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April 16, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get decent flip-flops that don't cost $50?

I need new flip-flops, but the stores around here only seem to have three kinds- shitty day-glo rubber ones, impractical spangly uncomfortable ones, and Rainbows, which cost fifty dollars. Every third person on my campus is wearing Rainbows right now, so I went to buy some figuring they must be good- but fifty dollars is a bit to expensive for me. (How are all these students affording them anyway?)

Is it even possible to get comfortable, walkable flip-flops for less than that? I'll lay down the $50 if I absolutely can't get decent shoes for less, but seriously, there have to be cheaper ones somewhere... right?
posted by showbiz_liz to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (37 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have these and love these and got them for $35 locally in Florida. They are padded and comfortable and are now the only flip flops I wear.

I found Rainbows uncomfortable even after breaking them in for a few weeks (as directed by the salesperson).
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2008

I satisfy my flip-flop needs at L.L. Bean.
posted by oflinkey at 8:59 AM on April 16, 2008

I hate wearing flip flops because they're uncomfortable, but I came across a pair of Sanuk Lazy Boys that are extremely comfortable, and fit tight like a shoe. Also, the "thong" part doesn't rub against my toes and hurt. I love them!
posted by nitsuj at 9:04 AM on April 16, 2008

Go to the drugstore (Walgreens or CVS). They usually have something for less than $10.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2008

Teva makes SUPER-comfy, walkable flip-flops that are pretty affordable.
posted by somanyamys at 9:11 AM on April 16, 2008

You can get rainbows on amazon for as little as $25. I'd never even heard of them until you mentioned them in you post so I don't know if they are good or not.

I have found that most flip flops I get are worn out by the end of summer or they have gone out of style for the next year, so I just a pair or two from Kohl's, which are medium in price and medium in comfortableness.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:11 AM on April 16, 2008

REI sells Chaco flip flops (much nicer than your average flip-flops) for ~$30.
posted by arnicae at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2008

I've heard Havainas are fabulous, ymmv.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I buy most of my flip flops at Target.
posted by Lynsey at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2008

Havaianas are indeed fantastic.
posted by foodgeek at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2008

2nding the tevas. They also make some like this that are the only shoes I wear these days (30 weeks pregnant).
posted by tigerjade at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2008

3rding Havaianas. You could get some Reefs for less than $50 and they are great too.
posted by billtron at 9:24 AM on April 16, 2008

The North Face "Base Camp" flip flops are durable and delightful: the foot-facing surface has a really comfortable egg-crate texture and they sell for around $25.

Not a shill, just a fan.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:27 AM on April 16, 2008

Seconding Chaco flip flops - they are well worth the $30 or so dollars. They go up to $50, but you can usually always find them on sale on line. Try REI, Onlineshoes.com, etc.

I also really like Teva - I have a pair of their sandals that I love, but Chaco rules flip flops for me...
posted by wfrgms at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2008

It probably depends on what kind of flip flops you want (long lasting strong kind with either cloth or something? Leather? etc.) and I'm not a big flip flops fan, but one summer when the heat got to me and I couldn't take pulling on socks and sneakers just to run to the bodega, I got two pairs from Old Navy. I don't know if they're any better than other brands, but if you just want several pairs in bright colors and patterns these should work. I just happened to be walking by one when I saw that they were cheap and came in different colors/designs and felt nicer than the shower/pool flip flops you get for a dollar.
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:31 AM on April 16, 2008

Oh, and to clarify, I just bought the plain kind. I can't speak for the jellies or other fancy ass ones they have on the site.
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2008

4thing the havaianas, and I always found flip-flops uncomfortable until I got some. Now I sometimes live in them.
posted by paultopia at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2008

Chaco! Chaco! Chaco! I love my Chaco flips so much I hardly ever wear my regular Chacos anymore. They are amazingly comfortable, supportive and durable.
posted by bonheur at 10:14 AM on April 16, 2008

I usually buy a pair or two of Old Navy flip-flops at the end of the season when they're a couple bucks a pair (not that they're that expensive during the season, either), and wear them out the following summer. A couple years ago I decided upgrade and purchased a pair of Keds thongs that have served me well and are still in great shape, though I do still wear the ON cheapies when I'm just hanging around.
posted by LolaGeek at 10:16 AM on April 16, 2008

Nthing Teva flip flops. I have a pair that lasted about 4 years with solid summertime use, and finally got a new pair last summer. I find really cheap flips to be incredibly uncomfortable, but the Tevas have enough padding, and soft enough straps, that I can wear them all day with no problems. They cost about $14-20.
posted by Jemstar at 10:30 AM on April 16, 2008

Chacos are the best sandal ever created. Ever. Ditto for their flip flops.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:40 AM on April 16, 2008

More Teva love.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:44 AM on April 16, 2008

