At a glance, the most noticeable difference between rubber and synthetic flip flops is the price. Old Navy flip flops go for about $2.50 whereas Havaianas start at about $25. My newer, wiser self wants to know, are rubber flip flops worth the higher price?
Thinking back to last summer, I recall surprising myself by wearing my brown Havaianas most. I don't even like brown and they were the regular style, not even Havaiana slims. But, they are comfortable and durable. 10 times comfortable and durable? I found out in Costa Rica.
For our Costa Rica trip, I packed my favorite pearl white Havaiana slims. During the pre-vacation panic, I also bought 2 pairs of Old Navy flip flops, one pair turquoise and one florescent orange. Throughout the week, I alternated between the orange Old Navys and the Havaianas. My husband only brought a pair of synthetic flip flops. Rubber flip flops are more cushioned, more flexible and softer. Synthetic, cheaper. Here's how they compared:cheap, fun color, floated when I lost one in the ocean, got dirty very
quickly, very slippery on wet rocks.
cost more, better cushion, much better for walks, very good traction on wet surfaces.
The verdict: I'd rather wear the far superior Havaianas than the Old Navys. I will keep them longer and they are more comfortable and more stylish. It will be better to have fewer pairs but better pairs. My husband threw his synthetics in the trash as soon as we got home. I will be shopping for rubber flip flops for him by summer.
Having stepped away from shopping for a year has allowed me to see things more clearly. Quality is important. A low price should not justify a purchase. It will save time, save space and have less of an environmental impact if I just get the thing I want rather than 5 cheap imitations.
Havaianas is a great brand but other brands of rubber flip flops are Dupe, Cariris and some of the better designers like Tory Burch.