Flip-flops get a bad rap (even on this very website, as it happens). But like so many things that once seemed verboten and now feel kinda fine to wear wherever—lookin’ at you, Crocs and sweatpants—flip-flops don’t really deserve all the flack that’s been thrown their way over the years. Does the idea of wearing a pair on a crowded subway car or out to dinner with the in-laws still conjure deep feelings of dread from the very core of one’s being? Sure does! But long gone are the days when any of us, even the most ardent anti-flopper, should expend any serious energy railing against the humble flip-flop.

Because here’s the thing: Flip-flops do a job, and they do it well. They keep the bottoms of your feet covered when you’re loping across the hot sand on the way to that perfect spot down the beach where you can lay out a towel and relax in front of the waves. They shield your soles from scorching cement as you shuffle from the pool to the poolside bar. And, sure, they will also keep you from making direct foot-to-sidewalk contact should you choose to wear them on your morning coffee run, a move that we here at Esquire will neither endorse nor rebuke. Plus, now that we’re all experts in house shoes, it’s worth noting that they make pretty decent house shoes.

Them’s the breaks, flip-flop haters. The world has come around. Maybe it’s time for you to do the same (or just get another pair of sandals). And if you’ve always been pro flip-flop? Well, just do your best not to gloat, then pick up a pair (or two!) from the list below. The more the merrier.

Top Flip-Flops


Havaianas has been making flip-flops for a long, long time and the Brazilian brand still puts out one of the best pairs around.

Mush II Flip-Flops


A soft, cushy footbed and nylon straps mean you’ll be about as far from those plasticky, uncomfortable drugstore flip-flops as you can get.

Kepa Kai Thong Sandals


The off-court choice of athletes across the globe. 

Base Camp Flip-Flop II


An ultra-durable style so comfortable you could almost hike in it (though you absolutely shouldn’t).

Como Flip-Flops


If you thought that you were forced to choose between flops and Birks, behold, a revelation: you can flop your Birks! Glory be!