I bought a pair of Tevas like the ones somanyamys links to, actually at L. L. Bean, for about $15 (I think) and they have lasted me quite a while and are high quality. Much less ugly than the Tevas I knew as a kid. They pretty much look and feel just like the Reefs all the girls were wearing when I was in college.
posted by lampoil at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2008

I wear flip flops year round in Canada. Because most people view Canadian winters as not flip flop friendly, I keep my eyes open at Zellers (Canadian equivalent of Target). From now to around fall, they'll usually have some flip flops with the cloth thong (I *refuse* to use anything with plastic or rubber for the thong. Only cloth or leather is appropriate). Depending upon when exactly you buy them they'll be between $8-20 ... $20 is much less than the $50 you stated, but I'll only hit that if I'm desperate. Usually when I see them around $12 I'll buy enough that I have 6 unused pairs at home. Usually I get ~6 months of wear from a pair, but as I absolutely can't stand shoes (imagine a cat with tape on it's footpads), I've learned to play it safe.

Regarding the flip flops dying in 6 months, keep in mind that shoveling the driveway (especially this winter) causes a lot of wear and tear on the flip flops, and similarly, running and jogging when I walk the dogs ... often I'll take them off for running, but not all the time, and running/pushing something is what's most likely to kill flip flops. If I was only doing simple walking, I'd likely easily get a full year of life from them. If I only wore them during summers, probably multiple years. In short (too late), Zellers/Target flip flops I deem to be of acceptable quality.
posted by nobeagle at 11:01 AM on April 16, 2008

5thing havaianas... just got some, love 'em
posted by paperlanterns at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2008

I have a pair of Sandalz (this pair) which run about twenty bucks and and are ridiculously comfortable. I can walk for ages without aching feet or having the straps chafe or rub.
posted by stefanie at 11:31 AM on April 16, 2008

Nthing Teva Mush flip-flops, but with a warning: I wore the hell out of them last summer and was insanely comfortable, but in the fall I had a couple of weeks of soreness in the tendons on the top of my feet. I'll be wearing them again this summer, but alternating them out with shoes that fit more securely, to keep from straining my tendons again.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2008

mush from teva. these are GREAT, and only about $25. i wear them all summer.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:03 PM on April 16, 2008

I love Reef flip-flops You can get them in a variety of colors and styles. I like the "Sandy", with the nylon cloth-like toe bar, but they make plastic type as well.
posted by fiercekitten at 12:17 PM on April 16, 2008

LOVE flip-flops, LOVE this thread!
I bought my first pair of Reef's last year, wore them almost everyday and they're still in great shape. I just bought 3 new pair in different colors. They are so comfy! $20
posted by illek at 12:38 PM on April 16, 2008

6thing Tevas. And thank you for not calling them thongs
posted by misterbrandt at 1:00 PM on April 16, 2008

I also like Reef's. They're $20-$30 but worth it.
posted by radioamy at 2:09 PM on April 16, 2008

Havaianas ftw. They are a little pricey but not as pricey as Rainbows and mine have lasted 2 years and are still as comfy as ever.
posted by Xianny at 3:08 PM on April 16, 2008

Seconding Havaianas! Havaianas are the great equalizers of Brazil: the very poorest people and the very richest people all wear the same shoes, and they cost about $3 there (as opposed to what, $40 in the EU?). I've been wearing the same ones since 2005 - nearly everyday - and they're still in great shape if a little dirty.

For a good price, check your area for a local Brazilian store (e.g. the Supermercado Gol in Somerville, MA, for you Boston people). Frequently, they import them and sell them at about $10-$15.
posted by whatzit at 3:41 PM on April 16, 2008

steepandcheap.com has great deals on sandals every so often...can't think of if I have ever seen flip flops though...
posted by metacort at 6:53 PM on April 16, 2008

I've had just about every type of flip flop listed on here... Rainbows, Borns, Havaianas, Reef, Banana Republic (worst ever!), and Rider.

Right now I have these (for guys) from Columbia and really enjoy the look and feel of them.

If you are going to be wearing them every day this summer, you may want to invest the $45 or so into the happiness of your feet.

I wouldn't recommend Havaianas. They feel like the flat pieces of rubber they are. They are not comfortable for walking any kind of distance. Havaianas on the beach, great. Havaianas and a pair of jeans walking around campus, not so good.

I loved my Rainbows. You won't need to buy new Rainbows next summer or the summer after that. They are super durable. You can also wear them with jeans and go out which is a plus. So many people have them because they are that comfortable.

Finding a good pair of flip flops may just take a little shopping around, and spending that extra $20 can make all the difference in the world.
posted by clearly at 6:00 AM on April 17, 2008

Nthing Tevas...both kinds. The Olowahus are cuter, but Mush version has much thicker soles, and lasts longer. $14.95 at REI Outlet, (last year's) or $22 at REI.com.
posted by sLevi at 2:38 PM on April 17, 2008

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