Reef Draftsmen Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Stylish, casual, bottle opener on sole
Cons: Not durable, shallow tread, bottle opener can get clogged with mud
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$74.95 at Amazon||$55 List|
Check Price at Amazon
|$21.99 at Amazon|
|Pros||Stylish, casual, bottle opener on sole||Comfortable, durable, good in water||Lightweight, great for hiking||Durable, good arch support, comfortable straps, excellent traction, affordable||Bargain basement price, relatively comfortable, good in wet conditions|
|Cons||Not durable, shallow tread, bottle opener can get clogged with mud||Heavy, a bit pricey||Extra straps can get in the way, pricey||Heavy, not stylish||Low arch, not suitable for hiking|
|Bottom Line||These are a stylish leather option for the beach and around town but lack the comfort we ultimately want in casual footwear||These flip flops are made for the ocean but are capable in any environment||Strap these to your feet and forget about them, these have serious staying power||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||Reef Draftsmen||Olukai Hokua||Astral Filipe||Teva Katavi 2 Thong||NeedBo NDB|
|Specs||Reef Draftsmen||Olukai Hokua||Astral Filipe||Teva Katavi 2 Thong||NeedBo NDB|
|Sole Material||Molded rubber||Gum rubber||Rubber||Durabrasion Rubber||Rubber|
|Strap Material||Leather||Leather||Polyester webbing||Suede||EVA|
|Weight (per pair)||15.4 oz||19 oz||14 oz||20 oz||10.5 oz|
|Available Sizes||4-15||7 - 15||8-13||7 - 14||6.5-17|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Draftsmen scored at the bottom of our test pool despite high marks for style. They suffer in regards to durability and traction.
For hanging out by the water, chilling around the house, or working out back in the garden, the Draftsmen is a decently comfortable flop. Its leather footbed is quick to break in, while a firm yet low arch gives you a little support and houses a built-in bottle opener (a controversial feature among our testers) on the bottom of the flop. The strap is a single soft piece of leather, and none of our testers experienced any blisters or chaffing. If we had to sum the Draftsmen's comfort level up in one word it would be "adequate". None of our testers were extremely impressed or disappointed with this party piece flip flop.
Our main tester found the Draftsmen to be a touch too narrow and a bit flat in the footbed. Yes, there was a short break-in period and the footbed did relent a bit. Out of the box, however, this was one of the flattest flip flops we have tested and the narrow profile made it feel rather tippy. For the positive attributes, the solid rubber sole is firm and helped shield us from pokey bits below.
The solid rubber sole performed decently on slippery granite and treacherous river logs when we were out and about. Some of the aforementioned gripes also detract a bit from how usable that traction is. The flatish footbed and narrow profile let our foot slide about on the interior of the Draftsmen even though the sole was pretty grippy.
These flops don't have the serious tread that more capable flip flops boast. This restricts them to seaside docks, restaurants, sand dunes, and flip-flop-appropriate casual events. If you never plan on leaving the maritime environs (and why would you?), you'll be able to go almost anywhere you need to go in the Draftsmen. If you're more like our testers who wear flip flops every day except for two or three days in January, you'll likely want something with more arch support and overall stability.
The Draftsmen have the classic look of the casual leather flop made popular by Rainbow at a similar price. On the bottom is a built-in bottle opener and, with a little practice, it's easy to open a beer without even taking your shoe off. One tester thought this feature was really cool, but the majority of our testers and our friends agreed that opening a beer with your foot is gross and gimmicky. Sometimes the bottle opener would even become clogged with mud.
The Draftsmen is a decent flip flop with a fun party-piece bottle opener. However, the price is a bit steep for the overall performance and low level of comfort which is something we greatly value in casual footwear made for relaxing. Still, given the rugged feel and leather materials, the Draftsmen is a decent value.
The Reef Draftsmen is a good-looking flip flop that was outperformed by others in several categories. If someone was handing us a pair of these as a gift, we would be pretty happy with them. Would we recommend them to a friend? Probably, if that friend really valued having a quirky flip flop with a bottle opener that also retained some stylish looks.
— Brian Martin