Being a college student, the pop culture associated with flip-flops in a southern state, such as North Carolina, requires the need to own a name brand. Two of the most popular brands among teens and young adults are Reefs and Rainbows. Refs are generally worn more by surfers and casual dressers, while Rainbows are usually sported by the more ‘preppy’ crowd, including the typical collared shirt types, as well as sorority and fraternity members in the college scene.
I started off wearing Reef sandals. My first pair were too large of a size, so fit very sloppy and were not worth even mentioning. However, about 3 months ago, i decided i needed a pair of new sandals, and i purchased a pair of Reef Grip sandals. These sandals have a grippy foam material for the base and a somewhat sticky leather strap, and retail for about $30. These sandals felt relatively comfortable for about the first month of use, but they were horrible for wet conditions.
Once the foam base got wet, these sandals were very tricky to keep on, and the brown dye from the leather strap would leave a nice imprint on your foot. Also, with wear and tear, the straps quickly become too loose to even keep on your foot, leaving you walking a bit funny to balance the sandal on your foot. After about 2 and a half months of wearing these, they started to get on my nerves and my girlfriend finally convinced me to buy a pair of Rainbow sandals. I purchased the single layer Dark Brown sandal, which i got for about $45.
These sandals sit a bit more snug against your foot. The base is leather on the top, with a memory foam underneath, and a single arch support layer underneath the memory foam. Before you break these sandals in they are no different than any other sandal, but once they start to form to your foot with the memory foam, they reach a new level of comfort and do not cause you to stand funny because of a non-supportive sandal.
They seem to keep from being slippery and dirty in wet conditions as far as i have seen. I believe the Rainbow sandals to be worth the extra $15 over Reef sandals, for both the comfort and the look.