Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom Review
Cons: Traction and durability is subpar
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bounce Phantom is highly focused on comfort. The squishy footbed is its most notable feature, and it is very comfortable. Imagine sinking your foot into a giant tub of room temperature Country Crock butter, and you'll have an idea of how soft the footbed really is.
As long as you stick to mellow terrain, poolsides, beaches, and your home, the Bounce Phantom is ultra-comfortable. Reef states that the footbed is made from the softest material they make. We have absolutely no doubt that this is true. To be any softer Reef would have to come to your house and cast your foot in a bowl of jello and call it "Jello Moon Boots."
Not only is the footbed on this flip extremely soft and compliant, but the arch support is also quite adequate — about a medium-height — and the straps and thong are cozy and well made. The fact that absolutely no break-in period is needed for such a high level of comfort makes the Bounce Phantom an excellent choice for those looking to scoop up a pair of flops before catching a flight for a beach vacation.
The Bounce Phantom doesn't excel in this category. Discussed in more detail below, durability and traction are lacking, so these aren't practical for more rugged outings. This shouldn't deter you from trying these ultra-comfortable flips though — they are great looking and ideal for hanging out and relaxing.
We wanted to make a joke about how the Bounce Phantom has similar softness and durability to a nice creamy goat cheese, but we're above that! While the footbed is made from a fairly low-density material, which gives it its squish and bounce, it still held up fairly well throughout our testing. However, when we attempted to wander away from civilization out into the wilds, the Bounce didn't handle sharp or jagged terrain very well. The low-density footbed is vulnerable to anything pokey, and we had a few chunks taken out of the sides.
The Bounce Phantom has simple, clean lines, and almost every color scheme available is a blend of earth tones. You can get away with wearing these flip flops pretty much anywhere flip flops are acceptable. They don't look overly "outdoorsy," nor do they look like they are intended for dressing up. The Bounce Phantom blends into the surroundings pleasantly and doesn't draw much attention. While other flip flops would inevitably draw the question, "Oh cool, what kind of flip flops are those?" this one didn't.
The ultra-soft footbed of the Cushion Bounce combined with a relatively low-density sole doesn't offer the grip or stiffness necessary for good traction. This flip flop is so compliant it lets your foot slip right over rocks and roots. When it came to poolside traction, it performed ok but struggled on wet smooth surfaces like tile. To get such a soft footbed, the Bounce Phantom really sacrifices stiffness and traction.
When shelling out our hard-earned dollars for flip flops, we expect a lot. Where the Bounce Phantom excels is in providing out-of-the-box comfort. If you're heading out the door on a beach vacation tomorrow and need a pair of flip flops you know will be ultra-comfortable while you hang around the cabana, this is a pretty good choice. If you're expecting a bit more performance and versatility from your flip flops, the price isn't justified through performance.
Despite not being a great value, we really do like the Bounce Phantom. The soft and squishy footbed is one of a kind. If we were judging all flip flops on their out of the box comfort for hanging around the pool, it would be hard to compete with these fluffy foot clouds. Ultimately, as outdoor folk, we really demand a high level of durability from our footwear, and the Bounce Phantom just can't keep up.
— Brian Martin