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The 6 Best Flip Flops for Women of 2024

We tested some of the best women's flip flops from Birkenstock, OluKai, Chaco, and more to help you hone in on your perfect pair
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Best Flip Flops Women Review (Whether you're looking for optimal support, comfort or simplicity, we are sure to have the perfect flip for you.)
Whether you're looking for optimal support, comfort or simplicity, we are sure to have the perfect flip for you.
Credit: Hayley Thomas
Wednesday April 10, 2024

After buying and testing close to 40 pairs of women's flip flops over the past 8 years, we've learned a lot. Here we present the 14 best options on the market. We know you have a ton of options to choose from, so our dedicated testers wore these minimal sandals everywhere they went for months. We biked through cities, hiked mucky backcountry trails, and braved our daily responsibilities, all while granting our toes the freedom to wriggle and splay in the open air. Along the way, we took notes on each pair's comfort, traction, support, versatility, and style.

Our footwear reviews don't stop at flip flops. We've tested the best sandals for casual wear as well as outdoor adventures. We've also taken the time to assess everything from the best women's water shoes to an impressive lineup of the top women's trail running shoes, to the best women's slippers. No matter what adventure is on the horizon, we can help your feet stay comfortable and supported.

Editor's Note: Our women's flip flop review was updated on April 10, 2024, to shed more light on our testing process and provide buying advice.

Related: Best Flip Flops for Men

Top 14 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 14
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $80.92 at Amazon
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$55 List
$27.99 at Amazon
$99.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stableVery comfortable, super lightweight, adjustable, thick straps, slight arch for supportExtremely comfortable footbed, versatile style and fit, quite secure for a slideComfortable fit, supportive footbed, decent outsole traction, fun look
Cons Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensiveSporty look, runs a bit bigSubpar bottom sole traction, style not versatileLess traction, contoured footbed collects debris while walkingNo half sizes, straps require breaking in, interior footbed traction could be better, takes a long time to dry
Bottom Line A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and personalized comfort by molding to your feet over timeA durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a proThese flips offer cloud-like comfort with optimal support and an adjustable strap in a lightweight packageImpressively secure leather flips that are both comfortable and go well with cute summer outfitsA tactical flip with a snazzy look, fun color options, and a curvy footbed for good support
Rating Categories Birkenstock Gizeh OluKai Ohana - Women's Clarks Breeze Sea Birkenstock Mayari Chaco Classic Flip...
Comfort (30%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Support (20%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Traction (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Style (15%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Birkenstock Gizeh OluKai Ohana - Women's Clarks Breeze Sea Birkenstock Mayari Chaco Classic Flip...
Sole Material EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) Non-marking rubber or gum rubber TPR (thermoplastic rubber) EVA Rubber
Footbed Material Cork lined with suede Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed Synthetic Cork lined with suede LUVSEAT PU
Strap Material Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit Synthetic Oiled nubuck leather Polyester jacquard webbing
Weight (per pair) 13.5 oz (size 39) 13.7 oz (size 9) 5.0 oz (size 9) 14.1 oz (size 7) 7.6 oz (size 9)
Available Sizes 35 - 46 EU 5 - 12 US 5 - 12 US 35 - 43 EU 5 - 12 US
Animal Products Yes No No Yes No
Length 10.625" (size 39) 10.75" (size 9) 10.65" (size 9) 10.0" (size 7) 10.75" (size 9)
Length of Toe Box (just above toe post) 1.50" 1.75" 1.50" 1.50" 1.75"
Unique Features Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed Adjustable velcro strap Adjustable straps, contoured footbed that molds to feet Footbed accepted by the APMA


Best Overall Flip Flop for Women


Birkenstock Gizeh


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Support 10.0
  • Traction 7.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Style 9.0
Footbed Material: Suede-lined cork | Weight (pair): 13.5 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Great support
Stylish
Contoured ergonomic footbed molds to your feet
REASONS TO AVOID
Takes a long time to break in
Toe post is very stiff
Expensive

The Birkenstock Gizeh isn't the sandal we expected to sweep up our top award, but we couldn't deny its top-notch performance after putting it through our rigorous testing process. It excels in every test we swhy ubject it to. This supremely well-made shoe offers the most support and stability of all our tested models, and it becomes more comfortable the longer you wear it. We are impressed by the traction while hiking around on all manner of terrain, and while the aesthetic isn't for everyone, most find it highly stylish.

