Rainbow Premier Leather Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Attractive, comfortable, affordable
Cons: Breaking in takes time, poor traction
Compare to Similar Products
Rainbow Premier Leather
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Amazon
|$21.99 at Amazon|
|Pros||Attractive, comfortable, affordable||Comfortable, durable, good in water||Comfortable, versatile, stylish, great arch support||Durable, good arch support, comfortable straps, excellent traction, affordable||Bargain basement price, relatively comfortable, good in wet conditions|
|Cons||Breaking in takes time, poor traction||Heavy, a bit pricey||Heavy, expensive||Heavy, not stylish||Low arch, not suitable for hiking|
|Bottom Line||After break-in, these cult classic flip flops offer excellent comfort and classic styling||These flip flops are made for the ocean but are capable in any environment||These versatile flops are so comfortable they feel as if they were tailor-made for our feet||While these aren't the most stylish, they are durable, comfortable, and affordable||These offer decent comfort and overall usability that far exceeds typical bargain basement flip flops|
|Rating Categories||Rainbow Premier Lea...||Olukai Hokua||Olukai Ohana||Teva Katavi 2 Thong||NeedBo NDB|
|Specs||Rainbow Premier Lea...||Olukai Hokua||Olukai Ohana||Teva Katavi 2 Thong||NeedBo NDB|
|Sole Material||Non-slip rainbow bottom||Gum rubber||Gum rubber||Durabrasion Rubber||Rubber|
|Footbed Material||Nubuck leather||ICEVA||ICEVA||EVA||EVA|
|Strap Material||Nubuck leather||Leather||Synthetic||Suede||EVA|
|Weight (per pair)||13.1 oz||19 oz||17 oz||20 oz||10.5 oz|
|Available Sizes||Small - XXXL||7 - 15||7 - 18||7 - 14||6.5-17|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Rainbow is a company based in Southern California, and its signature flop is designed mainly for the beachgoer and surfer types among us. People that love these sandals really love them, and many refuse to branch out to any other brand. They are stylish and comfortable after the break-in period, and the fact that many people wear them for decades speaks to their excellent durability.
The Rainbow flops are notorious for their break-in period, and our experience was no different. Straight out of the box, they aren't uncomfortable, though they are just a bit awkward, like a Highschool couple at their first dance attempting to look normal dancing to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Your feet, much like those Highschool Sweethearts, will develop a symbiotic relationship that will last a lifetime if you're willing to give it a chance.
The comfort after break-in can't really be understated. These flip flops are excellently comfortable, and that initial awkwardness is necessary to let your foot do the work of molding them to what you specifically need. A few months of testing in, and these rarely leave our feet. The leather footbed is ultra-smooth and supportive. Our feet practically cry for the smooth, cool footbed surface when we're limping home after a long day of work.
While a few of our testers find the ergonomics of the Rainbow to be perfectly adequate, some feel that the arch support is a bit lacking. Objectively, when compared to some other flip flops in this review, the arch support is quite a bit less substantial and pliable. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering everyone's foot is significantly different. We would say, if you require substantial arch support or feel that is something you want out of the box, the Rainbow might not be the best choice. The arch does develop over time as the pressure points break-in, and our main tester found these to be among the most comfortable he has tested, though he might have some pretty flat feet.
Traction is a metric where the Rainbow takes a big hit. Its lightly treaded sole wears quickly and doesn't perform in the mountains as well as some of the others in our fleet. We slid around on steep dirt trails, and the tread material did not want to stick to the bare granite slabs that many of us, as outdoor adventure-lovers, find ourselves walking around on. That being said, these flip flops are perfectly adequate for the everyday beachgoer and offer some decent wet surface traction to boot.
The Rainbow earns an average score for versatility due to their lack of performance on rocky trails and bare rock. That aside, they perform well in most other situations, such as trips to the beach and the bar, barbeques, and social occasions. Despite being a leather sandal, these flops also do just fine in the water, and because you won't need to sell a kidney on the black market to afford them, you can really put them through their paces and just replace them a few years down the road. The comfort, style, and durability are all factors that boost the overall versatility of these flip flops as they are just as home at a social gathering as they are standing around the bike shop talking about biking.
One thing that keeps people coming back to the Rainbow pair after pair is their signature style. Like a classic car restored with modern conveniences, Rainbow's pair old guard styling with new-age comfort and design know-how. The result is a uniquely stylish flip flop that actually retains a lot of comfort and versatility. We can't really recommend these flip flops enough, and the styling is just icing on the beautifully sandwiched EVA foam cake.
These flops aren't the cheapest in our review, but they are far from the most expensive. They seem to last forever for the modest price point and truly only become more comfortable and form-fitted over time. Indeed, we've had a hard time conjuring up reasons as to why the Rainbow wouldn't be a good value. Style, durability, and comfort in an affordable package. What else do you need to know?
The Rainbow Premium Leather flips are stylish as heck, pairing classic sandwiched foam with a beautiful leather footbed and thong. There is truly no wonder why they have such a cult following.
— Brian Martin