Help me replace my busted Reef sandals
January 4, 2016 9:57 AM   Subscribe

My sandals have finally started falling apart with the sole separating from the body and making walking more and more awkward. I'd love to find another pair that will also last me 2.5 years.

They're out of my size the places I've checked and the suggested alternatives are either 2x the price or with other gimmicks that I'd not interested in (such as the bottle opener in the shoe). I'm not opposed I guess to 2x the price but if so they'd need to be even better than my old sandals and I don't have enough info to justify that yet.

Mainly I don't wear them every day, but often at home and then out to the bar on weekends. They were comfortable, I rarely felt pain walking even long distances in them, which I have in prior flip flops. Otherwise ideally they'd be in a neutral brownish color, comfortable and without a weird heel type of thing.
posted by Carillon to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
They're a lot more, though not 2x more, but I find the J-Bay exceedingly comfortable and long lasting - I've put many, many miles on mine. No heel thing, no bottle opener, no silliness aside from the very small Reef logo plaque on top. This is all I wear from April thru November.
posted by ftm at 10:03 AM on January 4, 2016

I have the ones with the bottle opener in the sole, I have honestly never thought of the bottle opener once between buying them and now, they are amazing flip flops, really tough, the bottle opener is just a little piece of metal you can ignore forever. Mine are just starting to wear out and I will be buying the same ones again.
posted by Cosine at 10:25 AM on January 4, 2016

I really like my Chaco flipflops. You'll have more color combinations later in the year (or perhaps on a discount site like, but the gray Eco-Tread is fairly neutral for the time being. You can get the soles replaced if necessary; they're Vibrams. I've had mine for maybe seven years and don't do well with super flat shoes, and I wear them nonstop every summer.

Otherwise, the Chaco Kirkwood or Finn or OluKai Ohana (among others) are brown leather options that are pricier, but (again) a discount site might have them for less.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:48 AM on January 4, 2016

Sanuks are about $30-$35. The Sanuk Beer Cozy is probably closest to the Reefs you have. Pretty much everyone in my family except me has Sanuks and likes them.
posted by amro at 11:00 AM on January 4, 2016

Link to the Sanuk's being talked about (the ones with the bottle opener). I have a pair of woman's Sanuk's that didn't last a year, and my best friend is a footwear sales rep (with 10 years experience selling shoes, currently not Sanuk's though) and has said that they're not made very well and that's to be expected. She does think they offer great support and I liked mine while they lasted. (I met my BFF working at a shoe store during high school/college and spent 5 years there, so I have a lotta shoes and opinions on shoes too.)

Teva's are more substantial and would get my vote. I've had two pairs of Teva flip flops (not even leather, the cheap nylon kind) for going on 15 years and I wear both pairs a lot. They offer great support.

My other favorite brand for well-made sandals is Chaco. They're now owned by Wolverine Worldwide and I've heard quality is decreased, but I think they're still worth the price. I've had a leather pair of sandals (not a flip flop) for nearly as long as my Teva flip-flops and their soles are tough as nails.

Also, if you buy these from Zappos and they wear faster than they should, they will set you up with some new ones. Nordstrom is another good place to buy from, even though Zappos/Nordstrom doesn't have the best price, I find the fact that I can return defective merchandise (especially with Nordstrom, who are no-questions-asked about it) to be worth it.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:38 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

We're big fans of Rainbow sandals in my household.
posted by vunder at 2:14 PM on January 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I picked up some emergency OluKai Ohana's in Hawaii three or so years back and they are just now wearing out. Good arch support, super comfy, so I started wearing them every day except in the winter.
posted by troyer at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2016

my boyfriend has a pair of o'neill sandals that he wears pretty frequently, and he's had them for probably about 10 years and they're just starting to show a bunch of wear, so i'd check those out.
posted by koroshiya at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2016

Seconding Rainbow Sandals! They have a break-in period where they will be a little uncomfortable while the leather stretches and smooths out, but man o man are they awesome sandals. Bomb proof and will last for years. I am still going strong with the same pair for over 7-8 years (I can't remember when I bought them exactly); I expect at least 4 more years out of them!
posted by incolorinred at 8:05 PM on January 4, 2016

Just buy the dumb bottle opener ones. My husband had them for about 3 years and we live in Florida, so it was 3 years of very heavy use. He also thought the bottle opener was stupid. Guess what? You forget it is there and no one can see it, so who cares. And it did come in handy once, so there is that.

I have Rainbows, and I've had them for the last several years. They need replacing at this point, and I'm going to go back to Reefs. The "break-in" period took for-fucking-ever, and although they are now very comfortable for most daily wear, I do still get blisters if I wear them somewhere like a music festival or a big shopping mall. I never had that problem with Reefs. Get the Reefs.
posted by gatorae at 8:34 PM on January 4, 2016

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