It’s always flip-flop season somewhere. From the Nantahala Outdoor Center to the New River Gorge to Virginia Beach…everybody has to have at least one pair of flip flops in their kit at all times. You’ve got to have flip flops for going out, flip flops for the yard, for the beach, you know the routine. So here’s a roundup of some of the best sandals on the market right now.
This is my new casual, apres workout, gym-style flip flop — billed by the company as a “recovery shoe” that is also available in other styles, specifically designed to allow the body to recover after athletic activity. It is so comfortable and squishy I literally wish I could wear them all the time, but my wife won’t let me.
They are reserved for the parking lot after an 80 mile road ride, for after a long spring ski tour, maybe even for walking home from the gym and around the house. They feature proprietary closed-foam technology molded in one piece with an exclusive footbed design. OOFOS says the foam is 37-percent more absorbent than anything else on the market. They are quite durable and have good traction on wet surfaces. I highly recommend adding a pair of these to your kit, just don’t let us see you wearing them with socks in public. oofos.com
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the super plush leather OluKai Punono ($150), which means gorgeous in Hawaiian — the sandal of choice by the Hawaiian National Lifeguard Association. Need any more endorsement than that? These are my out-on-the-town summer shoes, and you will love showing them off. The leather footbed featues intricate Paniolo-inspired laser-etched artwork, a premium-leather upper and hand-stained outsole. Further refinement includes a hand-stitched toe post and strap stitching detail. An anatomical compression molded EVA midsole is wrapped in full-grain leather; and on the sole you’ll find injected rubber pods with native tapa inspired texture. olukai.com
They feature premium leather uppers and leather footbed in an iconic style, adjustable ankle strap and “durabrasion” rubber outsoles for all conditions. teva.com
The new Freewaters Tallboy ($48) is pretty much the perfect mix of style, sport and comfort. The water friendly leather strap really holds the feet in for vigorous activity, the high-rise midsole provides loads of cushion and arch support, and the “flex-groove” outsole is extremely grippy.
They are animal-product free and a portion of the sale of each pair goes to support clean drinking-water projects worldwide. Visit freewaters.com for more info and to check out their other awesome styles, including a partnership with Thermarest.