Flip Flops

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Once strictly beachwear, the flip flop can take you just about anywhere these days. We take a look at what makes them so flipping appealing.

The Basics

  • Rattan, foam, plastic, or rubber: go for flexibility, give, and springiness for comfort and durability.

  • The beachiest flip flops are completely flat, typically made from plastic, foam or rubber, and come in a rainbow of colours.

  • Dressier options are available with a wedge or kitten heel and made from materials such as leather, patent leather, suede, metallics and other fabrics. They may also be embellished with beads, jewels, charms, buckles and more.

  • Give the toe plug a tug to make sure that it’s fixed into the bottom of the flip flop securely.

  • You want the flip flop to have good bend, if it’s too stiff it won’t be very comfy to walk in and it may end up cracking.


We walked miles in these four pairs of flip flops to see which, if any, we would flip out over:

  • Old Navy (foam): $7
  • Havaianas (rubber): $20
  • Crocs (patented resin): $50
  • Reef (rubber blend): $65

Our tests and results include:

Toughness Test

Our resident physicist created an ingenious test to see just how much pressure our flip flops could endure before the strap and toe plug snapped:

  • The Havaianas stayed intact up to 10 PSI (50 pounds of pressure).

  • The Crocs gave up at about 18 PSI.

  • The Reefs held together until 32 PSI.

  • Old Navy withstood all the testing machine had to offer.

Comfort Test

  • While the Old Navy flip flops were the strongest, they were the least comfortable, almost like walking on concrete.

  • The Crocs were comfortable but scored low on style.

  • The Havaianas were top for style, with the Reefs a close runner up.

  • With a more substantial construction, a slight rise in the heel and a soft toe piece, our podiatrist chose the Reefs.


Our tired feet and our podiatrist agreed that the Reefs were a smart pick.



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