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Best Flip Flops for Women of 2021

The optional ankle strap on the Rosa meant we were supported and stabl...
Photo: Penney Garrett
Friday June 11, 2021
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After buying and testing 30 pairs of women's flip flops over the past 10 years, we have a lot to say on the subject. Here we present the 14 best options on the market. We know you have a ton of flip flops to choose from, so our dedicated testers wore these minimal sandals everywhere we 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 in the open air. Along the way, we took notes on each pair's comfort, traction, support, versatility, and style.

Related: Best Sandals for Women

Top 14 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 14
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
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Overall Score
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Pros Attractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapFashionable, comfortable, supportive, impressive tractionRemovable ankle strap, water-resistant, durable, lightweightVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stableComfortable, no break-in period, affordable, waterproof
Cons Stiff, breaking in takes time, expensiveNot waterproof, tight toe loop, expensiveContouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slipSporty look, runs a bit bigMaterial doesn't breathe, less durable
Bottom Line A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and personalized comfort by molding to your feet over timeThis supportive flip flop offers extreme comfort, decent traction, and looks great with a dressA fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip flops and sandals and wants everything combined in one shoeA durable flip flop that feels amazing, offers good support, and handles water like a proA lightweight and affordable version of the leather original, this flip is fun and functional
Rating Categories Birkenstock Gizeh Merrell Juno Wrap Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana - Women's Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials...
Comfort (30%)
9
8
6
10
8
Support (20%)  
10
9
9
8
8
Traction (20%)
7
7
8
7
7
Versatility (15%)
6
6
9
7
7
Style (15%)
9
10
7
7
7
Specs Birkenstock Gizeh Merrell Juno Wrap Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana -... Birkenstock Gizeh...
Sole Material EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) Rubber Granite Grip rubber Non-marking rubber or gum rubber EVA
Footbed Material Cork lined with suede EVA Dual-density EVA Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed EVA
Strap Material Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Leather Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit EVA
Weight (per pair) 13.5 oz (size 39) 18 oz (size 8) 12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps, size 9) 13.7 oz (size 9) 6.5 oz (size 40)
Length 10.625" (size 39) 10" (size 8) 10.5" (size 9) 10.75" (size 9) 11" (size 40)
Length of Toe Box (just above toe post) 1.50" 1.50" 1.75" 1.75" 1.375" (size 40)
Unique Features Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet Toe Strap Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed Adjustable straps
Animal Products? Yes Yes No No No


Best Overall Flip Flop for Women


Birkenstock Gizeh


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 9
  • Support - 20% 10
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 9
Footbed Material: Suede-lined cork | Weight (pair): 13.5 ounces
Great support
Stylish
Contoured ergonomic footbed molds to your feet
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 excelled at everything we subjected 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 were repeatedly 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 though, 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 and requires getting used to, but it does soften with time. Those that are patient with this process will be rewarded with the best kind of durable, comfortable, and supportive summer shoe.

Read review: Birkenstock Gizeh

Best Comfort for the Price


OluKai Ohana - Women's


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 10
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Style - 15% 7
Footbed Material: Molded EVA, ICEVA drop-in footbed | Weight (pair): 13.7 ounces
Exceptionally comfortable
Contouring offers more support
Great for wider feet
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 performed admirably through all our tests.

Although it leans towards the pricier side, the Ohana is still an affordable flip for those that want a more durable long-term option. And the heavenly comfort this shoe provides is well worth the fair price tag. It takes a bit of time to dry after getting wet, but this flip feels fantastic to wear regardless. This is a well-constructed sandal that comes in a lot of fun colors and is sure to please for many years to come.

Read review: OluKai Ohana - Women's

Best Bang for Your Buck


Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA


75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Style - 15% 7
Footbed Material: EVA | Weight (pair): 6.5 ounces
Ultra-lightweight
Waterproof
Comfortable
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 price of the original. 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.

Read review: Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA

Support and Style


Merrell Juno Wrap


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Traction - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 10
Footbed Material: EVA | Weight (pair): 16.2 ounces
Super comfortable
Very fashionable
Great uphill traction
Supportive toe strap
Bad downhill traction
Slippery when wet
Not great for advanced activities

If you are looking for a stylish flip for long days that won't ruin your cute summer outfits then look no further than Merrell Juno Wrap. With its hard rubber sawtooth outsole for traction, EVA foam midsole for comfort, and contoured footbed for support, this shoe will have you ready for most any obstacle the day throws at you. The toe strap, while tight at first, loosens up quickly and offers additional stability. The footbed is comfortable right out of the box but forms to the foot after just a few wears, further increasing its comfort.

