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Reef Draftsmen Review

These are a stylish leather option for the beach and around town, but not much more
Reef Draftsmen
Photo: Reef
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Price:  $60 List | $59.92 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  ⋅  Jul 20, 2020
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Support and Stability - 20% 5
  • Traction - 20% 5
  • Versatility - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 4
  • Style - 10% 8

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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Reef Draftsmen
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Price $59.92 at Amazon$74.95 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Stylish, casual, bottle opener on soleComfortable, durable, good in waterLightweight, great for hikingComfortable, versatile, stylish, great arch supportDurable, good arch support, comfortable straps, excellent traction, affordable
Cons Not durable, very shallow tread, bottle opener can get clogged with mudHeavy, a bit priceyExtra straps can get in the way, priceyHeavy, expensiveHeavy, not stylish
Bottom Line These flops are comfy for lounging on the beach, but you'll want more support and durability if you're always on your feetSuper comfortable sandals that are as at home on the beach as they are at campAn optional heel and arch strap make this contender super secure and great for hikingTake these flops everywhere and your feet will love you for itThese tick off some of the most critical attributes we want in sandals: comfort, durability, and affordability
Rating Categories Reef Draftsmen Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Teva Katavi 2 Thong
Comfort (25%)
6
9
8
9
8
Support And Stability (20%)
5
9
8
9
8
Traction (20%)
5
9
9
7
8
Versatility (15%)
5
8
9
8
6
Durability (10%)
4
9
8
8
8
Style (10%)
8
8
8
8
5
Specs Reef Draftsmen Olukai Hokua Astral Filipe Olukai Ohana Teva Katavi 2 Thong
Sole Material Molded rubber Gum rubber Rubber Gum rubber Durabrasion Rubber
Footbed Material Leather ICEVA EVA ICEVA EVA
Strap Material Leather Leather Polyester webbing Synthetic Suede
Weight (ounces) 10 oz 19 oz 14 oz 17 oz 20 oz
Sizes 4-15 7 - 15 8-13 7 - 18 7 - 14
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...
Comfortable, but not very durable, miles of hiking will wear these flops out faster than burlier models.
Photo: Matt Bento

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.
Photo: Matt Bento

Support and Stability


If you're spending your days hanging out on the dock or in the back yard tilling the flower bed, the Draftsmen is perfectly adequate in the support and stability department. The leather footbed does break in and take on a more supportive shape after some time, but is ultimately lacking when compared to some of the ultra ergonomic flip flops we tested this go-around. Stability is much the same story. The Draftsmen just doesn't have the rugged sole and thicker leather footbed required to be ultra-stable on a rocky trail or for off camber hiking.

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.

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

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

Style


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 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 and gimmicky. Sometimes the bottle opener would even become clogged with mud.

The bottle opener works great! Unfortunately, some trace of whatever...
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.
Photo: Matt Bento

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 overall we don't think their lack of durability warrants the high price tag.

Matt Bento