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We’re smack dab in the middle of summer, so we’re already sure of one thing: You broke out the best men’s flip-flops a few months ago. But if you don’t have a pair or are considering moving on from your Gap flip-flops from college, you should grab a pair of the most comfortable flip-flops.
“But I already have the most comfortable flip-flops,” you complain. Maybe, but if you haven’t upgraded or looked or thought about what makes flip-flops comfortable, how would you know? Mostly it comes down to the same two things as always: materials and design.
What Materials Make the Most Comfortable Flip-Flops?
It depends on the price point and kind of flip-flop. But for the most part, most flip-flops rely on the same handful of comfortable and sometimes water-resistant materials. The number one most common material, by far, is EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate.
EVA is basically foam rubber, so it’s soft yet durable and naturally water-resistant. The vast majority of flip-flops use EVA in some way, sometimes in the upper, sometimes in the midsole or even as the outsole and frequently some combination of all of the above. SPY recently chatted about EVA and comfortable footwear with Wade Motawi, a shoe designer with more than 25 years of experience creating shoes and advising footwear brands. Motawi told us that the majority of the most comfortable footwear will use EVA in the midsole to maximize comfort. Motawi runs the Sneaker Factory website and even wrote the book How Shoes Are Made, so we will certainly trust his judgment on that.
Like the most comfortable sneakers, many flip-flops also use their own custom EVA-like foam. Others use memory foam for even more comfort, though there are some tradeoffs with water resistance and smell. Memory foam gets smelly fast.
Finally, some flip-flops use good old-fashioned rubber for outsoles. It’s durable and helps provide support to its typically softer, foamier midsoles.
We Recommend Slides Over Thong-Style Flip Flops
While it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference, in our experience, slides are more comfortable than thong-style straps. Today, the terms “slides” and “flip flops” are used interchangeably, and so we decided to focus mostly on slide-style footwear for this shopping guide. However, given the role personal preference plays, we still included one pick for the most comfortable flip-flops with thong-style straps.
The one drawback to slides? The underside of the strap can dig into your skin, but the most comfortable slides address that issue with soft materials on the underside of the straps. Thong-style straps can’t do that without compromising their durability.
So now that we know the basics of the most comfortable flip-flops, check out our picks to get you through the rest of the summer below.
1. Under Armour Men’s Ignite VI Slide Sandal
When we’re looking for comfort, we can live with trade-offs. That’s why we love the Under Armour Men’s Ignite VI Slide Sandal. These slide flip-flops are designed from top to bottom for comfort. The strap has a soft foam on the underside for non-cutting comfort. The footbed has two layers of foam and anatomical contours for maximum cushioning, and the EVA outsole adds additional support and cushioning. Best of all, the velcro strap allows you to adjust these sandals to find the perfect fit, enhancing comfort. Alas, these sandals will get smelly as the puffy foam absorbs some sweat over time, but we’ll be damned if these aren’t the most comfortable flip-flops around. And, that price? You genuinely can’t beat it.
2. Crocs Crocband Flip-Flops
BEST THONG SANDALS
Say what you will about Crocs, but there’s a good chance if you’re being critical that you’ve never worn Crocs before. In fact, we love them so much that we wrote a love letter to Crocs. We know from wearing them that the Crocs Crocband Flip-Flops are unbelievably comfortable. We think it has to be the brand’s signature Croslite foam since that’s the only thing these sandals are made out of. Thankfully, the foam is extremely comfortable and supportive and completely water-resistant, so these flip-flops will never wear down in water.
There’s only one downside: If you wear these flip-flops for hours or keep wearing the flip-flops after they’re wet without letting them dry a bit, the thong will start to cut into your toes. But overall, these are one of our go-to flip-flops, and they’re one of the most comfortable flip-flops we’ve tested yet.