Walking around your office, the park, or running around doing errands all day is a breeze in the Juno Wrap, but these shoes are not meant for hiking or water. The footbed gets slippery in the presence of moisture and hiking around on steep terrain is a bit difficult. It is also worth noting that the teeth on the outsole angle from the front to the back, which makes them great for walking uphill, but provides less traction when going downhill. These stylish flips may not carry you up a mountain but they don't sacrifice too much function for the sake of fashion.

Read review: Merrell Juno Wrap

Best for Hiking and Scrambling


Astral Rosa


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 6
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Traction - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 9
  • Style - 15% 7
Footbed Material: Dual-density EVA | Weight (pair): 12.7 ounces (with ankle strap)
Extra strap offers versatility and support
Great for hiking and water sports
Durable
Molded ridge at toes is placed awkwardly
Straps can slip
Interior footbed traction could be better

The hybrid Astral Rosa is a game-changer. Say goodbye to the days of needing flip-flops AND sandals — now you can have it all in one. Wear the Rosa without the ankle strap for a simple sporty flip, add the strap for more stability and security when the terrain gets more technical. From the campsite to the trail to the water, this well-tractioned and versatile shoe could become your go-to for every warm-weather activity.

Despite our love for the Rosa, a drawback is that the ankle strap occasionally loosens while walking. We found this complaint voiced in several online customer reviews as well. The molded contour line between the ball of the foot and toes is also awkwardly placed for some people. But in most respects, the pros outweigh the cons. No other model in our review is quite as well-suited for those true adventurers that desire gear that can go the extra mile.

Read review: Astral Rosa

Comfortable Simplicity


Sanuk Yoga Mat


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 30% 9
  • Support - 20% 6
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 8
Footbed Material: EVA (yoga mat material) | Weight (pair): 12.8 ounces
Made from yoga mat material
Comfortable
Wide straps
Very affordable
Lacks support
Subpar traction
Not good for harsh terrain

The Sanuk Yoga Mat is a fun twist on a simple flip. This shoe is made from yoga mat material and is soft, squishy, and forms to the foot like memory foam with every step. While it does not have much in the way of 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 feeling 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 as soon as things get technical it's rendered less functional. 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.

Read review: Sanuk Yoga Mat

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
84
$100
Editors' Choice Award
Stylish, comfortable, and highly supportive, this is an amazing and durable sandal that can handle more activities than you might think
81
$70
Best Buy Award
A superbly comfortable flip flop that handles water well and provides good support
80
$100
Top Pick Award
This flip flop is super stylish without compromising traction, support, or comfort
76
$75
Top Pick Award
With great stability from its ankle strap, good water resistance, and decent traction, this is a must-have for the versatile summer adventurer
75
$45
Best Buy Award
A great way to experience the amazing contouring of a classic Birkenstock without forking over a ton of money
72
$30
Top Pick Award
While it may lack contour, the yoga mat footbed makes for a pleasantly comfortable experience and the wide straps are just the icing on the cake
71
$50
The heavily textured outsole offers great traction to this durable and water resistant shoe
68
$85
The gorgeously stitched model is durable, water-resistant, comfortable, and a real treat for classy feet
67
$60
The incredible comfort, support, and traction of this flip help the wearer forget how unstylish they are
66
$70
Highly stable with impressive traction, it even has built-in orthotics for some of the best support you can get from a flip flop
66
$35
With its thick, soft straps and squishy footbed, this flip flop is an easy one to slip on for any casual occasion
66
$25
A fun and stylish sandal that will mold to your feet over time and won't break the bank
64
$54
For a simple, comfortable, and classy flip-flop that feels great and gets cozier the longer you wear it, look no further
62
$25
This lightweight flip flop is a great option for travel, short walks, household chores and has great traction

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.

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. Whether wading across rivers or walking up dusty trails to a climbing crag, we paid attention to comfort, support, traction, versatility, and style. All-in-all, this comprehensive review should leave you well equipped with the knowledge you might need to acquire the perfect pair of flip flops.

Related: How We Tested Flip-Flop Sandals for Women

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of the pairs we rigorously tested.

