When you think of active footwear, you probably don’t immediately think of flip-flops and sandals. Running sneakers, trail running shoes and hiking boots come to mind, but the minimalist summer wear that treads sandy beaches and muddy riverbanks often gets forgotten.
Though they might not seem like active shoes, rafting, summer camping and beach adventures wouldn’t be the same without them. Flip-flops and sandals can be just as sporty and fashionable as your favorite pair of neon sneakers, with an added bonus of holding-up well under a few feet of water. When it comes to hot summer days and water sports, flip-flops and sandals are as essential as bathing suits and sunscreen.
This vital footwear comes in all shapes and sizes—the choices are seemingly endless. From cheap, flat rubber soles to high-end leather flip-flops, choosing the right pair for you depends largely on how you plan to use them. The flimsy rubber soles won’t provide adequate support for a day on your feet and leather flip-flops might not be the best choice for your next rafting trip, but we’ve put together a list of the best flip-flops and sandals for whatever you have planned.
When it comes to flip-flops and sandals support is a common concern. Sandals lacking support can cause leg, knee and back pain and might alter your walking stride. The sandals and flip-flops on our list feature supportive arches, contoured heels and straps that take the pressure off your toes. Some of the footwear mentioned on our list is even said to alleviate existing pain. So, before you head to the beach or pack up for your first camping trip of the season, take a look at the best flip-flops and sandals of 2014.