3. BRONAX Cloud Slides
BEST CLOUD SLIDES
Have you heard of cloud slides yet? We don’t know where they came from, but we’ve recently seen them everywhere. If you’re unfamiliar, cloud slides are essentially EVA flip-flops that make it feel like you’re walking on clouds. They’re exceptionally cushy on the bottom, which helps you feel like you’re floating with every stride. So many different brands claim to be the original “cloud slide,” but we’ve found it doesn’t even matter. Most cloud slides that call themselves cloud slides are the same, whether they’re $100 or $15. This choice from Amazon is a solid, affordable pick that will prioritize your comfort day in and day out.
Read More: The Best Cloud Slides on Amazon
4. Adidas Men’s Adilette Comfort Slide Sandals
BEST FOR ATHLETES
For some pleasantly soft flip-flops, we want to point you toward another great pick from Adidas, the Adidas Men’s Adilette Comfort Slide Sandals. A soft, contoured footbed and EVA-injected outsole provide the support and comfort you need. The stiff rubber upper has fabric on the underside to prevent irritation while remaining durable. Add in the fact that everything is 100% synthetic and therefore water-resistant, and you’ve got another winning pair of flip-flops from Adidas.
5. The North Face Base Camp Flip-Flop II
BEST FOR OUTDOORS
The North Face doesn’t just make items you need to throw on before stepping outside in winter. The Base Camp Flip-Flop II is ideal for anyone looking for a lightweight flip-flop made using recycled materials. Each is built with an EVA footbed with arch support to get you walking much longer than any uncomfortable pair of flip-flops you purchased at some dollar store three years ago. These classic toe thongs will be a must-have no matter where you wear them, so throw them on and get walking.
6. Puma Men’s Cool Cat Hook and Loop Slide Sandal
Sportswear makers know a thing or two about providing comfort to sports-worn feet. These flip-flops lean fully into EVA for the sole, delivering plenty of support for weary feet. The footbed is molded for additional comfort, and the synthetic leather upper is durable, with some foam on the underside for even more comfort.
7. Birkenstock Barbados EVA Sandals
BEST EVERYDAY SHOE
Birkenstock makes more than their go-to cork sandals you see everywhere. The Birkenstock Barbados EVA Sandals are just a great pair of flip-flops overall. They’re lightweight, comfortable, waterproof, machine washable, and offer plenty of cushion and support with their EVA foam sole and signature Birkenstock sole design. And they won’t break down on you after a few months either. If you’ve ever worn Birkenstock’s most famous sandals, you know you can trust the comfort and quality.
Related: The Best Men’s Sandals
8. OOFOS OOAHH Slide Sandal
OOFOS made with OOfoam? Thank goodness. This might sound like gibberish if you don’t know what we’re talking about. Let us explain. OOfoam is a patented foam by OOFos that absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear. So, all your jumps and missteps won’t ever cause your foot pain at all. Even the straps are complete in the material to ensure comfort all day (and night) long.
9. Sperry Men’s Baitfish Thong Sandal
BEST BOAT SHOES
We love flip-flop slides and the Sperry Men’s Baitfish Thong Sandal. These sandals take that classic boat shoe look that Sperry is known for and transforms them into one of the coolest-looking sandals the world has seen. Each flip is made with 100% leather to keep it classy and features rawhide lacing to ensure every step is taken in style. These are perfect for the guy insistent on doing everything in his flip-flops all summer. Yeah, even fancy dinners.
10. Nike Victori One
BEST NIKE SANDALS
You didn’t think we’d forget about Nike, did you? The Nike Victori One is one of Nike’s most comfortable flip-flops for its contoured grip pattern at the sole and responsive foam for added comfort. You can walk around in these all day without getting tired. Plus, that padded strap? Don’t even get us started. That’s not the only thing that makes these flip-flops great: They’re also some of the easiest-to-clean flip-flops you can purchase.
11. Teva Pajaro Sandal
It’s a totally Teva summer. Tevas have risen in popularity over the past two years. We’re not surprised at all by how comfortable and unconventionally good-looking they are. These Tevas come in several colors and are perfect for those who like to go open-toed on hikes. Each sandal is cushioned to put a little more pep in your step, making them great for tons of walking.