Related: Buying Advice for Flip-Flop Sandals for Women

From dry and dusty to wet and muddy, we put our flip flops through...
From dry and dusty to wet and muddy, we put our flip flops through months of obstacles to help you find your perfect pair. Here we have the Astral Rosa tackling a river crossing.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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 when it comes to shoes, there does tend to be a correlation. That being said, certain materials and features that are 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 is a bit more money but offers a more mindfully constructed shoe. And if a squishy foam footbed just won't cut it, the OluKai Ohana, while one more step up the price ladder, offers amazing comfort and far superior durability.

Comfort


The requirements for keeping our feet healthy and happy are different for each person, so assessing this metric is a multifaceted and involved process. Comfort is highly subjective and, as such, the scores we awarded in this category reflect factors observed over time. We took note of how comfortable each pair of flips felt straight out of the box, how cozy they became after some breaking in, and how the materials felt in a variety of 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 were uncomfortable, but some were certainly more luxurious than others. Our favorite in this category is the OluKai Ohana. It certainly provided 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.

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.
Photo: Matthew Blake

A few close runner-ups are the Birkenstock Gizeh, Sanuk Yoga Mat, and OOFOS OOriginal Sport. The Gizeh, as with all Birkenstocks, molds to its owner's feet over time. When the shoe is new, it can feel quite stiff and unfriendly, but with some patience and perseverance, you will be rewarded. 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 hard rubber toe post is the one thing 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. If you love the design and contouring of this shoe 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+.

Breaking in the Gizeh takes a bit of work, but you will be rewarded...
Breaking in the Gizeh takes a bit of work, but you will be rewarded with a cozy supportive sandal that you won't want to take off.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Unlike traditional leather Birkenstocks, the Sanuk Yoga Mat and the OOFOS OOriginal are both comfortable right out of the box. They 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.

The squishy footbed of the OOriginal makes you feel like you&#039;re...
The squishy footbed of the OOriginal makes you feel like you're walking on clouds.
Photo: 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 completely sacrifice foot support. On top of that, many of us spend a good portion of the year in this kind of footwear, and with the nature of warm-weather adventures, you never quite know where the day might take you or what kind of ground you might have to navigate. Better to be ready for anything than cursing your footwear with every step.

To properly test this metric, we went for some rigorous hikes that would ordinarily demand appropriate hiking shoes. We climbed rocks, trudged through mud, and navigated some treacherously steep downhills. We also walked on a lot of hot hard pavement, rode bikes, and even waded around in a river. All in all, we put these shoes through an intense testing process, learning a ton about their strengths and weaknesses in the process.


The Gizeh, with its strategically contoured footbed, is an understandable winner in this category. Even before its cork-lined suede molded to our anatomy, we noticed 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 Gizeh gets broken in and personalized, these qualities continue to improve. Whether on a hiking trail or strolling through town, this shoe does not disappoint.

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.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The Merrell Juno Wrap is another surprisingly supportive option. It can be difficult to find support in such a stylish shoe, but Merrell blew this one out of the water. With its contoured footbed, EVA midsole, and secure toe strap, this fashionable flip flop will have you feeling secure in more than just your outfit choice.

The Juno Wrap is supportive and stylish.
The Juno Wrap is supportive and stylish.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The Astral Rosa also scores high in this category, offering something none of the other contenders does: a removable ankle strap that converts a basic flip into a full-on adventure-ready sandal. No matter what you have in store for the day, the Rosa can be ready. Without the strap, the Rosa wouldn't have scored so well, but with it we were impressed.

From the river to the trail, the Rosa is great for the versatile...
From the river to the trail, the Rosa is great for the versatile summer adventurer and weekend warrior.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.

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.
Photo: Matthew Blake

A few other runner-ups in this category are the OluKai Ohana, Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA, and the Chaco Lowdown Flip. All three of these have one thing in common — their curves. Each one has a unique and supportive contoured footbed. The Gizeh EVA offers the same contoured 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 Lowdown has a classic Chaco footbed shape but is a bit thicker than their more basic flips. It is worth noting, however, that the Lowdown does not have any stretch, so size up if you are on the fence.

The Chaco Lowdown Flips take a moment to break in but that foot...
The Chaco Lowdown Flips take a moment to break in but that foot contouring is very supportive.
Photo: 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 too, 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 did decently, but a handful rose to the top and impressed us with their extra stickiness.

There's a second piece to this as well: it's easy to think about traction as only a bottom-of-the-sole thing, also known as the outsole, but in actuality, a leading cause of slipping and sliding when wearing a flip flop or sandal is a lack of traction on the interior footbed. This is something we took note of during muddy hikes and river walks, as well as when we walked around town looking for a bite to eat.


