|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Tide II is, at first glance, an unassuming sandal that, test after test, showed us what a well-rounded 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. What it lacks in style it makes up for in comfort, support and traction, for those who it fits.
The comfort of the Tide II is polarizing. Some of our testers loved it and others didn't. The shoe is rather wide with orthotics built into the footbed, 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 and have wider feet, this is an excellent choice. Combine that with a pleasantly textured footbed and foam-lined straps, and you have a great package.
The Tide II has some of the best support of any of our tested models, but only for those who have wider feet and higher arches. We recommend sizing down to achieve a proper fit and optimal support. Our chief tester is a narrow 8.5, so we ordered a 9 and an 8 to get a better idea of sizing. The size 9 Tide II was so large it almost looked like a random men's shoe had been thrown in the mix. The size 8 put the arch in the proper place and gave us a mostly snug fit. This affected how stable and supportive the shoe 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.
We were a bit shocked at the level of outsole traction we received from this simple flip flop. The treads are sticky and secure, and hiking up steep and chossy slopes feels great. Unfortunately, the interior footbed gets a little slimy in the presence of moisture, negatively affecting the traction between the foot and the shoe. Since this shoe has relatively small straps and a generally wide fit, security is contingent on having the proper fit and, as explained above, we had to size down to achieve that.
The great thing about this flip flop is that it's well suited for almost any kind of situation. Need decent 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 an impromptu hike, this super durable sandal has you covered. That being said, the general fit is far from inclusive which is why the Tide II scores lower in this category. The intense support and wide fit simply don't work for everyone. The lack of a heel strap and the sometimes-slippery footbed can also cause issues on steep inclines or for those with particularly sweaty feet.
Style is one of the few places where the Tide II is just mediocre. The thick soles and predictable design aren't as fashion-forward as other options on the market or 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.
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 Vionic Tide II is an impressive piece of footwear, and it performed well in most of our tests. 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.
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