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I never wanted to be the “guy in flip flops.” Maybe it’s just where I live but dudes who wear flip flops around town are considered weirdos (probably because we usually have a couple of feet of snow). Whatever the reason, this has left me unprepared every time I take a trip to the beach or even to the pool. I typically end up buying a pair of flip flops from Walmart or Old Navy and my feet just suffer through.
The problem is, most generic flip fops only go up to a size 12. Every time I’ve tried to pick up some extra wide flip flops at Walmart I’m told, “Well we’ve got flip flops…and these fit a men’s size 10-12.” Too bad I need a 13 wide or extra wide to avoid dragging my toes on the ground.
Well, the time came that I figured I should just invest in a pair of flip flops that didn’t suck and actually fit me. To my surprise, the reason I didn’t like flip flops is that I hadn’t given them a fair chance. I simply needed to get some extra wide flip flops that actually fit my feet!
During my search for the perfect flip flops, here are the five options I considered (including the pair that I bought and love):
What makes a good flip flop?
During my younger days, I spent two years in Keyna doing humanitarian work. Everyone there (or at least all the working-class guys) makes flip flops out of old tires. As you can imagine, they were heavy and a bit uncomfortable but the had great traction and would literally last forever!
On the other end of the longevity spectrum, we find the flip flops you get at Old Navy for a dollar a pair. Lightweight foam footbed and rubber straps. These are just as uncomfy, not flattering, don’t last a week and, worst of all, they aren’t available in wide sizes. I need some extra wide flip flops to contain my toes at the beach!
Given the wide spectrum of possibilities I knew I needed to narrow things down to a few characteristics that would give me the best wide flip flops for men. Here’s what I came up with:
- Footbed. I wanted a footbed that was actually shaped something like a foot. Even in gym-shoes, I get insoles with arch support to keep my feet happy so a flat piece of foam wasn’t going to cut it.
- Sole. Forget foam, I wanted traction and longevity. If the wide flip flops I chose didn’t have a “true” sole then they at least needed to be made out of natural rubber or something similar.
- Straps. The straps on regular flip flops tend to be both too tight and loose enough to give me blisters all at the same time. I needed something that wasn’t too rigid and was soft enough to take care of my sheltered feet.
- Sizes. While I only wear one size of shoe (shocker…) I couldn’t recommend anything to be the king of extra-wide flip flops if they had a limited range of sizes. I only need a size 12-13 but I did my best to find options that had sizes ranging from 6 to 16!
- Width. Above all, my flip flops had to be noticeably wider than the average store offering. I’ve bought “wide” shoes before only to find that they fit like regular shoes. I wanted some legitimate extra space for my feet and looked for sandals with both extra wide and extra extra wide fit.
With only 5 requirements, I figured it wouldn’t be hard to find some options and expected to spend most of my time trying on flip flops and walking around. I was wrong. Even with my loose standards I spent hours to even find 5 options that didn’t have issues of some sort. However, it came out even better than I expected in the end and most of these actually really rock! Let’s check them out!
The Best Wide Flip Flops for Big Guys
If you’ve ever heard of Spenco, I’m betting it wasn’t in the context of flip flops. Spenco is leading producer of top-tier insoles, foot care products, shoes, and advanced sports medicine products. While all of that sounds like over qualification for making flip flops, I’d rather have a flip flop designed by a medical professional than Mr. Cool Shoes any day!
While Spenco has a complete line of orthotic shoes, these are not them. The “Yumi” as they call it is a sporty looking flip flop with a foot shaped foot bed and very comfortable straps. What’s more, it comes in both regular and wide sizes!
While a pair of these won’t come cheap, they are the most comfortable flip flops for guys with wide feet and will last you for years. These are the pair that I eventually chose for myself and I cannot recommend them highly enough!
Flip Flops for Big Guys
If you’re the type of big guy who needs everything to have leather, these are the flip flops for you. Not only do they have extremely durable (and comfortable) leather straps, but they are well matched with the EVA footbed which provides both comfort and traction.
Dunham makes this flip flop in “extended sizes” which means they come as big as a size 16 X-wide! While these are not the flip flops you want if you’re going to be putting lots of walking miles on them, they are perfect for hanging out at the beach, exploring shops, and every day wear!
Extra Extra Wide Leather Flip Flops for Men
If you’re never heard of Jebuar then you’ve probably never shopped for extra wide leather flip flops. They do one thing, and they do it very well. In fact, they don’t even offer regular width options, preferring to focus instead on providing exclusively for us big footed fellows.
Their “Dashed Lines” flip flop is all leather construction over a rubber sole which give you the best of both worlds: longevity and walking comfort. The leather stripes are quite spartan compared the first two models on this list so, if you find regular flip flop uncomfortable, you might want to pass on these.
However, if the minimalistic style appeals to you and you need a pair of high quality flops at a great price, these just might be the ticket!
Best Wide Flip Flops for Walking
If you’re headed on a walking vacation or include flip flops in your daily wear, KEEN is a brand you should familiarize yourself with. These flip flops will hug your feet in a way you’ve probably never experienced and will help you keep foot pain at bay due to their ergonomic design.
While these flip flops are difficult to find in every size (they must sell out regularly) they do offer them in wide sizes and, as soon as my size is back in stock, I’ll be picking up a pair to use as camp shoes when I’m backpacking! Some people might consider wide flip flops such as these to be overkill for simple trips to the pool or store but, if you get them, you won’t regret it!
The Cheapest Wide Fit Flip Flops that Don’t Suck
If you are scrolling through this article thinking, “what the heck man! Those aren’t flip flops…I just want some flip flops!” then we have come to your option. For all intents and purposes, Waves has made a traditional flip flop here, it’s just better in every way.
While most flip flops you find locally are made of closed cell foam or a synthetic rubber, these are made of more expensive (and far more desirable) natural rubber. You’ll now the second that you open these that they are different that anything you’ve ever worn (natural rubber has a smell). That is, unless you wore flip flops 30 years ago when they weren’t considered a throw away shoe and were manufactured to a much higher standard!
There isn’t a whole bunch to say about this flip flop except that it’s standard, comfortable, and available in wide widths! So if these are for you, you’ll know it. If you know it, they’re cheap enough that you should get a couple of pair so next time you leave them at the pool you won’t be left without!
Now go buy yourself some extra wide flip flops!
Let’s cut to the chase, I’m a guy, you’re a guy (probably…or you’re shopping for a guy….) and you just need some wide flip flops. Any of the above are a huge step above what you’d find at a box store and you’ll probably be happy with any of them. So scroll back up, pick your favorite, and close the deal!
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