The Gizeh is an investment, and you need to be prepared for a longer break-in period while the footbed molds to your feet. The toe post is also quite stiff, but it softens with time and your feet adjust to it after a break-in period. Those who are patient will reap the rewards with the most durable, comfortable, and supportive summer shoe. For a waterproof and more affordable version of this sandal, check out the Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA.

Read more: Birkenstock Gizeh review

flip flops womens - while the gizeh was built with more casual use in mind, it actually...
While the Gizeh was built with more casual use in mind, it actually fares quite well out in the elements.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Best Bang for Your Buck


Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Support 8.0
  • Traction 7.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Style 7.0
Footbed Material: EVA | Weight (pair): 6.5 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Ultra-lightweight
Waterproof
Comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Not as durable as traditional Birkenstocks
Doesn't breathe
Footbed can be slippery when wet

The Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA is a foam version of the classic leather and cork model. It's super lightweight, doesn't require weeks to break in, and retails for less than half the original price. If you've wanted the famous contoured Birkenstock footbed but can't stomach the usual price tag, this is a great alternative. The adjustable strap transforms what would otherwise be just another slippery foam sandal into something that can handle uneven terrain with relative ease. The material is also impervious to water, making this a solid choice for gardening, beach time, and more.

The drawback of this foam version is that it's less durable and breathable. There's also less oxygen flow because of the design — it really cups the foot and holds it snug. Although this snugness makes it highly supportive and comfortable, it also means it can create an unpleasant sound while walking if the footbed is wet or sweaty. A light foam shoe likely isn't the one to pick if you want something to last for many years, but this is among the best we've tried for the price. If you're a fan of Birkenstocks, we recommend the leather version of the Gizeh (above), and we also like the Birkenstock Mayari for a sandal style.

Read more: Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA review

flip flops womens - the lightweight moldable foam of the gizeh eva is great for the...
The lightweight moldable foam of the Gizeh EVA is great for the beach or the garden.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Comfortable and Affordable Simplicity


Sanuk Yoga Mat


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Support 6.0
  • Traction 6.0
  • Versatility 6.0
  • Style 8.0
Footbed Material: EVA (yoga mat material) | Weight (pair): 12.8 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Made from yoga mat material
Comfortable
Wide straps
Very affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks support
Subpar traction
Not good for harsh terrain

The Sanuk Yoga Mat is a fun twist on a simple flip. This soft, squishy shoe is made from yoga mat material and forms to the foot like memory foam with every step. Though it doesn't offer much arch support or any footbed contouring, the general squishiness of the footbed provides comfort and some stability. The wide straps are made of synthetic leather lined with a silky jersey material. They are soft and malleable, ensuring that you will be left without a blister in sight. The nicely stitched strap gives this flip a casual yet put-together look, making it a great accessory to any casual warm-weather outfit.

Because the Yoga Mat is flat and lacks any footbed contouring, there is zero arch support. The footbed traction is surprisingly good, but the outsole traction is subpar. The general support this shoe offers works just fine for flat, easy terrain, but if the terrain gets technical, you'll want to reach for a more functional shoe. The Yoga Mat is meant for casual use. If you are looking for something to throw in your gym bag, backpacking pack, or stroll down to the beach, then this is a great option at a killer price. The Teva Voya Flip is a decent alternative in the same price range.

Read more: Sanuk Yoga Mat review

flip flops womens - the yoga mat is versatile across all casual outings, but doesn&#039;t...
The Yoga Mat is versatile across all casual outings, but doesn't fare well in more extreme conditions.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Best for Sheer Comfort


OluKai Ohana - Women's


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 10.0
  • Support 8.0
  • Traction 7.0
  • Versatility 7.0
  • Style 7.0
Footbed Material: Molded EVA, ICEVA drop-in footbed | Weight (pair): 13.7 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptionally comfortable
Contouring offers more support
Great for wider feet
REASONS TO AVOID
Takes longer to dry when wet than other models

The OluKai Ohana is a very comfortable flip flop that takes zero time to break in, feeling amazing right out of the box. It's highly durable, the contoured footbed is stable, and it offers decent traction both on the bottom sole and the cushy footbed. The design runs a bit big and wide, so it's an excellent choice for those with meatier feet or wider toe boxes. Overall, we find very little to not love about this shoe — it checks all the boxes and performs admirably through all our tests.

