OOFOS Original Thong Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oofos Original Thong scored well in some categories and poorly in others. This model offered an optimal amount of comfort and durability; however, this is a sandal made for a particular purpose and is thus relatively hard to compare to other more mainstream contenders.
If you're in the market for the cushiest, softest sandal you can think of, look no further. This competitor seems to be designed for that purpose only, and people who suffer from structural foot ailments, such as plantar fasciitis, appear to love these flops. If you want a sandal that can perform well in more than one situation, and don't need the support that the Oofos provide, we suggest you take a look at some of our more versatile flip flops.
The Oofos model is super comfortable. In fact, the foam footbed feels like it might swallow your foot whole. It is comfortable in a much different way than most conventional flops; the super soft foam is easy on the feet and conforms well, but has a much much different feel than EVA foam or the PU rubber of the Chaco Flip. Many people that rave about the Oofos have orthopedic foot problems like tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, and the soft footbed provides relief in a way that few other pieces of footwear could. Some of our testers also raved about the arch support that the Oofos offered. For how comfortable the Oofos is, we found that the thong itself, made of a thick, rubber piece, could be a little stiff between the toes. If this description doesn't describe you or you're just looking for a more conventional, versatile, and attractive flip flops, we'd point you towards the OluKai Ohana or Chaco Flip Ecotread.
You could, theoretically, use this pair for most activities. They performed well when they were wet, and their traction was decent enough to wear them on the short walk to the crag. It goes without saying they can cruise to the coffee shop with the best of them. All that said, this flip flop appeals the most to people looking for a unique foot support, which the Oofos can offer. If you're not interested in this particular characteristic, you might find this flop is not versatile. The shape and look of the Oofos alone makes it one of the least versatile flip flops we tested, as most of the other models we tested make great choices as a traditional flop. If a soft footbed is what you're looking for but you want a more traditional look, check out the Sanuk Beer Cozy 2 or the Reef Phantoms.
The nature of the Oofos foam seemed to indicate that there is no break in period and that these flops are quite durable. We didn't notice the footbed changing at all after a few months of use, but clearly, we weren't able to wear them for several years. The rubber on the sole of the sandal isn't high density but seemed to hold up well without a lot of signs of wear. For such a soft flip flop it appeared that the foam held up over time much better then the Sanuk or Reef Phantoms, which both had a similar, plush feel straight out of the box.
This competitor has an odd look and stands far apart from every other sandal we tested. It's hard to draw parallels when it comes to the Oofos style, but mostly it reminded us of some foot orthotic, which it is. It's bulky, with a high volume sole and footbed. Its curved lines, and molded construction proved for a fluid, almost spaceship like style. In practical terms, this model isn't the "coolest" looking flip flop on the market, but if you're dedicated to the particular function that the Oofos sandal offers, you might be able to overlook its, umm, unique style. If a soft-footbed model with excellent arch support is what you're looking for, and you're more interested in a conventional flip flop, we'd recommend the Reef Phantoms.
The rubber sole of the Oofos flop handled well on sidewalks but performed poorly on most terrain, from rocky trails in the mountains to sandy beaches. The tread pattern is shallow and modest at best, but at least the sole is crafted from a different material (than the remainder of the sandal). With that in mind, the Oofos flop is not made for straying from the pavement for too long. We found that its overly-cushy nature and high platform made for an awkward platform on uneven terrain. If you're not married to this squishy model, but like the idea of a high-volume flip flop that handles well in the mountains, check out the Teva Pajaro.
In case you haven't gathered thus far, the Oofos is a one trick pony. This sandal is made exclusively for people with orthotic issues that require them to wear a super comfy, overly cushy flop. If that doesn't describe your desires, perhaps you'll want to look elsewhere, at say, the Chaco Flip EcoTread, OluKai Ohana, Reef Fanning, or Reef Phantoms.
At around $50 dollars, the Oofos is in the middle of the road in terms of price point. Does it seem a little expensive for a flip flop that essentially serves a niche market? Sure, but if this is the footwear choice that is going heal or at least help an issue like plantar fasciitis, they are totally worth the money.
Have foot issues? Need a springy, comfy sandal and aren't worried about style points? Look no further; people rave that this flip flop is the only piece of footwear that helps their orthotic issues, and for that reason, it seems that the Oofos have developed a bit of a cult following.
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