Buying Guide for Flip-Flops for Women
Why buy flip-flops?
Flip-flops are an essential part of footwear that works for various occasions. Especially if you plan to spend time around the water, a good pair of flip-flops will allow you to seamlessly transition from the water to dry land without the risk of damaging a pair of shoes by leaving the interior wet. In some cases, you can even find flip-flops with supportive insoles, which can be a major upgrade from the basic, flat flip-flops, which may not be ideal for everyone to wear.
What should you consider when shopping for flip-flops?
- Support: Flip-flops are notoriously on the podiatrist’s no-no list because of their traditional lack of support. However, these days, thanks to brands like Fit Flop and many more, you can find flip-flops that do feature critical heel, arch, and instep support. In some cases, you can even find options that come with memory foam or EVA insoles. If you’re shopping for flip-flops and happen to be pregnant, skip the classic flat models and opt for ones that feature better insole support, as the classic versions are not approved for pregnancy.
- Straps: Classic flip-flops feature a simple thong design with two straps that split and wrap around the front of your foot between the big toe and the rest of your toes. You can also find flip-flops that have more straps if you’re concerned about your shoe slipping off your foot. Additionally, you can even find flip-flops with gladiator-style ankle straps.
- Material: Material and price will typically go hand in hand for flip-flops. Classic options usually feature foam design with a rubber or even plastic thong straps. However, flip-flops can also be made from leather and vegan leather and feature fabric straps if you prefer.
- Height: A basic flip-flop can be anywhere from 0.25 to 0.50 inches in height, but you can opt for platform flip-flops or heeled options. If you want comfort, a platform will be preferable as your foot will be level (or at least have more support under the heel) versus heeled flip-flops.
- Design: Flip-flops don’t have to look basic if you don’t want them to. A classic option will feature simple straps, but you can find flip-flops with more stylized straps or metal accents in the toe box.
Why are pregnant women discouraged from wearing flip-flops?
Pregnancy brings a lot of changes, one of which is a shifting center of gravity, loosening joints, and increased pressure on your feet. Traditionally, flip-flops are not considered a supportive shoe for anyone, male or female, because the classic versions offer little to no support. Especially for pregnant women, that lack of support can worsen back, leg, and foot pain. The flat footbed can sometimes make a pregnant woman’s arches flatter, thanks to loosening ligaments and joints.
Our Picks for the Best Flip-Flops for Women
KuaiLu Women's Flip-Flops
Flip-flops that your podiatrist would recommend.
Pros: If you want a supportive flip-flop, this pick from KuaiLu is an excellent option, thanks to the innovative footbed. It features a comfortable yoga mat material insole cushioned and designed to provide arch support and make you feel like you’re walking on air. They’re also water-resistant, making them perfect for the beach. They’re ideal for anyone with foot problems or pregnant women who need additional support.
Cons: While these are comfortable in support, the straps are made from vinyl rather than fabric. As a result, it can grab at your skin and even rub against it, potentially leading to blisters.
Bottom Line: If you need a supportive flip-flop that won’t worsen foot problems, this pair of yoga mat insole flip-flops from KuaiLu is a solid option.
Hinyyrin Women's Summer Rhinestone Bling Wedding Sandals,Glitter Jeweled Sandals,Dressy Flat Sandals,Beach Flip-Flops, Size 11 Silver
A fashion-forward style that's perfect for casual or nicer events.
Pros: For those who despise basic flip-flops, you’ll appreciate this stylized version from Hinyyrin. Available in 13 colors, you’ll get a t-strap style pair of sandals with cute rhinestone crystals decorating the strap. They also feature a rubber sole for better grip and have a soft insole for added comfort.
Cons: Although cute, these shoes lack support and may be difficult to wear if you already struggle with foot problems. Likewise, the t-strap can be difficult for some people to wear, depending on the shape of your foot.
Bottom Line: If you want to put a little sparkle into your footwear, this is a cute option that will elevate even a basic white tee and jeans.
Soda Oxley Women's EVA Slip-On Flip-Flop Platforms
A '90s throwback gets reborn for a new generation.
Pros: Depending on your age, you might remember when platform sandals were the “in” style through the late ’90s into the early ’00s. If you miss your platform sandals, they’re back and virtually unchanged from their predecessors. This 100% synthetic shoe is ideal for everyone, including vegans, and features a thick sole that measures from 2.75 to three inches from the toe box to the heel.
Cons: While cute and relatively comfortable, these aren’t always practical, especially if you’re a fast walker. While lightweight, the soles may tend to deteriorate quickly. The sizing could be a bit off, and the straps may break.
Bottom Line: If nostalgia is calling your name or you didn’t already live through the ’90s, these platform flip-flops from Soda are a fun way to channel that era.
Reef Women's Bliss Nights Sandals
An understated sandal that works for most occasions.
Pros: If you’re shopping for a shoe designed to last but is also understated and can work in a wider range of settings, these Bliss Nights Sandals from Reef are a solid choice. Made with a vegan leather upper and a rubber lower, you’ll get a pair of flip-flops designed to be comfy from the first time you wear them. You’ll also get a supportive EVA footbed, making them a better option for people with foot problems or pregnant women.
Cons: While comfortable and vegan-friendly, these may be too understated for a flip-flop. Unless you’re focused on foot support, you may feel they’re too expensive for what you’re getting.
Bottom Line: You don’t have to get an oversized flip-flop to get comfort and support, as evidenced by this pick from Reef. The vegan materials can make this a solid option for anyone who shops with prioritized ethics.
Pevino Women's Orthotic Flip-Flops
A casual shoe that's designed so that you feel like you're walking on clouds.
Pros: Classic thong sandals don’t have to lead to foot pain. This simple set from Pevino is designed to incorporate orthotics and be functional. Thanks to their quick-dry design, they’re perfect for use around the water. You’ll like that there’s no breaking-in period, too. You’ll get four layers of waterproof EVA, arch support, and serious traction to walk confidently.
Cons: If you want something a bit more stylish with orthotic support, this shoe is unfortunately not going to be a fit, no pun intended. Additionally, some people noted that these shoes might run a bit big, leaving you with extra toe room.
Bottom Line: Comfort and classic thong sandals are a thing thanks to this pair from Pevino, which features four layers of EVA material.
Flip-flops are a staple piece of footwear for most women. Whether you like them sparkly and fashion-forward or an essential pair that can easily be used for getting a pedicure or hanging out at the beach, flip-flops are a part of our collective psyche.