The Astral Rosa is great for hiking and scrambling mainly because its optional ankle strap adds excellent security and footbed traction. A sandal with a backstrap will always feel stickier than a regular flip flop, and, when assessing this flip without the ankle strap, we found it considerably less impressive than several other models in our review. That said, the outsole traction is decent enough and the full package is divine.

The Rosa has excellent traction with its supplemental ankle strap...
The Rosa has excellent traction with its supplemental ankle strap and just mediocre traction without.
Photo: matthew blake

The Chaco Lowdown is another high scorer in this category. The hard outsole rubber has sharp edges and deep grooves which help get a grip on loose or slippery terrain. The straps are tight and the contoured and textured footbed also helps keep the foot from slipping out. The Crocs Kadee II had us very surprised. It is a minimalist shoe but the outsole traction is impressive. The bottom is littered with small cleat-like pegs made from the same soft material as the rest of the shoe. Somehow these flips provided optimal traction in mud, water, and on loose terrain. It is worth noting, however, that the footbed traction on these puppies is less impressive.

The Crocs Kadee offer surprisingle good traction.
The Crocs Kadee offer surprisingle good traction.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The Juno Wrap and Tide II are also worth mentioning. The Juno is equipped with a sawtooth outsole which is great for walking uphill on loose terrain, however, walking downhill is a different story and ultimately the reason it didn't score higher. The Tide 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 Merrell Juno Wrap offers great traction for such a fashion...
The Merrell Juno Wrap offers great traction for such a fashion forward shoe.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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. Sometimes when you're out for, what was supposed to be a dry, flat walk, your adventure takes a turn and has you crossing rushing rivers 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 made 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 utilized each shoe for its intended use, but that was less exciting.


Our clear winner in this category is the Astral Rosa. The Rosa won by a landslide and it's all due to that removable heel strap we keep talking about. This strap makes scrambling around uneven, steep terrain or through water a breeze. On top of that, it's removable if you decide you want a simple, strapless flip, though threading it in and out of the main straps can be a pain. We found the simplest way to wear it in "flip flop mode" was to just push the ankle strap forward and slide the foot in underneath.

The Rosa takes the cake for versatility with its removable ankle...
The Rosa takes the cake for versatility with its removable ankle strap.
Photo: Matthew Blake

A few runner-ups are the Gizeh Essentials EVA and the Chaco Lowdown. The waterproofness plus the comfort of the Gizeh EVA gives it a leg up, making it a great option for lake hangs and city strolls alike. The Lowdown offers a little better traction and therefore is a better option for outdoor shenanigans.

The Sanuk Yoga Mat is one flip that took us by surprise in the versatility department. It does not have particularly great outsole traction, but we found that in our months of hands-on testing, this was the shoe we reached for most often. It is 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 for your daily endeavors. It would have scored higher if we felt it could truly handle more demanding terrain, but it's meant for cozy plushness and in that department it more than delivers.

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.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Style


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


The clear winner in this category is Juno Wrap. It is equal parts elegant and edgy. The slight platform, spiked sawtooth outsole, and contrast midsole give this shoe a unique look that says I am ready for anything and I'm going to look good while doing it. We found this shoe to easily complete any outfit.

The Juno Wrap look great with everything.
The Juno Wrap look great with everything.
Photo: Matthew Blake

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 in the beginning, 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.

The well constructed Gizeh gives any outfit a classic and timeless...
The well constructed Gizeh gives any outfit a classic and timeless look.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The OluKai Paniolo is another high scorer in the style category. The beautiful stitching on the footbed, hand-wrapped toe post, high-quality materials, and vibrant colors combine to deliver a truly lovely shoe that our testers loved. 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.

Who doesn&#039;t love a gorgeous summer shoe that will get better-looking...
Who doesn't love a gorgeous summer shoe that will get better-looking and more comfortable the longer you wear it? The Paniolo is an impressive leather flip with artful detailing.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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 plastic one.

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.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The Teva Olowahu also finishes right up near the top for this category. With cute interlaced straps and a cushy foam footbed, this is an easy sandal to love. Whether you're sporting 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 found that on some foot shapes the pinkie toe tends to pop out the side, so be aware that these straps, cute as they are, won't work for everybody.

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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


Finding just an ordinary pair of flip flops for warm weather is by no means difficult, but finding a pair 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 did 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!

The right flip flop can make or break an outdoor adventure.
The right flip flop can make or break an outdoor adventure.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Hayley Thomas & Penney Garrett