Help me find flip-flops with arch support.
July 4, 2012 5:42 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for flip-flops that have nice arch support. The arch on my left foot collapses quite a bit when I walk. I want the shoes to be flip-flops, not Birkenstock-style sandals. I am male, and I live in the U.S.
posted by starkraven to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
"Reef" is the brand to find. I think they are from Australia. They are fabulous, the only brand I wear now. The support is fantastic. I just got new ones. I had not realized how worn my old ones were (I wear them at home always, and out sometimes). They are pricey, at least in Switzerland.
posted by Goofyy at 5:45 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do you have an EMS store by you? You can find great flip flops by Teva, Reef, Chaco at EMS, but I bought a pair of men's flip flops that are the EMS brand. It was inexpensive and well made. I have had them for several years. The only regret I have is not buying an extra pair at the time! They were on sale for $5!
posted by Yellow at 5:52 AM on July 4, 2012

I recently got a pair of Freewaters "Soul Train" which have (IMO) excellent arch support. It actually took me a few days to get used to them because of that.
posted by Silly Ashles at 5:58 AM on July 4, 2012

(And if you're interested in getting Freewaters, LeftLane Sports currently has them for half-off.)
posted by Silly Ashles at 6:06 AM on July 4, 2012

I'd recommend Merrell or Oakley, both of which do strongly moulded sandals with a decent arch. Look for ones with a 'scooped out' base so your flat foot doesn't just spill over the edge (I've lots of experience of this!)

These Tivas also look good, but I'm not sure what you'll make of the extra strap.
posted by londonmark at 6:12 AM on July 4, 2012

I'm a big fan of the Merrell Tortugas. Really comfortable.
posted by Jacob G at 6:27 AM on July 4, 2012

I'm on my second pair of these -- they are the most shoe-like pair f flip flops I've ever had as far as arch support and general shock absorbance. I'm not sure how they compare to the more expensive options presented, but if you're looking for something really affordable, these might work:

posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:27 AM on July 4, 2012

If you're looking for arch support, I don't think you'll do much better than Superfeet's new sandals. Superfeet is primarily an orthotics company, so they started with the support and then built a sandal around it.

Not the most attractive sandals I've ever worn, but they're the only sandals that I would consider walking more than ten miles in.
posted by eisenkr at 6:30 AM on July 4, 2012

My husband loves these Chaco flip-flops. They're expensive, but they last forever and provide good support. He's probably walked upwards of 10-12 miles at a time in these.
posted by pecanpies at 6:42 AM on July 4, 2012

Have you tried Okabashi sandals? I, too, have problem arches and love these! (Cheap, too.)
posted by Carol Anne at 6:46 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never thought I'd be advocating for them, but my Crocs have pretty decent arch support. The flip-flops are... well... not ugly.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:47 AM on July 4, 2012

Just FYI, I have high, injury-prone arches, and my podiatrist has forbidden me to ever wear flip flops again because he says that regardless of the construction, the way they force you to walk contributes to ongoing arch damage. Basically, because you have to hold them on with your toes and because of the way your feet move in the shoes when you walk, even the best ones are inherently bad for people with arch problems. So if your question is really "help me find flip flops that won't exacerbate my arch problems," the answer is probably that there aren't any.
posted by decathecting at 6:53 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am a big fan (3 pair, womens) of Olukai sandals, from Hawaii. They are a bit expensive, but have a much cooler vibe than Merrell's, etc. and last a lot longer than Reefs.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:01 AM on July 4, 2012

My picky shoe spouse says Chacos and Olukai.
posted by k8t at 7:07 AM on July 4, 2012

Orthaheel. I have plantar fasciitis and I wear my Orthaheels constantly to avoid foot pain. They have aggressive arch support and a deep heel cup.
posted by crankylex at 7:55 AM on July 4, 2012

Check out the crocs website they have good arch support and are comfortable and just look like normal flipflops.

I know it's not what you asked but Birkenstocks actually have some flipflop style shoes.

I have 3 different pairs of womens croc flipflops as I get plantar fasciata and these and my birkenstock flip flops are the only summer shoes I can wear without pain.
posted by wwax at 7:57 AM on July 4, 2012

Drop the flops and get some Chacos. You're stretching your foot out in a painful way with flip flops.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:32 AM on July 4, 2012

Instead of the between the toe flip flops (which cause the problems outlined above by decathecting), you could try the slide-on flip flops by Adidas or something similar. They are basically the only flipfloppety thing I can wear without wanting to scream in ragepain. Also you can wear them with socks and really offend people.
posted by elizardbits at 9:28 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chacos and Tevas are amazing.

Also, if you are interested in fixing your arch issues arch support can actually work against you. Arch collapse is generally due to weak foot musculature. Using super-supportive footwear makes the foot musculature weaker since you're just supporting those weak muscles rather than forcing them to work. You may want to start on a program of going barefoot wherever you can and doing foot strengthening and stretching work (like detailed here). Approach it like a physical therapy program. It will pay dividends down the road and will improve any postural issues or knee, hip, or back pain you may have as a result of the flat feet.
posted by schroedinger at 9:30 AM on July 4, 2012

I love my Crocs flipflops - they're supportive and don't give me any pain that wearing the flat "ordinary" kind of flipflop will after a while.
posted by PussKillian at 10:48 AM on July 4, 2012

I came to suggest Chacos - they really are just as (if not more) supportive as my birks.
posted by Kololo at 12:34 PM on July 4, 2012

I love my Chacos. I'd wear 'em every day if I could. They're incredibly well made and extremely comfortable with excellent arch support -- I have flat feet and normally wear prescription orthotics (which don't work with sandals) and they're the only sandals I've worn that I can wear for extended periods.

I don't have the flip-flop ones (I have these ones which are more birkenstockey) but if their flip-flops are even half as good then they're the best flip-flops going.
posted by Scientist at 2:01 PM on July 4, 2012

I love love love my Reefs, and they have great arch support to be flip flops.

The stores that will carry Reefs generally carry most of the others mentioned too, so you should be able to try on a few different brands before buying.
posted by TallulahBankhead at 2:05 PM on July 4, 2012

I'll second Orthaheel. I wear both their sandals and their separate insoles that you put in regular shoes. The arches are like the hump in a roller coaster...just the way I like them.
posted by BostonTerrier at 2:42 PM on July 4, 2012

Thanks to all of you for the fantastic input. I found some Reefs that fit the bill perfectly toward the bottom of the Reefs price range.
posted by starkraven at 4:32 AM on July 5, 2012

I love my Rainbow flip flops! They come in two different arch "levels" - single and double. I have double. They are the ONLY flip flops I can wear all day and at the end of it all my feet feel great! They have a leather (soft) foot bed, and if you get them wet (while on your feet) and wear them til they dry they form to your feet and become SUPER COMFY!
Despite the name they come in several very muted colors.
posted by sleepykitties at 6:44 PM on July 5, 2012

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