The Olukai Ohana continues to impress our testers season after season, snagging our Editors' Choice Award once again. A few of our testers have a deep-seated bias towards Chacos, but even the most fanatical Chaco devotee among us had to admit the soft compression molded EVA footbed feels pretty dreamy, and the rugged outsole can go anywhere a pair of Chaco Flip Ecos can. The Ohana is one of the most elegant flip flops on the market regardless of what your primary activity is. We took them to the crag, carried them up climbing routes clipped to our harness, to the beach, took them rafting and did more than our fair share of BBQing and trips to the local watering hole. If you like to wear flip-flops, you will love this sandal.
Olukai Ohana Review
Cons: Not cheap, heavy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ohana exudes a balance of style, durability, and comfort. Like many Editors' Choice Award winners, the Ohana possess quality construction and great design. No gimmicks, extra straps, technology developed by NASA or bulky padding, just a simple flop that feels great on our tired, abused feet and doesn't fall apart. The Astral Filipe is better for hiking, and the Chaco Flip Eco is more durable, but for the best balance of everything, we choose the Ohana.
The Ohana is one of the rare sandals that is rugged, durable, well made, and comfortable - straight out of the box. Our experience has been that the most cush contenders (out of the box) are manufactured from the softest materials and are not the most rugged or durable. The Ohana is the exception to this rule. The compression-molded EVA sole with the ICEVA drop-in footbed was soft and plush from the get-go and continued to break in and mold to our feet. The thong was soft and comfortable between our toes, and the quick-drying strap was plush and gentle straight out of the box - without giving up any durability. One of our testers did mention that the footbed made his feet stink, but we're pretty convinced that his feet stink in any flip-flop, and the Ohana is not at fault.
We tested a variety of sandals that were soft and luxurious, while some were firm and durable. This model strikes a balance between plush and firm, which is truly the best of both worlds. If you're looking for an ultra comfortable model on a budget, we'd recommend the Reef Draftsman, but be aware, the Draftsman isn't as durable as the mighty Ohana. On the other end of the spectrum, if you're more of a firm user set on a high level of durability, check out the Chaco Flip EcoTread.
The Ohana came up as one the most versatile flip flops we tested. It performed about as well as any flip flop on steep, loose, uneven terrain, and only the Astral Filipe could out-hike it.
Its non-marking rubber outsole gripped on bare rock, found decent traction in the water, and held the foot in place when the sandal was wet. They're classy enough to take on a first date and rugged enough to walk off the top of El Capitan. The Ohana took a little longer to dry than some of the other models, and the footbed stayed wet longer than the Chaco Flip Eco. For a company based on the beach, these flops perform in every situation you can throw at them. If you need a flop that will stay on your feet in the river or even handle some light-duty scrambling, check out our Top Pick for Hiking, the Astral Filipe.
While durability issues may not arise during our testing period of three months, we did not notice any issues with this model, which you'll see in the chart below.
The Ohana is a well-made flop. Pull it out of the box, and you'll see that immediately. OluKai recently beefed up the thong toe post, making it out of high-quality material. The welds on this sandal are bomber, and the tread pattern is thick, making for a long-lasting product. The only thongs that bested the Ohana in the durability category are the Chaco Flip EcoTread, for its all-around burly construction and bombproof sole and the Astral Filipe with its sticky rubber outsole.
Few flip-flops can pair function with fashion as the Ohana does. Simple, clean lines and an understated look provide for enough class to fit any situation - without sacrificing the rugged durability it takes to keep up in the mountains.
The Ohana comes in a variety of 13 colors that are often soft earth-tone pastels; the colors are pleasing to the eye and don't shout "LOOK AT ME!" Even the Stormy Blue shade is subtle and classy. The OluKai Hiapo and the Hari Mari Scouts also received top scores in style, but aren't as durable as the Ohana. For an even simpler look with equal comfort, consider the Hari Mari Scouts.
The Ohana has enough tread on its rubber sole to handle mud, loose dirt, and steep trails with ease without being so aggressive that it won't stick to slick rock and bare granite.
The problem with deep tread patterns is that they don't allow enough rubber to touch the ground to grip bare rock. The issue with too shallow of a pattern is that it won't grasp the loose terrain well enough. The Ohana avoids both of these phenomena, and we found it to work well in all conditions - even on wet, rocky river bottoms. The tread depth is also such that even when the flop wears down, it will grip well. If you're looking for flops for whitewater boating or moderate approaches to rock climbs, the Astral Filipe is a better option with its extra straps that secure the flops to your feet. Remember, sweaty feet can slip out of a flip-flop, no matter how sticky the rubber outsole is.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, there are few circumstances for which this flip-flop isn't an ideal choice. Whether you are a beach bum, a climber, or a whitewater kayaker, the Ohana is going to serve you well and treat you right. From getting extreme to grabbing a coffee, this flop is an ideal choice for your one-flop quiver.
At $65, these are by no means the cheapest flops on the market, but we're firm believers in quality. Our Buy Award winner is the Chaco Flip Eco and costs roughly the same, but our testers value it for its durability. The Reef Draftsman costs $5 less, but isn't as comfortable, and not nearly as durable as the Ohana
When ordering up our wide variety of models, we thought we were going to have a harder time choosing an overall winner. The OluKai Ohana proved us wrong. Not all flops are created equal, and the offerings from OluKai are consistently some of the best. It didn't take us long to consider this flop for the front-runner, and we quickly came to the conclusion that it is hands down the nicest flip-flop we tested. Spend the money and you will not be disappointed.
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Most recent review: May 10, 2018
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