I own the longest lasting flip flops on earth…and you can’t have them…unless you go to Africa that is.
My African friends know a thing or two about tough flip flops and the rest of the world is missing out. They’re hand-made from recycled truck tire treads…and quite frankly last forever and are highly repairable.
I bought mine from a street vender in Benin for only $3!
The Mexicans have a similar version they call “huaraches.”
I only wish I knew what brand of tire they’re made from. What do you think? Michelin or BFGoodrich?
If you’d like a unique and sustainable alternative to the following compilation of the longest lasting flip flops below, check out soleRebels.com who offer free worldwide shipping on their tire tread flip flops form Ethiopia.
The Most Durable Flip Flop Brands Are:
- The Sole Workshop
- Rainbow Sandals
For specific model recommendations for each brand, read on.
Say, “No” to Throw-Away Flip Flops
At the end of every summer, I’m sure, millions of cheap flip flops get dumped into landfills after one annoying and uncomfortable summer of use. It’s pure waste and it encourages companies who sell junk to keep churning out their crap for next year’s suckers.
Obviously, the main challenge with flip flops is durability and comfort. The bargain store flip flop bin is just a loser’s game of lottery.
Enough already! Just bite the bullet, get a decent pair of flip flops and spare the landfill for the next 4-5 years.
What to look for in Durable Flip Flops
- Pick a brand with a good reputation and track record
- At least a 1 year warranty
- A guarantee that covers:toe strap pull-outs, side strap pull-outs, stitching, and de-lamination. See photos below.(credit: Rainbow Sandals warrantee page)
After a ton of research, I can say with a high degree of confidence that these companies make the longest lasting flip flops. I had nine companies on the shortlist but trimmed it down to six because I wanted every single recommendation to be rock solid. So, no “hit-and misses” here.
Note: There is no particular order to this list. Each Company is unique in its own way and offers extremely long lasting flip flops. Depending on your taste, you’ll be happy with any one of them
The Sole Workshop
You may not have heard of this small but mighty flip flop brand. The Sole Workshop is a high-end, hand-made luxury flip-flop brand.
These are the Ferraris of the flip flop world but get ready for some sticker shock: check out what I mean.
Beyond luxury, they make among the very toughest leather flip-flops in the world. So, if you are the OCD type that simply must have the absolute best in the world then The Sole Workshop is probably your best bet.
Recommended Model: Original Wanderer
Luxury and durability don’t usually meet in a sweet spot as is the case with these flip flops. As I mentioned you’ll need some deep pockets if you want to step up into these world-class flips. (Check latest pricing.)
The Original Wanderers come with an exclusive lifetime warranty that covers you “as long as the sole has tread and the leather has not worn through.” That means you’re covered for toe or side-strap pullouts.
The Wanderer is saddle-stitched by hand from full-grain leather available in 3 color tones. That’s the best grade of leather available and the only leather that develops that classic rich patina with age.
If that weren’t enough you can have them made to order with whatever leather embossing you’d like.
What I really love are the Vibram soles though. For some perspective, Vibram is industry leading rubber usually found on the soles of the most durable industrial work boots like the Danners, Thorogoods and Redwings I recommend in this article on tough workboots..
Buy Them If….
- you’ve got deep pockets and simply want the best.
- You love the story Full Grain leather tells by its patina
- You want a truly customized one-of-kind hand-made piece
- You want to give an extra-special gift
Skip Them if…
- Leather isn’t your thing
- You don’t have money coming out your wazoo
Zee Germans, zay know how to make zee goot stuff!
Birks stand out as the king of durable sandals. They have very few rivals in that regard. They do make a few pairs of really tough flip flops too.
The flip flops don’t break from Birkenstocks tried and true construction methods which are practically bullet-proof.
Long wearing EVA outsoles and and their trademarked “BirkoFlor” foot bed literally mold to the contours of your feet for a perfect fit.
They “ain’t cheap” so get ready to bleed a little when you hit the order button.
Recommended Model: Birkenstock Gizeh
The Gizehs certainly are dressier than most of the other options on this list. You’ll notice that the side strap is anchored further back than most flips which keeps them on easier while offering more stability.
The Gizehs have a less flexible sole and wear more like sandles than flip flops.
You can adjust the fit of the strap via the buckle. The Gizehs are available in a ton of different colors and finishes You’re looking at the $100 price range.
You can get the latest pricing on Amazon here
Buy them if..
- You prefer a dressier look
- You want a comfy flip flop that will mold to your foot
- You have wider feet
Skip them if..
- you’re on a tight budget. Birks are one of the priciest on this list.
- don’t want a “break-in” period. Birks can be uncomfortable at first.
- you plan to walk long distances at a time
- you will be getting them wet(not water friendly)
Crocs are best known for their bulbous and rather ugly looking “Come as you are” slip on sandals. Desipite that, their comfort and durability has made millions of fans.
Mercifully, Crocs also offer more reasonable looking flip flops that’ll weather many summers. Most reviewers recommend them especially for days at the pool.
Recommended Model: Crocs Bayaband
Crocs Bayabands scream “poolside Carribean vacation!”
In typical Croc style, the side straps are molded right into the base to make breakage almost impossible. The Bayahand’s certainly are bold, but they have a huge following of devout pool-side aficionados.
The Bayabands feature crocs famous and comfy “Croslite” foam cushioned sole and a relaxed fit to match your relaxing vacay…and next years vacay…and the one after that.
The Bayabands are very reasonably priced (under $50.)
