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Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best flip flops for men

Flip-flops have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. With their open style and iconic toe post, flip-flops have long represented the height of comfortable, casual summertime footwear. Given their breathability and the ease with which you can put them on and kick them off, they’re a necessity for guys who like to keep their summers fun and simple.

While you can easily find traditional rubber flip-flops, this style of footwear has expanded to include a variety of design elements that provide additional support and comfort for extended wear.

Our buying guide takes you through everything you need to know to find a quality pair of men’s flip-flops that will last for years. In addition to durability, comfort, and sizing, we also examine various price ranges and what you can expect in the way of features in each range. If you’re still unsure, we offer some of our favorites, those men’s flip-flops that our research shows top this footwear niche.

This style of sandal, pictured on the feet of pharaohs in ancient Egyptian murals, dates back to around 4000 BC. 

Key considerations


By their very nature, flip-flops are casual footwear. As such, comfort should be a primary consideration, particularly if you plan to spend much time in them.

Any flip-flops you consider should offer solid construction that’s designed to limit chafing. Lightweight flip-flops can add to your overall comfort, but you don’t want some that are so light that you sacrifice durability. Many flip-flops have cushioning or padding to make them more comfortable too. 

Materials are also key here. For example, leather molds to fit your feet over time, making the flip-flops more comfortable the longer you wear them.


Men’s flip-flop sizes are similar to those for traditional shoes and both the correct length and width of the flip-flops are important for a proper fit. Men with wider feet want to be sure that the footbed is wide enough and that the flip-flop straps are large enough to fit comfortably or are adjustable.

The seller should offer a detailed sizing guide with any listing so that you know you’re buying the right size sandals.


Inexpensive flip-flops are notorious for lasting a season — maybe two — before the sole gives out or a toe post breaks. If you pay more for a pair of flip-flops, you should expect more in terms of durability. Here again, materials can be key, particularly in the outsoles. Something like cork or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) provides a more rugged design that tends to hold up through more seasons. Other factors, such as going with a trusted brand and buying flip-flops that include a warranty, can narrow your search to only the most durable models.


Traditionally, men’s flip-flops offered little in terms of style options. While you can still go minimal, today’s flip-flops come in a wide range of styles. While they’re still unmistakably casual, many flip-flops on the market now are a bit classier and “dressier” and include contrast stitching, materials such as leather and faux leather, and unique design elements like squared-off heels.

There are also many color and print options to choose from. Most prints have a tropical theme, such as flamingoes, fish, or nautical elements. You can also find florals, although these are less common in flip-flops for men.

Did You Know?
For a flip flop that is more environmentally friendly, choose a pair crafted from recycled materials like old tires.



The soles of flip-flops are made up of several different layers. The key to buying the right sandal is to know what to look for in each layer. Together, the soles should be comfortable, flexible, and supportive.

Insole: The part of the flip-flop that is in direct contact with the bottom of your foot is the insole, or footbed. Cork is a common material for this layer. 

Some flip-flop insoles are quilted for comfort. They can also have a textured surface, which helps keep your feet from sliding around and provides better comfort at foot pressure points. 

Midsole: This is the layer or layers between the insole and the outsole of the flip-flop. It can incorporate a variety of materials, such as rubber, EVA, or neoprene. This is usually the source of most of your comfort and support, with an air, foam, or gel layer common here. The midsole typically includes a slight heel and/or arch support.

Outsole: This layer often determines where your flip-flops can best be worn. If you plan to hike or wear them on more rugged terrain, a thicker and more robust outsole is recommended (note that this adds to the sandal’s overall weight). If you want to wear your flip-flops on wet or slick surfaces such as boat docks or pool decks, then a thinner slip-resistant tread will serve you better. While some outsoles are made of PVC, rubber tends to offer a better grip. You should also choose an outsole that won’t damage surfaces such as hardwood.

Straps and toe posts

Flip-flops are very simple sandals. Besides the sole, the only other elements you’ll typically find on them is a strap that goes over the top of your foot to hold the shoe on and a toe post between your big and second toes.

Strap: The strap on a flip-flop can be made of a wide range of materials, including faux leather, real leather, or more flexible materials like nylon, polyester, or canvas. 

The strap should be durable and comfortable and offer a secure fit that doesn’t chafe and isn’t too tight. While rare, some flip-flops have a buckle that can be used to adjust the sandal for a better fit.

Toe post: A material like nylon can provide added durability in this area while also helping to minimize chafing.

The oldest surviving flip-flop is on display at the British Museum and dates back to 1500 BC.



Inexpensive: Men’s flip-flops that cost $10 to $20 push the nostalgia button for those who remember flip-flops from decades ago. These tend to be thinner and less durable than more expensive options, with little in the way of arch support. 

Mid-range: Flip-flops priced from $20 to $30 typically have thicker soles for improved support and more comfortable straps and toe posts. The materials are better at this price, with leather more common, and improvements in both the outsole and overall design result in a more durable sandal.

Expensive: Flip-flops that cost $30 to $50 and up are more durable and designed to be worn on a variety of surfaces, from wet boat decks to rocky hiking trails. These flip-flops tend to be more fashionable and longer lasting than less expensive options.

Did You Know?
A tapered toe on a flip-flop can help you to avoid snagging objects on the ground while you’re walking.


  • Choose a quilted footbed. Quilting increases the comfort with cushioning and provides a surface your foot can grip.
  • Choose arch support. Do you live in your flip-flops in the summer? Be sure to buy a pair that features well-designed arch support. This can help you avoid foot fatigue no matter how much you walk in them.
  • Choose a rounded toe post. This shape offers the least resistance when rubbing between your toes and helps prevent chafing.
  • Choose longer flip-flops. To avoid stubbing your toe, pick flip-flops with some distance between your big toe and the front end of the sandal.
  • Choose a cushioned midsole. In addition to improving your overall comfort while walking, a sturdy air or gel layer also helps even out any irregular surfaces you walk on, such as stony ground. And the more cushioning, the less stress on your feet and joints.
Because of their compact size and light weight, flip-flops make a great travel sandal that can easily be tossed in a suitcase or backpack.


Q. Do men’s flip-flops float?

A. This varies from one style to another but generally speaking, yes. Because they’re often worn near water, most flip-flops are designed so they don’t easily sink, particularly those that contain foam or air cushioning. If you’re unsure, check with the retailer or manufacturer to make sure the flip-flops you’re considering will float.

Q. Are flip-flops waterproof?

A. Most flip-flops are waterproof and can stand up to puddles and rain. The straps and soles are usually made of materials that either naturally repel water or can be coated to repel it. And when flip-flops get wet, they usually dry quickly.

Q. What is the best way to clean flip-flops?

A. Flip-flops have to stand up to dirt, mud, and puddles, as well as your sweaty feet. Periodically cleaning them is a good way to keep them looking their best and smelling great and help them last longer. Be sure to check the care instructions before cleaning your flip-flops, but many can be machine washed. First, wipe off any dirt or mud. Wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water with detergent and a cup of vinegar to combat any odor. Let the flip-flops air-dry. Do not put them in the dryer. 


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