Top 7 Best Surf Sandals (Rainbow, Reef Fanning)

Last Updated January 27, 2023

Are you tired of endlessly hunting for the perfect surf sandals to pair with your boardshorts and surf hats? There are so many options, but none of them seem to be just right. 

You may have already spent time and money searching for the best pair, just to be hit with lots of misses. Some sandals just simply aren’t comfortable (they absorb water and squeak when wet). That pair over there is totally not your style (it’s also made from cloth, totally not waterproof!). While the previous ones you might’ve had before were pretty good, but sadly, they didn’t last very long. 

Don’t fret! In this guide, we’re going to walk you through every bit of information you’ll need in choosing the best surf sandals depending on your lifestyle. Whether you like hitting the mall or having drinks with your friends after surfing sessions, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more!

Top 7 Best Surf Sandals Reviewed

We’ve created this summary as a guide to help you choose the right kind of pair that gives you the most bang out of your buck! Here’s the summary of our top 7 best surf sandals:

  1. REEF Fanning Flip-Flop— Our Top Pick
  2. Volcom Victor Flip-Flop Sandal— Best Budget
  3. OluKai Ohana— Best High End
  4. Rainbow Sandals Leather Double Layer with Arch Wide Strap— Most Durable
  5. Freewaters Magic Carpet Flip-Flop— Vegan-Friendly
  6. Cobian Sumo Flip Flops— Best Warranty
  7. Quiksilver Layover Travel Sandals— Best in Customer Satisfaction

#1. REEF Fanning Flip-Flop— Our Top Pick

REEF Fanning Flip-Flop

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  • Anatomical arch support
  • 360-degree heel airbag 

No bottle cap opener? No problem! Inspired by the great Mick Fanning (Champion of ASP’s World Tour in 2007, 2009, and 2013), these best-seller surf sandals also have the famous feature of all Reef products — the bottle opener. Now, you can celebrate that amazing Cutback and 360 tricks with your friends anytime, anywhere. This TQT, or thirst-quenching technology, can be found at the bottom of the sandal’s rubber outsole. 

Walking on the sand is relaxing and satisfying, but when it’s time to get off the beach, your sandals must also be able to protect your feet when you’re walking on paved roads. Thankfully, the Reef surf sandals have a shock-absorbing and contoured EVA footbed for added support. These sandals also protect your feet when you’re in tropical countries where roads can get really hot. Now, every step you make is light on your toes! 

Lastly, Reef is a household brand in beach footwear because of its durability. They’re known to create products that’ll last for many years.

Thick-heeled for soles protectionA bit expensive compared to other brands
Can be unisex, good fittingNeeds breaking in
Comfort and durability

#2. Volcom Victor Flip-Flop Sandal— Best Budget

Volcom Victor Flip-Flop Sandal

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  • 100% Synthetic
  • Rubber Outsole

If you’re looking for budget-friendly surf sandals that don’t compromise quality, Volcom’s Victor Flip-Flop Sandals is the right choice for you. They’re made from synthetic soles and nubuck upper, so you don’t have to worry about getting them wet and having that weird after smell as they dry up. 

Aside from being water-friendly, these surf sandals also have reinforced double webbing toe post and soft molded footbed. Not to mention that they’re also lightweight, so whether you’re flat-footed or you have slightly bigger toes, they’re comfortable to use, even for everyday wear. 

The Victor Flip-flop Sandals also come in different styles and colors, so both men and women can sport them on the beach and feel extra confident. 

Lightweight, good for everyday wearYou may need to order one size up
High-quality for a cheaper price
Has arch support

#3. OluKai Ohana— Best High End

OluKai Ohana

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  • Heel measures approximately 2.8″
  • Made in USA/Imported

All surfers need footwear after riding the waves, but not just any surf sandals should do. If you’re one of the people who doesn’t mind spending money on the best products in the market, the OluKai Ohana should be your best bet. 

One of the common problems surfers have when it comes to their beach footwear is often that post-swim smell. This odor usually can be smelled when their sandals are made with leather or other materials that aren’t quick-drying. As a result, they absorb water and moisture which, unfortunately, also creates a breeding ground for bacteria.  

What’s great about the Olukai Ohana is that they’re vegan friendly, and the straps of these surf sandals are made from synthetic leather. Therefore they’re both water-resistant and quick-drying. They also come with a unique outsole design for traction and added safety on slippery surfaces. 

But what about comfortability, you might ask? These lightweight surf sandals are made with molded EVA midsole and ICEVA footbed. It provides support and anatomical fit, making these sandals perfect for daily use. 

All OluKai products have a one-year warranty
Expensive compared to other brands
Stylish and can also be worn by womenYou may need to order one size up
Water-resistant, quick-drying

#4. Rainbow Sandals Leather Double Layer with Arch Wide Strap— Most Durable

Rainbow Sandals Leather Double Layer with Arch Wide Strap

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  • 1″ Classic Leather Strap
  • Double stitching

Rainbow is a staple brand in footwear for a reason. Wonder why? Well, it’s because all the products they manufacture always have top-notch quality, and this flagship product isn’t any different. The Rainbow Sandals has a one-inch strap made from nubuck leather, with double stitching and layering for extra strength. They’re also embossed with the trademark logo of the well-known brand. But if they’re made of 100% leather, does it mean that they’re not waterproof? 

