7 Best Flip Flops for Men
The flip flop has come a long way from the under $10 rubber "thong". Now, flip flops feature orthotic footbeds, arch support, and can cost as much as $180 for premium leather styles.
From the Editor: For seven years I owned and operated a store that sold exclusively flip flops on one of the busiest streets in the world, Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, Hawaii. My store, aptly named Flip Flop Shops, sold exclusively the “hottest brands and latest styles” of flip flops. We sold everything from the durable $28 Scott Hawaii rubber slippahs to $190 high end OluKai leather formal flip flops.
If you aren’t familiar with Hawaii retail, here are some stats for you. Kalakaua Ave is ranked as one of the Top 5 Retail Streets in the World. It is often compared to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The daily average number of visitors on Oahu is 120,248. In July 2022, roughly 919,514 people visited Oahu.
This high rent district meant I needed to find the absolute best flip flops to win sales over other major retailers that occupied the famous street. I carried over twenty different brands, hundreds of styles, and sold roughly 2,500 pairs of flip flops every month. All out of a modest 600 sq/ft storefront that backed up to the world famous Waikiki Beach.
Having sold flip flops to over 100,000 customers, I’ve become somewhat of a flip flop aficionado. Using my tenured experience in flip flops, I decided to share the 7 best flip flops for men based on the trends I’ve witnessed first hand over the years.
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In the sultry summer months, flip flops are the footwear of choice for many people looking for a relaxed, comfortable shoe option. But have you ever wondered about the history of this beloved sandal? Let me take you on a journey, my friends, to the roots of the flip flop. The earliest known record of flip flops dates back to ancient Egypt, where they were worn by the royalty and the elite.
Over time, the simple sandal made its way around the world, taking on different forms and names. From the Zori in Japan to Havaianas in Brazil, there is no denying the global popularity of this humble but mighty slipper. And, if you were like me and grew up in the suburbs, chances are you even heard them called “thongs” before too.
Let’s talk about flip flops, the unsung heroes of our summer wardrobe. Have you ever wondered just how many pairs are sold each year? Well, the answer might surprise you. Apparently, Globally over 3 billion pairs of flip flops annually! That’s enough to circle the Earth four times with the iconic footwear.
It’s not hard to see why they are such a summer staple; they’re easy to slip on, come in a variety of colors, and keep your feet cool in hot weather. So, with so many options, what is the best flip flop for men? Before we can answer this, let’s review some basics about the iconic flip flop.
Flip flops are footwear that has become a popular choice for casual wear in warm weather. They are made from a variety of materials, including rubber, foam, and leather. If you’re a flip flop fanatic like myself, consider having one of each for a different occasion.
Rubber the most common material used, as it provides a comfortable fit and flexibility for the foot. An iconic summer footwear item, they come in a variety of colors, styles and sizes, making them a perfect choice for any occasion.
Made from rubber, these shoes are both lightweight and flexible; the rubber sole helps to provide traction while walking on wet surfaces like sidewalks and beaches.
Ethylene-vinyl acetate. also known as EVA, is a type of foam material used in the manufacturing of flip flops. EVA is lightweight, durable and provides excellent cushioning and support to the foot. Because of this superior cushioning and support, EVA is often used for the sole of flip flops.
The foam is made from a combination of ethylene and vinyl acetate copolymers which are melted together and then foamed into small pellets. These pellets are then molded into various shapes to create the sole of the flip flop.
EVA foam offers superior shock absorption and flexibility compared to other materials, making it a popular choice for those looking for comfort in their footwear. Additionally, its ability to withstand temperature fluctuations makes it an ideal choice for use in all climates.
Leather flip flops are a stylish and comfortable choice for warm-weather wear. Unlike rubber, foam or plastic flip flops, leather provides an extra level of breathability and flexibility to ensure your feet stay cool even in the hottest summer days. Leather is also water-resistant, although pool and salt water will cause additional wear.
The durable material ensures longer lasting wear than other materials, so you can trust that your leather flip flops will be able to handle sand, sun and city streets with ease. Additionally, leather is a luxurious material that comes in an array of colors and textures so you can customize your look and find a style that suits your unique fashion sense.
Beach weddings are becoming increasingly popular due to the relaxed yet beautiful atmosphere they offer. To ensure you look your best without seeming overdressed, consider breathable fabrics like linen and cotton paired with some formal flip flops like the Mea Ola by Olukai.
In addition to making amazing leather flip flops, OluKai offers sneakers that are perfect for Hawaiian Formal events.
Arch support flip flops provide superior comfort and support for your feet that you don’t find with a traditional flat-soled flip flop. The EVA foam footbed evenly distributes pressure, providing arch support and reducing fatigue.
Brands like TEVA feature a unique tread pattern on the outsole to provide extra traction, making them ideal for walking on slippery surfaces or wearing during outdoor activities like camping or hiking.
The versatility, insane comfort, and durability makes the HOKA Recovery Slide the best flip flop for men in 2023. While it might sound silly naming a slide the “best flip flop”, there is good reason why we choose the Hoka. Because of the versatility of the Recovery Slide, it outranked the competition in every category.
The style of the Hoka fits with the current bold trend in footwear. Having a heavy lug look gives Hoka Recovery Slides an edge. Combine the on-trend look with the optionality to pair socks with the slides and you have yourself a winner.
