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Slides vs Flip Flops – What’s The Difference?

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Spring and summer are arriving, and you are ready to give some freedom and air to your feet. However, you can’t decide what type of sandal to choose. That’s why you need to know the differences when it comes to slides vs flip flops.

I am a much bigger fan of flip flops than slides, but it depends on the occasion. I tend to use flip flops in the summer to go to the beach, walk around a city, or just chill at home. However, I always preferred slides over flip flops for the swimming pool. As you can see, it depends on the occasion for me.

Let’s find out the difference when it comes to slides vs flip flops.

What Is The Difference Between Flip Flops And Slides?

If you are short on time, let me tell you quickly the difference between flip flops and slides.

What Are Flip Flops?

Flip flops have a minimalist design, are narrow, and have a Y-shaped strap that goes between the first and second toes around both sides of the foot, providing little support and average grip (if the outsole is not made of rubber.

Read: How Long Should Shoes Last?

I have been wearing Havaianas flip flops for years and had a Quicksilver pair that I enjoyed. So I am leaving the links for you to check both pairs out.

What Are Slides?

Slides have a chunky silhouette, are wider, and have a band that covers most of the front of your foot, providing average support and a good grip if the outsole is made of rubber.

I always use Adidas slides in the swimming pool and the same when I played football and needed something to use in the locker room.

Slides vs Flip Flops

Let’s check more in detail the differences between flip flops and slides when it comes to the style, strap, grip, and support they both offer.

The Style

Both sandal styles are entirely different.

The flip flops are more narrow and minimalist. This style has a Y-shaped strap that passes between the first and second toes and around both sides of the foot.

The slides are wider, with a chunky silhouette. This style has a band that covers part of the front of the foot, which some people prefer.

The Strap

The strap on both flip flops and slides have the same function, to keep the sandal on the foot when you walk. However, the shape and the placement vary between flip flops and slides.

The slides have a chunky strap that usually goes from the left to the right, covering most of the foot. It’s like having a belt on the slide, with a width that can vary from style to style.

The flip-flops have a thin y-shaped strap near the front of the sandal that is anchored to the bottom of the sole through a hole. The strap splits in two, diverging to the right and left, connecting the sides to the foot’s arch. The straps are usually thin, but some styles have thick straps (just not as thick as slides).

In both cases, the straps can cause some blisters or redness due to the rubbing against your skin on every step you take.

The Support

In terms of support, both styles are entirely different. Slides provide more support than flip flops. Keep in mind that none of these styles provide the support most people need on their feet.

Many flip flops don’t offer enough arch support, and you are more likely to trip and fall when you walk with them. Remember that you only have a thin strap to provide minimal support.

Slides provide more support when compared with flip flops (but never when compared with most shoes) because they have a chunky band that puts less stress on your feet when walking. 

The biggest problem with flip flops is that you need to put some strength on your toes while your heel is lifted to ensure you keep the flip flops on your feet. This motion can bring some problems like plantar fascia or change your gait. Slides can also bring these problems, but it takes more time for them to occur since they provide a bit more support than flip flops.

The Grip

Both flip flops and sandals can have a good grip if the outsole is made of rubber. You need to check the brand and style you are purchasing to understand if they give the grip you need.

Read: How To Make Shoes Non-Slip? 

If you are thinking of locker rooms, swimming pools on anything that involves a wet floor, I prefer slides over flip flops in these situations because they provide more support on wet surfaces.

When To Wear Slides?

You can wear slides whenever you want since it’s a personal choice, but I would say they are a better fit for places with a wet surface, swimming pools, locker room, or around the house.

what are slides

Some people love to wear slides with socks when shopping, eating out, traveling, etc. This is now considered fashionable in the mainstream, but it’s something I will never understand. To me, slides are to be used without socks, on specific occasions, and not as a way of fashion. But as I said, you should wear whatever makes you happy and comfortable.

Read: How Many Pairs Of Shoes Should a Man Own?

Slides should be used in hot weather, during summer. However, in some countries, the weather is good enough for you to wear slides during spring and early fall.

When To Wear Flip Flops?

Flip flops are perfectly acceptable for short-term use, like a short walk on the beach or going to the beach.

what are flip flops

I love flip flops because I like that type of freedom on my feet. However, I know I shouldn’t use them during an entire day, which sometimes I do. For example, in Malaga, I walked uphill for half an hour with flip-flops when I shouldn’t have because they weren’t supportive.

Dr. Miguel Cunha (founder of Gotham Footcare and podiatric surgeon) states that “Flip flops really are that bad. I typically encourage my patients to avoid wearing flip flops for prolonged periods of time because this particular shoe allows our foot to collapse, affecting our gait and posture, which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress not only to the foot but to the rest of the body.”

So, when in doubt, only wear flip flops for short periods of time, during the summer, spring, or early fall.

Common Questions About Flip Flops vs Slides

These are the most common questions about slides vs flip flops.

Are Slides Better Than Flip Flops?

It depends on your personal preferences. For example, slides provide more support and cover your feet more. Conversely, flip flops offer more freedom, and some prefer the Y strap design. Some people will say slides are better than flip flops exclusively because of the support.

Read: Loafers vs Boat Shoes

Are Slides More Comfortable Than Flip Flops?

It depends on your personal preferences. I find flip flops more comfortable than slides, because they are more minimalist. On the other hand, some people find the flip flops strap very annoying and uncomfortable. You need to try both styles to find out which one you prefer the most.

Why Do People Often Prefer Flip Flops Over Slides?

Because flip flops are more minimalistic, they provide more freedom to your feet and offer a firm contact between the footwear and the foot since it’s attached in between your toes.

Conclusion on Slides vs Flip Flops

When it comes to deciding which is better between slides and flip flops, you will need to consider the features of both types of footwear and where you will be using both.

Some people are hardcore fans of slides and don’t understand why you would use something else during a day on the beach or in the gym. Others, including myself, prefer to wear flip flops for specific reasons, knowing that they should be worn for small amounts of time.

Basically, whatever you choose when it comes to slides vs flip flops, remember to pick something comfortable and that you like. That’s the best decision for your feet.