Price Tag Cage Match: Flip-Flops, Interactive Edition

By Amalah

A request from the comments:
I want a cage match for flip-flops — super cheap ones from Old Navy vs. more expensive fabric-ish ones from other stores like J. Crew or American Eagle.
After Miranda suggested a Flip-Flop Cage Match, a whole slew of you seconded and thirded (thirded? really? that looks way wrong) the idea. So here it is! Sort of, because I didn’t rush out and buy a dozen different brands of flip-flops specifically for this column.
I freaking LIVE in flip-flops in the summer, and yet I rarely spend much money on them. Mostly because my dog eats them.
See? My favorite pair from last year:
I bought these at a Polo outlet for about $15. And they were great. Thick yet flexible soles, a design that didn’t rub off on my feet and straps that were awfully comfortable, considering they were just plastic. Pretty much everything I look for in a flip-flop.
I looked high and low for an identical pair, but Polo no longer seems to make this color. (I found them in red and orange, but eh.) So this year, I bought these instead:
Again, they were about $15 at DSW (Discount Shoe Warehouse — kind of a big clearinghouse for last season’s shoes). SO comfortable. The straps are fabric-lined and stretchy and the soles are cushy and thick without being platform-like.
But then I decided I needed a brown pair, so I bought a cute animal print pair at Old Navy for less than five bucks.
Yeah. That’s five bucks I should have saved for a Frappaccino. These shoes SUCK.
The straps don’t fit my feet, the soles are stringy and flimsy…and the design rubbed off the very first day I wore them. Biiig thumbs down to Old Navy flip-flops.
So those are the only specific flip-flops I can tell you about, other than just some general things I avoid at any price: Super-thin straps are more likely to cut your feet, while super-thin soles put more stress on your legs. And any type of knot or buckle or shifty fabric on the strap will probably give you blisters. I also cannot wear those around-the-big-toe kind. They frighten me.
A couple people left testimonials re: their favorite flip-flops in the comments, and since there were SO MANY COMMENTS, I’m gonna copy them here for anybody who missed them:
Meghan says:

I wear my Chaco flip flops every single day, all year round. I peel off my socks and shoes and wear the chacos all evening around the house.
The price tag ($50) seems steep, but they have the same vibram sole as their more substansial sandals, and if you’re an outdoor/camping nut like I am, you’ll know that Vibram soles are what you will find in the $300 hiking boots that people who hike Everest wear. Vibram=good stuff.
They are light, and have fantastic arch support (the only sandals that don’t leave my fallen arches aching after a day’s worth of wear,) and will last you forever. In fact, they will replace the webbing on all of their sandals (not for free, but for cheep) so consider it an investment!
Much love for the chacos. Try them. I’m a huge REI whore (I worked there while in med school, hence my addiction to Keen shoes and Chaco sandals) but I would recommend buying them from zappos, because then if you hate them, you can send them back and it won’t cost you anything.

Heels says:

In my experience, Reef flip-flops = wear-all-day comfort without the price tag of Chaco (which are awesome, but are more “sport” sandal than fashion flip-flop). I know people who run/hike in Reefs. Plus, they come in lots of colors/styles. I have two pair (I NEED MORE!!!) and I’m not even a big flip-flop wearer!

So now it’s your turn — tell us about your favorite flip-flops. Or your least favorite. Because I…uh…need at least another couple pairs to see me through summer, so please give me some super-cute ideas.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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