There was a time, not too long ago, when flip-flops occupied the lowest rung of the footwear ladder. Tom Ford famously condemned them. Fashion trades—including, uh, this one—published cheeky guides to the places you could wear them. (Spoiler alert: it’s a short list.) “Best flip-flops for men” wasn’t just an oxymoron: it was a joke, the punchline to a snarky send-up of man-bunned surfer bros. And then menswear got freaky. Water shoes had a moment, rubber clogs began clomping their way down the catwalk, and even Tom Ford started selling leather thongs that sure look like designer you-know-whats.
All of which brings us here, to a list we never really thought we’d make. Because a few years into menswear’s glorious wild-style era, flip-flops don’t feel that controversial—by comparison, actually, they feel kind of tame. We still wouldn’t recommend wearing ‘em anywhere but the beach (or on the occasional Jitney trip/boardwalk jaunt/sailboat ride there), but if you absolutely need a pair of unbeatable rubber flops this summer, the least we can do is point you in the right direction.
Luckily for all of us, the OGs of the genre—the Havaianas and Rainbows of the world—never stopped churning out their hero product, even as the capital-F Fashion darlings—the galaxy-brain humorists at Maison Margiela, the Japanese house shoe experts at Suicoke—started selling freakified versions designed to warm the cockles of any skeptic’s heart. Refuse to believe it until you see it? Bracket your skepticism for a moment longer and keep scrolling: these are the absolute best flip-flops for men money (and not a whole lot of it!) can buy.
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