The pricier Ohana is a flip flop for those wanting a more durable long-term option and don't mind paying a few extra bucks for something that will last. It is also worth noting that the heavenly comfort this shoe provides is well worth the price tag. It takes a bit of time to dry after getting wet, but this flip feels fantastic to wear regardless. It is a well-constructed sandal that comes in many fun colors and is sure to please for years to come. If you want something supportive and adjustable, take a look at the Clarks Breeze Sea below.

Read more: OluKai Ohana review

flip flops womens - plush and substantial, this wide-fitting flip is a dream for tired...
Plush and substantial, this wide-fitting flip is a dream for tired or sore feet.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Adjustable Support


Clarks Breeze Sea


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Support 9.0
  • Traction 6.0
  • Versatility 7.0
  • Style 7.0
Footbed Material: Synthetic | Weight (pair): 5.0 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Adjustable
Soft and supportive
Nice medium arch
Good footbed traction
Extremely lightweight
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks bottom sole traction
Style is not versatile

The Clarks Breeze Sea is a lightweight adjustable flip flop that is a true pleasure to wear. The thick and burly thong straps are soft against the top of your feet, and the foam footbed is giving but firm. We found them to have a supportive arch and no break-in period, and the slight heel keeps your feet elevated above sharp obstacles. The hook-and-loop velcro closure is incognito, easy to use, and makes the shoe highly adjustable. The Breeze Sea is true to size, and the adjustable leather straps make it a great fit for wide and narrow feet alike.

While the footbed traction is great, the bottom sole traction suffers in the presence of moisture. The somewhat utilitarian style is sleek and clean, and the Breeze Sea comes in many colors, but the style may not be for everyone. A shoe like the Rainbow Single Layer Premier might be better at maintaining an understated style for navigating different activities, from the beach to a casual morning brunch. Still, if you are looking for an adjustable flip flop that offers high comfort and a featherweight profile, the Clarks Breeze Sea is a popular shoe for a reason.

flip flops womens - the clarks breeze is a very utilitarian shoe, but the leather straps...
The Clarks Breeze is a very utilitarian shoe, but the leather straps and fun colors make them easy to match with any outfit.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Outdoor Chic


Chaco Classic Flip - Women's


75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Support 8.0
  • Traction 7.0
  • Versatility 7.0
  • Style 7.0
Footbed Material: LUVSEAT PU | Weight (pair): 7.6 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable fit
Supportive footbed
Decent outsole traction
REASONS TO AVOID
No half sizes
Straps take a bit to break in
Interior footbed traction could be better

The Chaco Classic Flip offers a comfortable fit and nice curves to cradle the foot. The LUVSEAT PU footbed material is firm but giving, and the Polyester jacquard webbing is not abrasive once it softens up a little. The medium-high arch support is great for most feet, and the concave heel cup helps keep your foot in place. The grooves on the outsole are sharp and plentiful, ensuring good traction on most terrain. The Classic Flip fits a variety of feet and comes in many different colors. It is nice looking enough to wear with jeans or a sporty dress. These sandals also only weigh 7.6 ounces, making them a great option for the crag, the beach, or maybe even backpacking.

While the Classic Flip operates well over most terrain, it struggles a bit in the presence of moisture. The straps take a long time to dry, and the footbed gets slippery when wet. The webbing is a little scratchy out of the box, and the toe post takes some time to soften, although the break-in period is overall very short. Our biggest bone to pick with this shoe is that Chaco does not offer half sizes. This can be troublesome if you are a true half-size. If you size down, you may be prolonging the break-in period, and if you decide to size up, you may find that you slip around in the footbed. Still, if you're looking for a more tactical flip with a fun look and a supportive footbed, this is a great option. Those seeking more cushion should check out the OluKai Ohana.

flip flops womens - the classic chaco flip has a nice look and good support.
The Classic Chaco Flip has a nice look and good support.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
84
Birkenstock Gizeh
Best Overall Flip Flop for Women
$100
Editors' Choice Award
81
OluKai Ohana - Women's
Best for Sheer Comfort
$75
Top Pick Award
78
Clarks Breeze Sea
Adjustable Support
$55
Top Pick Award
77
Birkenstock Mayari
$130
75
Chaco Classic Flip - Women's
Outdoor Chic
$65
Top Pick Award
74
Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA
Best Bang for Your Buck
$50
Best Buy Award
72
Sanuk Yoga Mat
Comfortable and Affordable Simplicity
$35
Best Buy Award
68
Olukai Paniolo
$90
67
OOFOS OOriginal Sport - Women's
$70
66
Teva Voya Flip
$38
66
Rainbow Single Layer Premier - Women's
$60
66
Vionic Tide II
$90
64
Teva Olowahu
$34
54
Havaianas Slim
$30

flip flops womens - whether dressed up for a night on the town or scouting out flowers...
Whether dressed up for a night on the town or scouting out flowers in mountain meadows, the Gizeh is a comfortable and stylish friend.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