The Hoka Recovery Slides are crafted with a combination of technical features and comfort-oriented design. From fit to durability, this flip flop can go the distance. While traditional EVA sandals will continue to break-in past the point of a perfect fit, Hoka slides seem to maintain their comfort level for much longer.
As an active outdoorsman and avid runner, having a comfortable pair of flip flops is a necessity. I’ve worn the Hoka Recovery Slides for a few years now and can not get enough of them. Living in New York City now, I really appreciate the extra height off the city streets that you get with Hoka Recovery Slides. Also, not living in Hawaii full time has opened my mind to why slides are so popular – because you can wear socks comfortably with them!
One of the most iconic flip flops. Created in collaboration with professional surfer Mick Fanning, the Reef Fanning features a bottle cap opener on the bottom of the flip flop. There have been millions of Fanning flip flops sold, likely due to the innovative bottle opener feature.
As well as always having a bottle opener close by, the Fanning is also a very comfortable flip flop. The raised heel provides impact support and contours to your arch the more you walk in them. One of the best design features is the wide strap that tapers in towards the toe post.
Editor Notes: It surprised me just how many people had never seen this flip flop before when I owned and operated my retail store. The reaction of customers when I showed them there is a bottle opener on the bottom of a flip flop was priceless.
The timeless style of the OluKai Ohana flip flops blends comfort and resort aesthetic. Based on a “wet sand footprint”, the footbed has intentional curves to mimic what is supposed to be the optimal contour for your foot.
OluKai flip flops are meticulously crafted using the highest quality materials. The soles are made from a special blend of foam and rubber, which gives them optimum flexibility and support for all-day comfort. The straps are typically constructed from recycled polyester webbing, but may also be made from leather, canvas or nylon depending on the type of flip flop. This material is chosen to ensure maximum durability and breathability.
The construction process begins with cutting out the sole in the desired size and shape. Once this is done, holes are punched into the midsole where the straps can thread through. After all of the pieces have been securely fastened together, adhesive is applied for additional reinforcement before it goes to packaging. Finally, each pair of OluKai flip flops undergoes a careful inspection to ensure that they uphold their commitment to providing impeccable craftsmanship and quality products.
The OluKai Ohana was one of the best sellers when I owned my retail stores. Because of the unique footbed shape, customers notice the difference in comfort immediately after trying them on. I personally like the Hokua better however. I find that the slightly wider strap on the Hokua is more comfortable and the outsole provides better traction on wet surfaces. You can read my OluKai Ohana Review article here for more details on this flip flop.
If you are a fan of classic foam flip flops then the Teva Mush is for you. Created with a cloud like Mush EVA foam, the Teva Mush gradually molds to your foot as you wear them. The result, a perfect mold of your foot. Once broken in, these flip flops feel as though they were custom fitted to your foot.
While the soft EVA molds quickly to your foot, these flip flops keep breaking in around your foot. Eventually, the footbed reaches the rubber outsole and it is time for a new pair. If you’re wearing flip flops to the pool or casually around the house, the Teva Mush are perfect for you.
Editor Notes: I personally love these flip flops. I’ve tried dozens of other brands EVA flip flops that looks similar and none can compare to the Teva Mush. There is something about their blend of EVA that just makes these flip flops so much more comfortable.
Havaianas separate themselves from themselves pack of other rubber flip flop competitors by manufacturing their flip flops with natural rubber gum. Founded in Brazil in 1962, the word Havaianas is Portuguese for Hawaiians.
After seeing the Japanese Zori in Hawaii the founder of Havaianas, Rober Fraser got to work on developing Brazil’s own modern flip flop. Inspired by the woven footbed of the Zori that provided excellent traction, Fraser incorporated this pattern on the top of Havaianas. Being crafted from natural rubber gum, Havaianas are extremely durable compared to other rubber flip flops.
Editor Notes: I’ve heard from hundreds of customers that Havaianas are the only flip flop they will ever wear. Personally, I can’t stand the fit. I’ve never had a pair that actually stayed on my foot without my heel falling off the side.
The footbed is made from beer cozy material. As you would expect, the flip flop is very squishy and fun to wear. If you want the softest flip flop, this is the one for you. Crafted as the brother style to the Women’s Yoga Mat, this flip flop has won the hearts of thousands.
One of the most subtle but amazing features of the Beer Cozy is the strap. Where to toe post is sewn to the strap is a common problem area for most people. The rough thread can cause blistering and irritation. The Sanuk Beer Cozy has the thread under a layer of neoprene so no threads are visible when you look under the strap. What this does is provide a very soft feel and eliminates irritation that would normally occur. Pure genius!
Editor Notes: Having a retail store that backs up to one of the most famous beaches in the world, you see a lot of interesting things. When the Beer Cozy first came out the glue that was used had a funny reaction when it was soaked in water. It would produce more suds than a bubble bath as you walked.
Despite some of the early hardships in manufacturing, the Beer Cozy would become one of the best selling flip flops. It started to make sense as I traveled to the mainland more. Being in hot shoes all day is brutal. Taking off said shoes and stepping into a pair of Sanuk Beer Cozy flip flops is like walking on clouds with a soft, cool breeze on your toes.
Designed from a special foam that is said to absorb 37% more impact than typical foam, the OOFOS OOahh sandals are a popular choice among athletes. Stepping into a pair of OOFOS after a hard workout is like walking on clouds.