You can check their current pricing here on Amazon
Buy them if…
- You’re a swimmer, or use gym locker rooms.
- Money is an issue, Croc flip flops extremely well priced for the durability and comfort you get.
Skip them if…
- You’re looking for a more refined, dressier look
- You don’t like the plasticky construction
- Your an understated person
Depending on the model, Rainbow makes one of the longest lasting flip flops on this list.(see my model recommendation below)
I don’t know of too many people that take flip flops as seriously as Sparky, the founder of Rainbow sandals. He started off in 1974 with $200 in his pocket making flip flops in his garage. Over time his reputation for quality long lasting flip flops has payed off big time.
Sparky said he wants to make his Rainbow flip flops be like the Levi jeans of the flip flop world. I’d say he’s well on his way.
Recommended Model: Rainbow Premiere Leather Sandals. (301 ALTS or 302 ALTS)
These are true “go-anywhere” flips and have been known to last for over 10 years. If you watched the video above, you’ll notice the well-used ones that have been framed and mounted at Rainbow headquarters.
Check the latest pricing on Amazon
Buy them If…
- You’re a Californian surfer
- You’re a beach bum
- You want a relaxed casual flip flop
- You want a flip flop that forms nicely to your feet over time
- You anticipate long walks and heavy use
Skip them if…
- You don’t want to endure the 1-2 week break in period.
The Hawaiians have a solid answer to those Southern Californians surfers(Rainbow sandals).
Olukai has also garnered quite a following by the surf crowd for producing high-quality flips.
I find Olukai to be pricier than Rainbow without any convincing difference in materials or workmanship.
Still, they do offer a robust warranty against straps pulling out, de-lamination of the sole, and frayed or loose stitching.
I think Olukai’s strength is in their leather flip flops. They seem to have the most comprehensive and nicest line.
So, if you’re into leather, take a serious look at Olukai. Their leather options are pricey though, so be warned.
Olukai puts a lot into their footbeds and reviewers with foot issues find them to be exceptionally comfortable. The brand has also expanded into shoes.
Recommended Olukai Model: Ohana
The classic Ohanas are one of Olukai’s best sellers. They’r quick drying and feature an EVA midsole and ICEVA drop-in footbed for a comfy form-fit for your feet.
The Ohana is a true-blue beach flip flop. Sand and water are its’ friends. It’s a tried and true design with plenty of fans and repeat customers.
The Ohanas are a true beach flip flop and even has a coral inspired tread pattern. A solid choice for multiple summers of hard use.
I’d say they’re quite comparable to Rainbow Sandals, although I personally still favour Rainbows.
Buy them if..
- You’re into water sports etc.
- You have foot issues but still want to wear flip flops
Skip them if..
- You’re on a budget.
- You absolutely must have the most durable flip flops(still durable, but not as durable as others)
- You don’t want an uncomfortable break-in period(1-2 weeks)
REEF is another surf brand from California. They compete with the big guys for the most durable flip flops out there.
Their signature design which became a hit was their simple and rugged Smoothy with its woven strap design and high-density EVA outsole.
They’ve come a long way since then and now have a real die-hard fan base. That’s always a good indicator that a brand is making a high-quality product.
Recommended Model: REEF Fanning
Talk about viral success! The REEF Fannings are practically worshiped by beach party-ers.
Besides being very durable they are the only flip flop that doubles as a bottle opener. So now you get to do the party trick and be the hero at the same time.
The Fanning design is so popular its now available in a number variations.
Buy them if:
- you need a bottle opener
- You need excellent heel cushioning that cradles your foot.
- You’ll be around water and sand
Skip them if:
- you want a more traditional looking flip
- You prefer a more refined/upscale look
Ok, Ladies these ones might just be for you. I’m gobsmacked by how militantly devoted folks are to this brand. Clarks has over 190 years of brand heritage in the shoe industry. They’ve developed a very good reputation for quality and durability.
Clarks have an overwhelming assortment of shoes to choose from. Some might call it the mother-load of shoe shopping happiness…
Anyway, their flip flops are consistently rated among the top 10 longest lasting flip flops. Anecdotally, I’ve heard they offer excellent warrantee service too.
Recommended Model: Clarks Breeze Sea
Hold back throng! The Clarks Breeze Sea have a cult following. I’ve was stunned to that Amazon had over 8000 near-perfect reviews. I’m a little worried about death threats if I bad-mouth these flip flops.
Nevertheless, they are certainly one of the longest lasting flip flops out there.
The Breeze Seas are really affordable, durable and versatile flips. Options range from bold magenta to a dressy synthetic patent black.
The straps are also adjustable for a perfect fit via a hook and loop adjustment.
Most ladies love them most for their comfort over long days and distances. They’re waterproof too, so they can handle the beach or an evening date.
Throw them in the washing machine and air dry them to freshen them up.
You can often snag decent sales on them on Amazon:so check the latest pricing.
Buy them If…
- you want a flip for long distance walking
- Some folks with plantars fasciitis swear by them.
- you want a mature/dressy flip flop without sacrificing comfort
- you’re on a budget.
Skip them If…
- ..umm…I’m afraid to say anything bad, there’s to many fanatics out there..this interview is over!
Hack: Cool Trick To Get Long Last Flip Flops For Way Less
If you’re not in a hurry to buy, I’ve found a neat way to get sizeable discounts on these and other high-quality products that I recommend here on WellRigged.
Here is how I do it: How to Buy Quality Products on Amazon for Way Less