How We Test Flip Flops


Before we slipped any feet into these flip flops, we went to considerable lengths researching the market to select the best models available from an initial product pool of more than 100. Once we decided which ones to test, we wore them on countless outings from the city to the mountains to the beach. We waded across rivers and walked up dusty trails to a climbing crag, paying attention to key performance areas and details like support, stability, and traction. Our comprehensive review will leave you well-equipped with the knowledge you might need to acquire the perfect pair of flip flops. Our comprehensive testing was divided into five key metrics:
  • Comfort (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Support (20% weighting)
  • Traction (20% weighting)
  • Versatility (15% weighting)
  • Style (15% weighting)

For more details on our testing process, see our How We Test article.

Why You Should Trust Us


This review is headed up by Penney Garrett and Hayley Thomas. Both are avid climbers, yogis, and hikers. Penney is a bit of a flip flop freak, preferring any excuse to remove her socks and get sun on her toes. Hayley travels around the US in her van with her partner and their two dogs. From hanging on the beach to hiking in the backcountry to city strolls, these flips got a chance to flop on all different kinds of terrain.

The beautiful and functional (though expensive) Birkenstock Gizeh...
The beautiful and functional (though expensive) Birkenstock Gizeh out for a day in nature.
These fun and funky shoes are worth every penny.
These fun and funky shoes are worth every penny.
While they are great on casual terrain, these flips fail to offer...
While they are great on casual terrain, these flips fail to offer support and traction in more demanding landscapes.

How to Choose The Best Flip Flops for Women


We've compiled four key considerations, including style, support, and budget, to help narrow your flip flop selection. This is a summary of our complete women's flip flops buying advice.

What Type of Flip Flop Do You Need?


While most flip flops are breathable and easy to wear, some are best suited for running errands around town, while others are best at the beach in and around the water. While most flip flops provide some level of versatility, it is worth considering what type of use you want out of your next pair. Flip flops such as Birkenstocks, which are largely comprised of cork and suede, are much better off as casual, everyday flip flops, while a flop made out of rubber and synthetic materials will hold up much better to activities around water.

flip flops womens - finding the right flip-flop will make your feet happy and ready for...
Finding the right flip-flop will make your feet happy and ready for the right occasion.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Do You Need Foot Support?


Contrary to popular belief, flip flops can provide adequate foot support and help support the natural shape of your feet. For those with issues such as flat feet or pronated feet needing arch support and more supportive soles, look at the footbed shape, the material used, and the cushioning provided. Many flip flops come with moldable and contoured footbeds that help form to the shape of your feet. If you are less concerned about foot support and just need something for quick use, there are less expensive options that will work as well.

Is Traction Necessary?


Finding a flip flop you trust while hiking, hopping around, or just walking around town requires solid traction. Identifying traction characteristics such as the material and texture will help more adventurous folks find a trusty flip flop. Look for key characteristics such as the tread pattern/thickness of the outsole and the traction on the footbed to avoid moving around in your flops. If you plan to use your flip flops outside and around uneven, slippery terrain, it's a good idea to consider looking for a pair with adequate traction.

flip flops womens - a flip-flop like the olukai ohana offers great traction and is ideal...
A flip-flop like the OluKai Ohana offers great traction and is ideal for scrambling on uneven, wet terrain.
Credit: Matt Blake

Is There a Break-in Period?


Some flip flops require a break-in process to shape and conform to the feet. Additionally, certain straps might feel stiff and tight initially, but through wear and use, will break in and loosen enough to fit comfortably. Before deciding on a pair of flops, consider whether you have any trips or special occasions planned and have the time beforehand to break them in.

flip flops womens - flops such as the birkenstock gizeh will require some break-in but...
Flops such as the Birkenstock Gizeh will require some break-in but result in a comfortable, precise fit.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Analysis and Test Results


For many of us, that time of year when the weather turns warm enough to ditch the socks and break out the flip flops is a joyous occasion. If you need a new pair, you could just grab something cheap and plastic that will last a season or two, but we think your feet deserve better. Admittedly, choosing the right sandal is less important than finding the right trail running shoe or the best-fitting hiking boot, but opting for something with extra support, traction, and comfort can help keep your feet and joints healthy — especially if you spend a lot of time in open-toed footwear.


