Beating the heat means wearing our all-time favorite beat-the-heat staples: Swim shirts, swim trunks, and flip-flops. Flip-flops offer more breathability and freedom than running shoes or sneakers, as they give your toes enough room to wiggle. Flip-flops are easy to slip on or off too, which makes them practical footwear for sunny activities.
Most flip-flops in the market boast computer-aided forms, cutting-edge materials, and enhanced construction techniques. To help you in your search, we’ve gathered the best flip-flops for 2021, including high-fashion selections that feature a steadfast statement of laid-back and grab-and-go style.
If the earthy vibe of the original Birkenstock sandal isn’t your thing, you may find this thong version of the sandal a bit more appealing. It’s got the brand’s trademark comfort footbed and a synthetic, easy-to-clean Birko-Flor faux leather upper, but it’s rendered in a cleaner design that looks more avant-garde Bohemian and less aging hippie.
The Ulele has a clean, modern silhouette, with a profile inspired by marine life. The upper is made of laser-cut synthetic material, with a high-tech footbed and rubbery outsole that makes this flip-flop as comfortable as your favorite pair of white sneakers, yet functional and welcome on-deck when it’s time to get out on the high seas.
The Oofos features a crisp, organic, architectural modern design motif, with smooth lines wrapped around the foot in a glossy metallic finish. The design isn’t just skin deep — its super-soft footbed absorbs impact, reducing stress on your feet and joints.
Luxurious yet minimalistic leather styling is complemented by Reef’s luxuriously comfortable footbed, incorporating an anatomical arch, heel support, cushioned footbed, and rubbery outsole for increased traction. Subtle contrast stitching gives this pair the rustic look of your favorite pair of jeans — and they’re sure to become just as loved and well-worn.
A pair of classic Havaianas are the über flip-flop, so when the brand tries something new, we pay attention. This new silhouette is inspired by the ancient Japanese Zori sandal, featuring a squared-off sole and a fabric strap. The new style launched with this hard-edged version, a collaboration with Japanese streetwear brand Mastermind that features its skull-and-bones motif. Watch the site for new versions of the Tradi Zori coming soon.
The Beer Cozy projects the kind of kicked-back, relaxed attitude that the name implies. If Southwestern style is your thing, this is your flip-flop. The woven Baja blanket straps are as relaxed as your favorite surf hoodie, while the “foamy and refreshing” soles will keep your feet blissed out all day.
Hair Mari brings a touch of preppy refinement to your casual footwear world. The soft twill straps complement the sporty stripes on the sides of the sole. Yet all that flair is just icing on the cake with Hari Mari’s luxurious construction featuring wicking-lined straps, a memory foam toe, a butter-smooth nubuck footbed, firm arch support, and much more. We like this pale green and blue combo, but it’s available in three more colors for you to choose from.
You won’t feel too bad if you wake up in the morning and find that you blew out a flip-flop if you’ve decided that you’d prefer to grab a pair (or five) of a nice value-priced option. Old Navy Classics will allow you to express your style, and at four bucks a pop, you can have a pair for every day of the week. These come in a variety of snazzy solid hues or, for a few bucks more, a selection of tropical-inspired patterns from flamingoes to camouflage to palm trees. Now, where did I leave that shaker of salt?
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