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Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom Review

This flip is completely focused on being as soft as possible underfoot, the result being a high level of comfort and low level of durability.
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Price:  $42 List | $37.80 at Amazon
Pros:  Extremely comfortable
Cons:  Traction and durability is subpar
Manufacturer:   Reef
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2019
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Versatility - 25% 5
  • Durability - 25% 4
  • Style - 10% 6
  • Traction - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom has the softest footbed of any flip flop we have tested. These things are ultra squishy. Right out of the box, it was as if we had strapped two fluffy clouds onto our feet. Along with comfortable footbeds, the Bounce Phantom also has comfortable and snug straps. Unfortunately, to attain such squishy comfort from the footbed, a significant amount of durability and traction are sacrificed. These flip flops are best suited for mellow use as the sole isn't equipped to withstand sticks or sharp rocks. We especially enjoyed slipping them on for a relaxing day by the pool or for something to use in the middle of the night while car camping.


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Star Rating
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Pros Extremely comfortableComfortable, durable, good in waterLightweight, great for hikingComfortable, versatile, stylish, great arch supportComfortable, durable, classy
Cons Traction and durability is subparHeavyExtra straps can get in the wayHeavy, expensiveExpensive
Bottom Line This flip is completely focused on being as soft as possible underfoot, the result being a high level of comfort and low level of durability.The Olukai Hokua flip flops are made for the ocean but are capable in any environment except maybe snow.These flops have serious staying power. Strap them to your feet and forget about them.These versatile flops are like first class seating for your feet! Leave them on all summer.This model looks and feels good, but are too expensive to be our top choice for live-in beater flops.
Rating Categories Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Chaco Marshall
Comfort (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Versatility (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Durability (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Style (10%)
10
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6
10
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8
10
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8
10
0
8
10
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9
Traction (10%)
10
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5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Reef Cushion... Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Chaco Marshall
Weight (ounces) 14 oz 19 oz 14 oz 17 oz 16.6 oz
Footbed Material Foam ICEVA EVA ICEVA Leather
Sole Material Rubber Gum rubber Rubber Gum rubber ChacoGrip rubber
Strap Material Canvas Leather Polyester webbing Synthetic Leather
Sizes 8 - 14 7 - 15 8-13 7 - 18 7-15
Return Policy 6 month free return One year warranty against manufacturer's defects Free returns One year warranty against manufacturer's defects Free returns if not worn/used

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.

Performance Comparison


Reef has an insanely large offering when it comes to flip flops. Typically they are pretty excellent. The Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom is one of the most comfortable out-of-the-box pairs we tested.
Reef has an insanely large offering when it comes to flip flops. Typically they are pretty excellent. The Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom is one of the most comfortable out-of-the-box pairs we tested.

Comfort


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.

There's nothing quite as good as enjoying the outdoors and letting your climbing shoe bunioned feet breathe!
There's nothing quite as good as enjoying the outdoors and letting your climbing shoe bunioned feet breathe!

Versatility


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.

The Bounce Phantom is excellent for a bit of foot relief before shuttle runs up Mt. Lemmon.
The Bounce Phantom is excellent for a bit of foot relief before shuttle runs up Mt. Lemmon.

Durability


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.

With such a soft footbed and sole it would be unreasonable to expect the Bounce Phantom to last for a long time. The upside is that while they do last  they will be extremely comfortable.
With such a soft footbed and sole it would be unreasonable to expect the Bounce Phantom to last for a long time. The upside is that while they do last, they will be extremely comfortable.

Style


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 clean lines and good color schemes look good in almost any setting.
The clean lines and good color schemes look good in almost any setting.

Traction


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.

The Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom has about the same level of grip as a square of yellow American cheese. That being said  they are super squishy and comfortable  just don't expect them to perform well on rugged terrain.
The Reef Cushion Bounce Phantom has about the same level of grip as a square of yellow American cheese. That being said, they are super squishy and comfortable, just don't expect them to perform well on rugged terrain.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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