Not with Rainbow! The materials used in these surf sandals are designed to get wet daily. They also have arch support and a single-layered midsole that’s glued not once, not twice — but three times for maximum durability and traction. Talk about dedicated workmanship!

Now, let’s talk about how it’ll feel as you wear it. These particular surf sandals need breaking in, so the first time you wear them wouldn’t be too pleasant. After 1-2 weeks though, that’s when you’ll notice the big difference in its comfortability and how it molds into your feet. 

Designed to get wet dailyLeather dye rubs off on feet
Good for everyday useLong break-in period

#5. Freewaters Magic Carpet Flip-Flop— Vegan-Friendly

Freewaters Magic Carpet Flip-Flop

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  • Magic Carpet midsole
  • Vegan-friendly

Looking for surf sandals with a purpose? Freewaters’ flagship product — the Magic Carpet Flip-flop — is just the right one for you. Every pair you buy helps provide clean drinking water to different villages in the Philippines, Kenya, and Haiti. But wait… that doesn’t end there. 

These surf sandals are also vegan-friendly, meaning no animals were harmed in manufacturing this product. The Magic Carpet’s straps are made from hydro-leather that has a wide base for sturdier quality and foothold. It also has dynamic arch support and ergonomic midsole to hold your feet securely in place, which is extremely useful when your feet are wet and you’re walking on dry sand. 

Not only that, but these surf sandals also feature Supreem foam for a soft cushion and good bounce. As well as a responsive rubber sole for traction and stability. The Freewaters brand guarantees that wearing these sandals will make you feel like you’re riding the magic carpet. You’re in for the ultimate ride!

Features ergonomic and cushioned midsoleNeeds breaking in 
Comfortable for everyday use
Stylish with a high heel
Vegan- friendly

#6. Cobian Sumo Flip Flops— Best Warranty

Cobian Sumo Flip Flops

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  • Durable EVA cup-sole base
  • Lifetime warranty

Since 1995, Cobian has been recognized as the leading brand in comfortable footwear from the island of Hawaii to the shores of Huntington Beach, California. Millions of people love this brand, and it’s often the go-to sandals for surfers and non-surfers alike. Last 2016, Cobian created the Sumo Flip-flop to honor the legacy of one of its ambassadors, Blaine ‘Sumo’ Sato.

These special sandals have an extra-wide footbed that’s double-stitched for added grip. They’ve also designed it in a way that it molds into your feet as soon as you wear them. Thanks to its arch support and anatomical features, you can now say goodbye to uncomfortable and painful beach sandals!

When it comes to materials, the Sumo Flip-flop is made from materials varying from synthetic, vegan, and natural ones. Like other Cobian products, these are also waterproof so they’re good to wear whether you’re in or out of the water. 

Finally, the best thing about these surf sandals/flip flops is the lifetime warranty that comes with your purchase. (This makes them one of the great gifts you can give to your other surfer friends!) If they’re brave enough to guarantee this to their customers, this just means they’re confident that their products are only made with only the best quality.

Has a lifetime warrantySqueaks when wet
Good, comfortable fit

#7. Quiksilver Layover Travel Sandals— Best in Customer Satisfaction

Quiksilver Layover Travel Sandals

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  • Welded support structure
  • 100% Synthetic

The Layover Travel Sandals from Quiksilver have the highest rate of customer satisfaction in this list by far. The materials used in these sandals are all synthetic — with rubber soles, nylon toe-post, and a strap that’s made from faux nubuck leather. They’re breathable and non-absorbent at the same time, making them compatible to use after surfing or other water activities.

Sure, they’re made of synthetic materials, but does that mean they’re uncomfortable? Not quite. Users of these surf sandals all over the globe say they’re light to the feet and are comfortable to wear for everyday use. These sandals also feature a welded structure that supports the feet, as well as a soft cushion for added protection. 

Quicksilver is known as a brand that makes outstanding products essential for outdoor and water activities. That’s why it isn’t surprising they’ve created these one-of-a-kind surf sandals.

Comfortable for everyday useNot unisex
Breathable and water-repellent
True to size

What to Look for When Buying Surf Sandals

Choosing the right surf sandals based on your lifestyle is important. It isn’t enough that you only rely on other people’s choices as their experience and level of activities may be different from your own. So before purchasing, you must first consider these certain factors. 

Fit and Comfort 

Chances are, you will not only use your surf sandals after surfing but also for your everyday wear. That’s why it’s more important that you’re comfortable using them without feeling any discomfort or pain. Take note that most surf sandals undergo a break-in process before they feel comfortable to your feet.

Aside from that, your sandals must also fit you like a glove. Ill-fitting footwear may result in slips and slides, especially when you’re walking on wet surfaces. 


With an active lifestyle, you need to have footwear that can match your every stride. In choosing the right surf sandals, you must also take into account their strength and durability. Are they made with good materials like rubber and leather (vegan/natural)? Do they come with a reasonable repair and exchange warranty? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can surf sandals also be worn on paved streets or inside malls? 

Yes, surf sandals can be worn everywhere. Not only on the beach but even on paved streets and places with slippery floorings like malls. The ideal pair must be able to provide good grip and traction to avoid any accidents. 

Q: Are surf sandals water-absorbent? 

Most surfing accessories like surf sandals are waterproof, as having an absorbent pair may tend to become uncomfortable when they are wet. The added water weight causes it to become heavy and uncomfortable to walk in. Aside from that, water-absorbent surf sandals also tend to develop unpleasant smells if they don’t fully dry from the sun.