Confession: I’ve never owned a pair of flip-flops in my entire life until this summer. Since childhood, the idea of an uncomfortable rubber strap between my toes seemed less than ideal, especially when you can opt for boat shoes and other breathable footwear that won’t expose your toes. If you’re the kind of guy (like myself) who wears socks to bed, you tend to be more comfortable with some extra foot coverage. So when packing for my recent trip to Hawaii, possibly the only state in the USA where flip-flops are more popular than sneakers, I figured this was the perfect time to really give the classic sandal style a shot before swearing them off forever.
Keeping in mind that flip-flops would the best footwear choice to beat the heat in the Aloha state and lighten my luggage for the five-day trip, I needed a pair of flip-flops that would be versatile and comfortable enough to be the only shoes in my carry-on luggage—a serious challenge for a sneakerhead. Thankfully (and surprisingly), I didn’t have to look too hard to find my match.
My search began and ended with Havaianas, the brand that put flip-flops on the map back in 1962. For 57 years, the Brazilian brand’s classic rubber flip-flops have been a top-selling sandal, but they offer much more than just one affordable style. While browsing the immense offerings on Havaianas.com, one pair in particular stood out. Comfort, durability, and great style were all important factors I kept in mind while selecting the perfect pair of flip-flops for every activity on my trip and this leather-strap option seemed like a total winner.
Just like when you’re picking out your go-to sneakers for the season, comfort is of the upmost importance. Not all footbeds are created equal, so when I saw that these bad boys had dual-density rubber soles, I was pretty sure these might have the perfect amount of cushion to protect my feet on the sands of Wakiki beach and Honolulu’s city streets. But what I found truly surprising was the next-level comfort I felt while wearing these flip-flops on a 30-minute hike on Oahu’s North Shore. The thick sole protected the bottom of my feet from the rocky terrain, while the crazy-soft upper layer molded to the shape of my feet. For a guy who is use to the high-quality support of sneakers, this style is your best bet for maximum comfort.
If you’re wondering how my flip-flops held up after the moderately difficult hike, I can honestly say they looked exactly the same after rinsing off dirt from the trail. How these Havaianas didn’t fall apart I’ll never know, but I was able to wear them out to dinner that evening without worrying about a flip-flop malfunction.
Part of what makes these comfortable sandals a genius choice for your next vacation is their day-to-night appeal. Genuine leather straps elevate the flip-flop style to dress up your board shorts to hit the beach bar, but also provide a relaxed vibe to your linen trousers for a night on the town. While most leather sandals on the market can cost as much as your everyday sneakers, these Havaianas retail for a reasonable price of $48.
Though I was happy to return home to my precious well-curated sneaker collection, I’m still in shock that my feet were so comfortable during countless hours of walking around the city of Honolulu. Have I really misjudged flip-flops all this time? While I’m sure there’s more than one great pair of flip-flops on the market, these affordable and comfortable Havaianas were a game changer that let me enjoy every minute of my vacation, while saving some extra bucks to spend on frozen cocktails. Maholo, Havaianas.
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