The 10 Best Men’s Flip-Flops of 2021

The perfect pairs for every occasion and activity

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TRIPSAVVY-best-men's-flip-flops

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

The Rundown

Best Overall: Sanuk Beer Cozy Primo at Amazon

"Mimics the soft and durable materials used in cozies that wrap around aluminum cans."

Best Style: Havaianas Aloha Flip-Flops at Havaianas

"Made of 100 percent PVC with a cushioned footbed and a rubber sole and synthetic uppers."

Best Splurge: Birkenstock Como Flip-Flop at Amazon

"The strap rides can be adjusted with a metal pin buckle to help achieve the optimal fit."

Best for Comfort: Crocs Santa Cruz Canvas Flip at Zappos

"A great balance of support and comfort with a fairly low profile."

Best Eco-Friendly: Indosole ESSNTLS Flip-Flop at Amazon

"Embedded arch support provides comfort, with a contoured footbed and a nylon toe thong."

Best Leather: Reef Draftsmen at Amazon

"A hash-and-wave pattern in the non-marking outsole provides solid grip."

Best for Wide Feet: OluKai Ulele at Zappos

"Delivers a water-ready pair of flip-flops with a wider-than-average footbed to accommodate larger feet."

Best for Travel: Nike On Deck at Nordstrom

"These flip-flops hit the sweet spot between cost and performance."

Best Active: Oboz Selway Sandal at Amazon

"The outsole has heel and forefoot surface areas built for max grip."

Best for Pools: Hunter Original Beach Flip Flops at Hunter

"A molded EVA outsole provides the right degree of support and comfort."

Flip-flops might seem like the most straightforward type of footwear, but not all pairs are created equal—the best offer serious arch support to fight foot fatigue, grip confidently even in wet or muddy environments, provide cushion to soften the blow of rocks, pack down easily, and add a touch of style to your next outing. These are the best men’s flip-flops.

Best Overall: Sanuk Beer Cozy Primo

Sanuk took their already-popular Beer Cozy flip-flops, which mimic the soft and durable materials used in cozies that wrap around aluminum cans, and upgraded them to create the Beer Cozy Primo. Comfort underfoot is assured thanks to that proprietary material, with a blown rubber outsole that’s 47 percent recycled, along with a bit of straw and 47 percent virgin rubber for hours of support. The leather upper is responsibly sourced and comes with a jersey lining and a nylon webbing toe post to avoid chafing. This pair will also stand up to the elements, while a slight arch cookie offers comfort and support right out of the box. And while open-toe shoes definitely don’t fly in all locales, the understated aesthetic makes this pair a less casual option without being stiff.

Best Style: Havaianas Aloha Flip-Flops

Havaianas Aloha Flip-Flops

Courtesy of Havaianas

Introduced by a Brazilian company in 1962, the design of Havaianas flip-flops was modeled after a traditional Japanese Zori sandal, which is made with a rice straw platform. Havainas took that inspiration and introduced rubber soles that have patterns akin to rice grains, an aesthetic that remains today.

These simple flip-flops are made of 100 percent PVC with a cushioned footbed and a rubber sole and synthetic uppers. Travel writer Tim Neville typically avoids flip-flops, preferring water shoes or sport sandals with ankle straps, but says that the Havaianas are great as camp shoes when backpacking because they’re light and easy to carry.

The Havaianas also win serious style points thanks to the vast array of pattern options—everything from tropical prints to camo. Note that the sizing follows Brazilian measurements; an online size guide will help you find the optimal fit.

Best Splurge: Birkenstock Como Flip-Flop

Birkenstock sandals are a go-to footwear option for many travelers, and the Como Flip-Flop is no exception. The EVA sole tapers as it gets closer to the toe so you won’t catch the tip of the flip-flop on anything while walking. The suede lining amps the comfort in addition to the anatomically shaped cork/latex footbed that insulates, breathes well, and is prized for its long-lasting performance. The Nuback leather upper comes with a gently buffed surface with no grains, treated to shrug off moisture, and the straps can be adjusted with a metal pin buckle to help achieve the optimal fit.