Value


Buying flip flops can mean spending a few measly bucks, dropping as much as you would for a closed-toe pair of shoes, or anything in between. Because of this, it's important to consider your priorities and lifestyle when making a purchase. Spending more money doesn't always mean a better product, though there does tend to be a correlation when it comes to shoes. That said, certain materials and features crucial for one person may not be a great fit (literally) for someone else. And while some people will gladly pay a bit more for a stylish choice, others will prioritize attributes like comfort or traction. No matter what angle you're approaching this from, we realize that price tends to be a major determining factor.

Depending on your budget and preferences, several options in our lineup present an excellent balance of price and performance — the cornerstones of true value. The Sanuk Yoga Mat is cushy and easy to wear — no breaking-in needed — and won't set you back hardly at all. If you want out-of-the-box comfort but need a little more footbed support, the Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA costs a bit extra but is also a more mindfully constructed shoe. If a squishy foam footbed just won't cut it, the adjustable Clarks Breeze Sea is a comfortable, supportive option for a similar price.

flip flops womens - after a backpacking trip in the hot sun we were so happy to get the...
After a backpacking trip in the hot sun we were so happy to get the Yoga Mat on our tired feet.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Comfort


The requirements for keeping our feet healthy and happy differ from person to person, so assessing this metric is a multifaceted and involved process. Comfort is highly subjective, and the scores we award in this category reflect factors observed over time. We note how comfortable each pair of flips feels straight out of the box, how cozy they become after some breaking in, and how the materials feel in various situations and terrain. Our favorites for comfort showcase some very diverse shoes, each with its own appeal depending on your foot shape and preferences.


None of the flip flops we tested are uncomfortable, but some are more luxurious than others. Our favorite in this category is the OluKai Ohana. It certainly provides the “ooooh ahhh” factor more than all the others in our fleet. The Ohana has a super soft molded drop-in footbed inspired by the feeling of bare feet in wet sand. Almost every single tester had a smile on their face and positive things to say the moment they slipped on this shoe.

flip flops womens - the unique wet sand footbed of the olukai ohana is the perfect...
The unique wet sand footbed of the OluKai Ohana is the perfect remedy after a long day of hiking.
Credit: Matthew Blake

A few close runner-ups are the Birkenstock Gizeh, Birkenstock Mayari, Clarks Breeze Sea, Sanuk Yoga Mat, and the OOFOS OOriginal Sport. The Birkenstock EVA/cork/suede footbed molds to your feet over time; when new, it can feel quite stiff and unfriendly, but you will be rewarded with some patience and perseverance. The contoured footbed and upturned sides hug the feet snugly, and the brushed leather on the footbed and the underside of the straps is soft and supple. The Gizeh has a hard rubber toe post that might turn people off of this shoe because it can be quite painful at first. But, at least for us, after a few long days of wear, it ceased to be an issue.

flip flops womens - after the break-in period, the birkenstock gizeh is comfortable and...
After the break-in period, the Birkenstock Gizeh is comfortable and supportive.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Another pair worth mentioning for its comfort is the Chaco Classic Flip. With its curvy footbed made of LUVSEAT PU and the polyester jacquard webbing, this shoe gets better with age. The footbed doesn't change its shape much, but the webbing softens over time.

flip flops womens - the chaco flip is super comfy but the straps take a little time to...
The Chaco Flip is super comfy but the straps take a little time to break in.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

If you love the design and contouring of the original Gizeh but would prefer an easier break-in period (or no animal products), the foam version of the same sandal, the Gizeh Essentials EVA, is also highly comfortable. The material doesn't feel quite as nice against the skin — especially when wet or sweaty — but the classic Birkenstock contouring is still A+. The Clarks Breeze Sea is soft to the touch but firm and supportive, and it offers an adjustable thong strap. It requires zero break-in period, and the straps are gentle on the inside, ensuring that you never get a blister.

