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I come from a place where the flip-flop is the dominant footwear year-round. On the islands of Hawaii, what feels like a controversial, at times ironic, and often-mocked style choice in most other settings, is the overwhelming standard. It’s the undisputed go-to for the beach, for brunch dates, and for cocktail parties; Hawaiian culture asks you to take off your shoes inside, regardless of the occasion. In fact, host a big enough, boozy enough gathering, and you’ll wake up to several mismatched pairs by the door, guaranteed. Even my grandmother, possibly the most glamorous woman I’ve come in contact with, a woman that spent years covering social events across the globe for Vogue, would occasionally slide on a leather pair in place of loafers.
I, however, grew up wearing Locals, the pervasive rubber thong slippers (what we call flip-flops) you’d pick up at Longs or just about any supermarket in Maui. But today, the choices are, to be put it simply, luxurious. The Y2K redux in fashion has meant an influx of thong sandals, popping up on runways of Coperni and Bluemarine. Meanwhile, Undercover’s Jun Takahashi pumped up the volume, creating a marshmallow-y version of the poolside shoe. And Gucci and Burberry continue to offer their tony stalwarts.
There are plenty of options, of course, from ones that place comfort front and center to others that make a refined statement. Which is why we sifted through the market, finding the very best flip-flops for men. Check them out below.
Best Suede Flip-Flops for Men
Brunello Cucinelli Suede and Leather Flip-Flops
Elegant and understated, Brunello Cucinelli’s cream suede flip-flops take the style to its most refined iteration. Yes, flip-flops can—while paradoxical to some—be refined.
Buy Now on Matches Fashion: $318
Best Leather Flip-Flops for Men
Ancient Greek Sandals Charys Comfort Flip-Flops
Handmade in Greece using natural tan leather, Ancient Greek Sandals’s wide T-strap is a minimal, well-crafted offering that’ll last the long haul. Its clean design and strong sole support make it an enduring piece you can wear year after year.
Buy Now on Ancient Greek Sandals: $275
Best Striped Flip-Flops for Men
Burberry Clintonville Sandals
Burberry’s classic thong sandals get a revamp with an oversized stripe and black molded-leather footbed. They’re just the right amount fashion-y, without being overtly loud or pretentious.
Best Beach-Ready Flip-Flops for Men
Havaianas Brazil Flip-Flops
Havaianas is a classic for a reason. Indeed, no list on the subject is complete without this stalwart. Its rubber-soled flip-flops, available in the color of your choice, are made for water, sand, and beyond.
Best Flip-Flops for Men
Undercover Leather Flip-Flops
There’s something futuristic and, at the same time, ancient about Jun Takahashi’s elevated grain leather sandals. The Japanese streetwear god gives us the model flip-flops for conceptual dressers.
Most Cult-Classic Flip-Flops for Men
Maison Margiela Split-Toe Flip-Flops
The Japanese tabi is famous for its supportive split toe, and Margiela’s version, a more relaxed iteration of its cult boot, is the standard-bearer. It’s basically the Tabi boots’ laid-back cousin.
Best Logo Flip-Flops for Men
Gucci Logo Embellished Sandals
For a pair of flip-flops so traditional they could pass as sandals, Gucci’s tri-striped offering is a beautifully crafted ideal. It’s a timeless option, embellished with a gilded logo that imbues instant cachet.
Best Street-Ready Flip-Flops for Men
Suicoke Gut Flip-Flops
Hear us out. While typically a bold move, these Suicoke thong sandals, made from antibacterial molded EVA rubber, are high enough off the ground and sturdy enough to take to the streets. That they look so cool, with a subtle edge in all black, doesn’t hurt either.
Best High-Fashion Flip-Flops for Men
Versace Greca Pattern Flip-Flops
Sometimes, even the most casual item in your style arsenal needs to be a little extra. And these black and gold Greca-patterned Versace flip-flops fit the bill.
Most Comfortable Flip-Flops for Men
OluKai Tuahine Waterproof Flip-Flops
Hawaiian footwear line OluKai’s Tuahine flip-flop is a key choice if you’re searching for a pair that bridges comfort (think soft leather with a supportive cushion) and function (yes, they’re waterproof). These will take you seamlessly from the pool to an island cocktail party with no fuss.
Most Polished Flip-Flops for Men
Manolo Blahnik Siracusa Leather Flip Flops
Here’s an ideal option for the man searching for a discrete, classic flip-flop, molded from the lasts created by Manolo Blahnik himself.
Best Cork Flip-Flops for Men
Orlebar Brown Haston Cork Flip-Flops
While best-known for its tailored swim trunks, British label Orlebar Brown also produces top-notch flip-flops. Check out its cork option, with warm orange and navy stripes, for something so comfortable it almost molds to your feet.
Best Adventure-Ready Flip-Flops for Men
The North Face Base Camp Flip-Flop
The perfect blend of street and sport, The North Face’s expedition-inspired flip-flops—with an egg crate-reminiscent EVA footbed—are made for mountain adventures. Or at least they look like it.
Best Preppy Flip-Flops for Men
Thom Browne RWB Rubber Flip-Flops
It sounds like an oxymoron, or at the very least, a questionable idea: a flip-flop that imbues a preppy, country club-ready attitude and aesthetic. This Thom Browne pair passes the test, with a level of grace not typically associated with the humble shoe.
Best Statement-Making Flip-Flops for Men
Camper Lab Red Hastalavista Flip-Flops
Camper Lab’s red bubble thongs are the more wearable, summer-ready answer to MSCHF’s viral big red boots: they make a statement, and a bold one at that.