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Reef Draftsmen Review

These are a stylish leather option for the beach and around town, but not much more.
Reef Draftsman
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Price:  $60 List | $42.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Stylish, casual, bottle opener on sole
Cons:  Not durable, very shallow tread, bottle opener can get clogged with mud
Manufacturer:   Reef
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2019
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

With soft leather soles and straps, the Reef Draftsmen is a casual and stylish entry to the flip flop pool at a decent price. They are lightweight and low key, and won't draw any attention to your sandy, salty dogs. You can probably also get away wearing these out with a nice pair of pants, and no one will suspect that come midnight, you'll be crawling back into your surfer van for a quick snooze before a beautiful, glassy morning in the waves.


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Star Rating
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Pros Stylish, casual, bottle opener on soleComfortable, durable, good in waterLightweight, great for hikingComfortable, versatile, stylish, great arch supportComfortable, durable, classy
Cons Not durable, very shallow tread, bottle opener can get clogged with mudHeavyExtra straps can get in the wayHeavy, expensiveExpensive
Bottom Line These are a stylish leather option for the beach and around town, but not much more.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 Draftsmen Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Chaco Marshall
Comfort (30%)
10
0
6
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
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Traction (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Reef Draftsmen Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Chaco Marshall
Weight (ounces) 10 oz 19 oz 14 oz 17 oz 16.6 oz
Footbed Material Leather ICEVA EVA ICEVA Leather
Sole Material Molded rubber Gum rubber Rubber Gum rubber ChacoGrip rubber
Strap Material Leather Leather Polyester webbing Synthetic Leather
Sizes 4-15 7 - 15 8-13 7 - 18 7-15
Return Policy 30 day 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 Draftsmen scored at the bottom of our test pool despite high marks for style. They suffer in regards to durability and traction.

Performance Comparison


Comfortable  but not very durable  miles of hiking will wear these flops out faster than burlier models.
Comfortable, but not very durable, miles of hiking will wear these flops out faster than burlier models.

Comfort


For hanging out by the water, chilling around the house, or working out back in the garden, the Reef Draftsmen is a perfectly comfortable flop. Its soft leather footbed is quick to break-in, while a firm 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.

We love the simple  no-frills look and feel of these flops.
We love the simple, no-frills look and feel of these flops.

Versatility


These flops suffer from a serious tread deficiency compared to more robust models. This restricts them to seaside docks, restaurants, and sand dunes. If you never plan on leaving the maritime environs (and why would you?), you'll be able to go most 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.

These flops have a thin sole  more suited for around the house than out on the trail.
These flops have a thin sole, more suited for around the house than out on the trail.

Durability


These puppies aren't very durable. The footbed is soft, but it breaks down quickly. A thicker footbed takes longer to break in, but will also last much longer. We also noticed creases occurring through the leather footbed and part of the midsole where the flop flexes during uphill travel. This didn't occur in any of the other flops we tested. The other models in our review all have thicker footbeds and will undoubtedly last you longer.

These flops have a classic look  but they lack the versatility and durability of most of the rest of our test suite.
These flops have a classic look, but they lack the versatility and durability of most of the rest of our test suite.

Style


These flops 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 taking the flop 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. Sometimes the bottle opener would even become clogged with mud.

The bottle opener works great! Unfortunately  some trace of whatever you've been walking through all day will end up on your beer  so watch out! Sometimes the opener gets clogged with mud.
The bottle opener works great! Unfortunately, some trace of whatever you've been walking through all day will end up on your beer, so watch out! Sometimes the opener gets clogged with mud.

Traction


The molded rubber outsole on these flip flops is just okay, and we don't recommend pushing the envelope on long hikes or mountain approaches unless you are an advanced flip-flopper with strong, tough feet and a good sense of balance.

Value


These flops cost about the same as a pair of Rainbows but aren't as durable. They are nice looking, but for the money you can get something more comfortable and with better traction.

Conclusion


If you're all about that leather style and comfort, keep an eye out for these flip-flops on sale. They'll serve you much better than a pair of cheap throwaway flops, but we don't think their lack of durability warrants the high price tag.


Matt Bento