Best for Comfort: Crocs Santa Cruz Canvas Flip

Crocs Santa Cruz Canvas Flip

Courtesy of Crocs

Crocs uses its proprietary “Dual Crocs Comfort” in the Santa Cruz Flips, making them one of the most comfortable, soft, and supportive designs available. Travel writer John Briley loves this Croc-specific tech, saying it offers a great balance of support and comfort with a fairly low profile. "The footbed has little beaded patterns on all the pressure points, so I feel like my feet are getting a micro-massage when I walk around—and I’ve walked in these things on beaches, trails, parks, and pool sides from Hawaii to Brazil," says Briley. The proprietary Croslite foam material on the outsole is buoyant and waterproof, a slight rise in the toe offers a bit of protection, and the frayed canvas straps come with a bit of extra room, ideal to accommodate wider feet.

Best Eco-Friendly: Indosole ESSNTLS Flip-Flop

While defining its process of creating footwear, Indosole looked to nature as a “zero-waste, non-polluting system.” That inspiration led the company to transform recycled tires bound for landfills and rebuild the rubber from scratch via their Sole Engineering Tire Technology, creating a malleable tire gel.

Today, every pair of sandals and flip-flops that Indosole makes comprises 40 percent recycled tires, 30 percent natural rubber, and 30 percent natural materials, and each pair is hand-crafted, including hand-stitching of the strap by in-house tailors.

The ESSENTLS comes in nine different colorways, but we gravitate toward the stylish-yet-understated two-tone Light Soil. Embedded arch support provides comfort, with a contoured footbed and a nylon toe thong. Each pair is fully waterproof and weighs only 13 ounces.

Best Leather: Reef Draftsmen

The Draftsmen from Reef is a full-grain, sustainably sourced flip-flop. It has a stitch-free leather strap to avoid hot spots and a leather footbed with anatomical arch support for instant comfort and support. A hash-and-wave pattern in the outsole provides solid grip even in wet conditions and also hides one of the more unique features of this shoe—an integrated bottle opener under the arch.

Best for Wide Feet: OluKai Ulele

OluKai Ulele

Courtesy of OluKai

The Ulele from OluKai delivers a pair of flip-flops with a wider-than-average footbed to accommodate larger feet. The synthetic straps have been laser-cut for a precise fit, and the water-resistant microfiber lining adds comfort that’s further enhanced by a compression-molded EVA midsole and a smooth, anatomically contoured footbed. Underfoot you’ll find the brand’s “Wet Grip Rubber,” which features razor siping similar to the outsole of your favorite sneaker for reliable traction on even the most slippery conditions.

Best for Travel: Nike On Deck

Nike On Deck

Courtesy of Nike

These flip-flops hit the sweet spot between cost and performance. A rounded toe post reduces chafing, and a reinforced foam midsole provides lightweight cushioning and support without too much bulk or weight. Underneath, a waffle-inspired tread gives you traction on slick surfaces. They come in six different colors, but we vote the retro-classic blue, white, and red.

Best Active: Oboz Selway Sandal

Active travelers need a pair of flip-flops designed to move with their every step. Oboz’s Selway Sandal provides that thanks to its nylon/polyester double-weave straps that stretch just the right amount, so you never have to worry about resistance, friction, or blisters. The straps are anchored by a strong single post, and the outsole has heel and forefoot surface areas built for max grip with a mid-foot tread for added flexibility. The whole flip-flop rests on the brand’s award-winning O FIT insole, one of the best designs in the outdoor space, which joins forces with a single-density EVA midsole for hours upon hours of comfort in practically any circumstance, whether it’s a mud-clogged backcountry trail or an uncluttered boardwalk.