flip flops womens - the clarke breeze sea is not only comfortable but it is very...
The Clarke Breeze Sea is not only comfortable but it is very lightweight.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Unlike traditional leather Birkenstocks, the Sanuk Yoga Mat and OOFOS OOriginal are all comfortable right out of the box. The Yoga Mat and OOriginal share the squish factor that makes you smile the second you slip them on. The Yoga Mat is made from actual yoga mat material, which, as you can imagine, feels like heaven, while the OOriginal is made of OOfoam Recovery Technology, a material specifically made to absorb more impact than your typical shoe.

flip flops womens - the oofos&#039; squishy footbed feels like walking on a cloud.
The Oofos' squishy footbed feels like walking on a cloud.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Teva Olowahu, Teva Voya Flip, and the Rainbow Single Layer Premier are also notable here. The Olowahu and Voya are both made of lightweight EVA foam, ensuring they don't weigh you down. The Rainbow has a finished leather layer over a memory foam footbed that molds to your feet over time, making these flips more comfortable as you wear them.

flip flops womens - the voya sports eva outsoles and a foam footbed, making them...
The Voya sports EVA outsoles and a foam footbed, making them lightweight.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Support


It's easy to think that support and stability aren't particularly important with a simple summer shoe, but a well-constructed flip flop with a good fit can mean happier feet and less potential for pain or injury over time. Just because sandals are minimal doesn't mean you need to sacrifice foot support completely. We test each flip on advanced hikes that ordinarily demand appropriate hiking shoes to push every pair to the limit. We climb rocks, trudge through mud, and navigate treacherously steep downhills. We also walk on a lot of hot hard pavement, ride bikes, and even wade around in rivers to test their versatility. We put these shoes through rigorous testing, learning a ton about their strengths and weaknesses in the process.


The Gizeh and Mayari, with their strategically contoured footbeds, are understandable winners in this category. Even before the cork-lined suede molds to your anatomy, you will notice how well it hugs each foot and supports the arch. The upturned sides keep the foot cradled in the footbed, so there is never a worry that you will slip off the edge when the shoe is wet or you're on uneven terrain. And, as the Birkenstock footbed becomes broken in and personalized, these qualities continue to improve. The Gizeh has a slight edge on the Mayari here, as the plastic toe post of the Gizeh provides a firmer and more stable base for steep hill walking than the soft leather straps of the Mayari — which continue to soften over time.

flip flops womens - dressed to impress with comfort, stability, and traction. though the...
Dressed to impress with comfort, stability, and traction. Though the Gizeh looks like a dressy urban shoe, it definitely holds its own out on rough terrain.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Clarks Breeze Sea impressed us with a highly adjustable thong strap that provides exceptional support. The footbed foam is soft, and the rest of the shoe is stiff, ensuring a supportive platform.

flip flops womens - the adjustable strap on the breeze sea makes fitting this flip to...
The adjustable strap on the Breeze Sea makes fitting this flip to any foot effortless.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Another model that offers excellent support and stability is the Vionic Tide II. This shoe has built-in orthotics that, when fitted correctly, hold the foot snugly and securely (this shoe does run quite big, so if you're in between sizes, we recommend sizing down, as we did). Even on steep and unpredictable hikes, we felt confident with each step. The embedded orthotics create a very high arch support, though, which is something important to keep in mind when considering this model — it's a feature that can feel amazing on some feet and quite painful on others.

flip flops womens - the tide ii is one of the more supportive options in our test suite.
The Tide II is one of the more supportive options in our test suite.
Credit: Matthew Blake

A few other runner-ups in this category are the OluKai Ohana, the Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA, and the Chaco Classic Flip. All three have a unique and supportive contoured footbed. The Gizeh EVA offers the same foot-hugging shape that Birkenstock is known for, just in a lighter, squishier package. The Ohana is superbly made with a drop-in footbed and a nice wide base. And the Chaco offers a firmer footbed with medium-sized arch support and a slightly concaved cup for your heel.

flip flops womens - with a medium arch support, the curvy footbed of the chaco flip is...
With a medium arch support, the curvy footbed of the Chaco Flip is great for the average foot.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

The Oofos OOriginal Sport is another flip worth mentioning. It offers support in the form of a platform, ample squishiness, and a slight arch. The bottom of the shoe is curved, and the platform offers some protection from rocks and sticks.

flip flops womens - the curvature of the outsole helps rock your feet from heel to toe...
The curvature of the outsole helps rock your feet from heel to toe with every step.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Traction


Often people fail to think about traction when purchasing footwear they don't associate with hiking, running, or climbing. But if you're anything like us, you'll end up using your flip flops for impromptu hikes, crag approaches, or random scrambles. If that sounds like your lifestyle, then it's to your benefit to have a shoe that won't leave you slip-sliding all over the place and fearing for your ankles. All our tested sandals perform decently, but a handful of them rise to the top and impress us with their extra stickiness. Traction performance is not limited to the bottom sole, also known as the outsole. It includes the top sole or the footbed, which is often forgotten about. Footbed traction can be compromised by the presence of moisture or steep inclines, so we take note of each flip's performance during muddy treks, river walks, and steep hikes.


