Featuring a thin rubber sole with either a single or Y-shaped strap, this onomatopoeic shoe is the ultimate summertime accessory. When it comes to the beach and pool, no other shoe will do.
It’s hard to imagine beach life before the flip flop made an appearance, but it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the simple slip-on shoe gained a foothold in the Western world. While you can pick up flip flops for next to nothing at a beach stall, the cheapest varieties are prone to falling apart, encouraging blisters and making a real racket. It’s worth picking up a quality pair of flip flops that will last you through the summer and beyond. To help make the decision easier, we’ve picked five of the best flip flop brands for women, based on style, comfort and value for money.
Havaianas are synonymous with flip flops – often interchangeable too. Founded in 1962, the Havaianas was the first company to mass-produce flip flops out of rubber. The original shape was inspired by the Japanese zori shoe. Today, there are dozens of styles and colours to choose from. There are three different strap widths to choose from and three different heights. You can also select your flip flop based on the ‘moment’ you need it for – beach, city and night. Prices are reasonable, from £25 ($35) so you can afford to buy a couple of pairs too.
Buy at Havaianas.com
For a more upmarket alternative, Birkenstock recently branched into water-resistant footwear and flip flops. There’s a range of style to choose from, including a sporty slider, in a range of cool and quirky colours. The shoes are made from one piece of light, flexible and waterproof moulded EVA, which means you can expect original Birkenstock footbeds for ultimate comfort. The ‘Honolulu’ range is a traditional sporty, thong style sandal and most suited to wearing at the beach or in the garden. With prices from £25 ($35), they’re much more affordable than the original Birkenstock style too.
Buy at Birkenstock.com
Fit Flop has a mission to make cool comfortable – and they’re succeeding, one step at a time. Flip flops are engineered with iQushion™ air-foam cushioning, with impact pillows at high-pressure areas, for non-stop comfort. The shoes automatically shape to your footbed too, with a built-in arch contour that hugs your feet. While they may be ergonomic, they’re far from ugly, available in a range of colours and adorned with charming details, like microcrystals. Flip flops range from £25 ($35) to £40 ($56).
Buy at FitFlop.com
For stylish shoes with soul, Waves comes up trumps. There are surprisingly few sustainable flip flop brands and most recycled footwear tends to be made from recycled plastic, which isn’t a long term solution to the plastic crisis. Waves flip flops, however, are made from 100% natural rubber which breaks down harmlessly in the ground. There’s a good range of colours and patterns on offer, from chic dusty pink to an eyecatching navy and lime. They’re affordably priced too, starting at £20 ($28).
Buy at Waves.co.uk
As the shoe of choice for chefs and nursery teachers, crocs have – unfairly – gained a reputation for being an ugly shoe. But Crocs flip flops for women are stylish, comfortable and very affordable. Prices start at £15 ($23) and there are dozens of designs to choose from. The wedge flip flop is a particularly popular style, giving the legs a little length on the beach. The most stylish ranges feature a thong-style strap but there are sliders and buckles to choose from too.
Buy at Crocs.com