Best for Pools: Hunter Original Flip-Flop

Hunter Original Flip-Flop

Courtesy of Hunter

If you're searching for a simple pair to comfortably get from the hotel to the pool (and possibly also the beach and the bar), Hunter’s Original Flip-Flop is the perfect choice. A molded EVA outsole provides the right degree of support and comfort with a soft rubber strap and a lightweight footbed that keeps you moving. The Original is also certified vegan, and the water-friendly flip-flops can be easily wiped clean after a day at the pool.

Final Verdict

Sanuk’s Beer Cozy Primo (view at Amazon) are some of the plushest flip-flops available with a responsibly sourced leather upper that’s jersey-lined to avoid blisters and a slight bit of arch support to fend off tired feet. They’re also made with 47 percent recycled materials. But if you’re looking for a simple pair of flip-flops, Havaianas (view at Havaianas) work wonderfully. The 100 percent PVC footbed provides cushioning with a distinctive underfoot pattern similar to rice grains for added traction. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns and are lightweight and easy to pack.

What to Look For in Men's Flip Flops

Fit

Look for flip-flops that have a wide footbed and ones that provide a bit of distance between your big toe and tip of the flip-flop to avoid stubbing. Most also come with anatomical midsoles, which lets the footwear cradle your feet to increase comfort, a bonus if you’re wearing them for hours on end. Toe straps should feel secure, but not too tight; if it feels loose while walking, you risk chafing and blisters.

Materials

Most flip-flops are made of synthetic rubber that’s either post-recycled material or “virgin,” but some brands also use cork for the footbeds because it’s more environmentally sound. Midsoles are typically constructed of EVA to provide cushion and comfort, though more streamlined versions rely on rubber’s naturally forgiving nature. Leather is another option, which delivers more on style and durability. Other flip-flops use foam or neoprene, the latter of which stands up to water really well.

Grip

The amount of grip you need in a pair largely depends on where you plan to wear them. If your travel aspirations are decidedly aquatic, look for flip-flops that have a bit of tread to help navigate water-covered surfaces like wood decks, pool sides, and outdoor tiles. If you want to head into the backcountry, or if getting to the beach means navigating through a network of sand dunes, added grip—typically provided via lugs or treads integrated into the outsole—will help provide traction, especially in muddy conditions. Urban explorers can likely split the difference and look for pairs that have a bit of extra traction without being too rugged to keep the weight down.

FAQs

How much should I pay for a good pair of flip-flops?

Cheap flip-flops in terms of price are likely also cheap in make and material. They’ll introduce chafing within 30 minutes and won’t last more than a season. Instead, plan to invest at least $20 for a reliable pair of flip-flops and upwards of $100 if you need a pair that comes with tech features like anatomical footbeds, denser midsoles, grippy outsoles, and higher-quality materials like full-grain leather.

Are flip-flops really travel-friendly?

Most seasoned travelers would advise you not to take flip-flops as your only footwear, even if you’re only heading from the airport to the resort, because of how exposed your feet are to the elements. But they absolutely have a place in most travelers' suitcases. They’re typically lightweight and easy to pack, provide simple and very airy protection that shoes or sandals can’t replicate, and are also a a great “camp” shoe or an after-activity option when you want to kick off your hiking boots and chill. They’re also arguably the best way to get from your lodging to the pool and back.

How sustainable are flip-flops?

That depends on the ones you want to buy. Most are made with “virgin” (or new) materials, but plenty of brands pride (and, yes, market) themselves on making more eco-friendly flip-flops by either using recycled rubbers, lower-impact items like cork, or vegan-certified elements that generate a lower carbon footprint. And most brands now responsibly source organic materials like leather.

Why Trust TripSavvy

The writer of this round-up has been testing, rating, and reviewing outdoor and travel products for decades, including putting in literal miles in all types of footwear, including an array of flip-flops. In evaluating each product, he consulted real-world travelers, professional travel writers, and footwear experts, and also did research into both professional reviews as well as those from verified customers.

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