While none of the options in our test suite offer a highly textured outsole, there are a few decent performers. The Vionic Tide II, Birkenstock Gizeh, Gizeh Essentials EVA, Mayari, and OluKai Ohana all offer good bottom and footbed traction. The Vionic has a more traditional flip flop design with no fancy features, but when fit correctly (it runs big, so size down if you're unsure), it has impressive traction that will help you feel confident on loose gravel or uncertain terrain. The Birkenstocks all have a very high lip around the entire shoe to keep your foot in place, and the textured sole prevents slipping and sliding.

flip flops womens - the outsole traction on the ohana is decent but we especially love...
The outsole traction on the Ohana is decent but we especially love the way the grippy footbed feels.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Chaco Classic Flip has excellent bottom sole traction, and the footbed is decent enough depending on conditions. The footbed is very curvy, which hugs the feet nicely, but the firm LUVSEAT PU material tends to get slightly slick when wet. We even found ourselves slipping around in the shoe a little while walking on wet grass. This may be due to some of our testers being between sizes and having to size up, leaving a little extra room to slide around.

flip flops womens - even wet grass can make the chaco flip footbed slippery if you have...
Even wet grass can make the Chaco Flip footbed slippery if you have to size up.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

The Clarks Breeze Sea and Olukai Paniolo don't have particularly textured soles, but the bottom of both of these shoes are made of somewhat sticky rubber, which helps. They also have decent top sole traction. The Oofos OOriginal Sport and Sanuk Yoga Mat are very spongy, so they provide decent traction on uneven ground but not on wet, slick ground.

flip flops womens - the clarks breeze sea have a little texture on the bottom to help...
The Clarks Breeze Sea have a little texture on the bottom to help with traction.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Versatility


There is nothing wrong with wanting one tool for every job, but if you are an outdoorsy person, you understand that rarely can you control the elements. When you're out for what was supposed to be a dry, flat walk, sometimes your adventure takes a turn and has you crossing creeks or hiking through loose, steep terrain. While it can be nice to plan for these events and dress accordingly, it's even nicer when you just so happen to be wearing something that works on a variety of terrains. In order to test versatility, we make sure to walk through water in shoes that were clearly not meant for moisture and hike up scree in flips designed for more casual use. We also utilize each shoe for its intended use, but that is less exciting.


The OluKai Ohana is a well-designed shoe. It has a nice look to it, goes with various outfits, and can handle most terrain. Similarly, the Rainbow Single Layer can easily take you from the beach, out to lunch, and back again without a hitch.

flip flops womens - above-average traction and decent style make the ohana a relatively...
Above-average traction and decent style make the Ohana a relatively versatile summer shoe.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The waterproofness and comfort of the Gizeh EVA make it a great flip flop for lake hangouts and city strolls alike. The Sanuk Yoga Mat does not have particularly great outsole traction, but we found that this was the shoe we reached for most often in our months of hands-on testing. It is of higher quality than your average plastic flip flop but casual and comfortable enough to wear with almost anything. On top of that, it is light enough to throw in your pack if you think you might need a second pair of shoes. It would have scored higher if it could truly handle more demanding terrain, but it is designed to provide cozy plushness and more than delivers in that department.

flip flops womens - the sanuk yoga mat is an easy casual choice at an affordable price.
The Sanuk Yoga Mat is an easy casual choice at an affordable price.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Clarks Breeze Sea is another semi-versatile flip flop as the fit is adjustable, and it comes in a ridiculous amount of color options. Some women experience swelling of the feet during their menstrual period or pregnancy, so the adjustable thong strap can come in handy more than you may realize. One of our testers sprained their ankle during our testing months and could still wear the Breeze Sea while recovering, despite the bandaging and swelling. Now that's a flip flop that will really stick with you through thick and thin.

flip flops womens - adjustable strap make the clarks breeze a sure fit for any foot...
Adjustable strap make the Clarks Breeze a sure fit for any foot, even a broken one.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

The Chaco Classic Flip is another semi-versatile shoe. It can handle most uneven terrain as long as the footbed stays dry. Weighting only 7.6 ounces for the pair, they're pretty lightweight, and they're also highly durable, just as Chacos are known for. They offer good all-around support for most feet, so throwing it in your crag bag to slip on between climbs or your beach bag for your walk back to the car is pretty convenient.

flip flops womens - toss the classic flip in your bag for an active day or strut around...
Toss the Classic Flip in your bag for an active day or strut around town - you won't be disappointed.
Credit: Hayley Thomas


Style


The flip flops in this review represent a wide array of styles, from rugged and athletic to delicate and feminine. We poll a sizable group of women during our testing to generate our style scores as objectively as possible. The data we gather reveals a broad spectrum of opinions, but not surprisingly, the more athletic-looking flips end up lower on almost everyone's list.


It's probably no surprise at this point that the Gizeh also finishes very high in the style department. Although the look of Birkenstocks doesn't appeal to everyone, many find it to be a classy shoe that looks beautiful with a lot of different outfits. Be aware that a quality leather shoe like this one will take some breaking in. Don't get frustrated if they hurt at first because the longer you wear them, the more comfortable they will become. If you want the look of the Gizeh without all the hassle, consider the Gizeh Essentials EVA for a foam version.

flip flops womens - the well constructed gizeh gives any outfit a classic and timeless...
The well constructed Gizeh gives any outfit a classic and timeless look.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The beautiful stitching on the footbed, hand-wrapped toe post, high-quality materials, and vibrant colors combine to deliver a truly lovely shoe in the OluKai Paniolo. We've seen this shoe after many years of use, and like any quality leather item, it gets more beautiful — and much softer — the longer it's worn.

flip flops womens - the paniolo is a well-constructed and comfy leather sandal that gets...
The Paniolo is a well-constructed and comfy leather sandal that gets more comfortable with time.
Credit: Penney Garrett

The many-straps style of the Birkenstock Mayari isn't what everyone thinks of when they picture a flip flop, but it proved to be a big hit with many of our testers. The classic style of leather straps goes with just about every outfit, and the extra straps seem to take the Mayari up a notch from the aesthetic of the V-shape of standard flip flop straps.

flip flops womens - the mayari offer an extra layer of classy leather straps that we...
The Mayari offer an extra layer of classy leather straps that we loved rocking on a lovely summer afternoon exploring this South African vineyard.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

The Sanuk Yoga Mat is notable here, too. It is a somewhat plain flip flop but the synthetic leather, neat stitching, and checkered detail set it apart from your average rubber one. If you are in the market for a simpler, rubber flip flop, the Havaianas Slim is available in tons of colors and rocks a minimal look.

flip flops womens - the yoga mat is a classic flip flop, but little characteristics like...
The Yoga Mat is a classic flip flop, but little characteristics like the detailed lining and synthetic leather strap make give it a leg up in the style department.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Teva Olowahu is an easy flip flop to love with cute interlaced straps and a cushy foam footbed. Whether you're sporting your favorite shorts, jeans, or a cute dress for the evening, the Olowahu can easily be dressed up or down. And when you consider the modest price tag, picking up a pair is practically a no-brainer. Fit-wise, we find that the pinkie toe tends to pop out the side on some foot shapes, so be aware that these straps, cute as they are, won't work for everybody.

flip flops womens - super cute and comfortable, the olowahu is an easy flip to fall in...
Super cute and comfortable, the Olowahu is an easy flip to fall in love with, especially for the price.
Credit: Penney Garrett

A few runner-ups in this category are the OluKai Ohana, Clarks Breeze Sea, and Teva Voya Flip, all of which are offered in a variety of colors and won't detract from most outfits.

flip flops womens - the right flip flop can make or break an outdoor adventure.
The right flip flop can make or break an outdoor adventure.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Conclusion


Finding just an ordinary pair of flip flops for warm weather is by no means difficult, but finding the right pair, complete with superior support, traction, and comfort, is a different story. Our expert team of testers put our contenders through many thousands of steps on all kinds of terrain to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of each pair. And we do it all to ensure that you can make the best choice possible for your feet, your style, and your pocketbook. Maximize your spring and summer experience with some open-toed shoes that can handle every facet of a well-lived life!

Hayley Thomas and Penney Garrett