Sandal vs Flip Flop – What’s The Difference

All those huge sneakers and leather shoes are fun and games until it's the summer and your feet get sweaty. You can't wear them all the time. You need some footwear that can let your feet breathe while keeping them safe, too. In that case, you have two options: sandals or Flip-flops. Wait, they are not the same.

There is way more difference between both these footwear than you think. But, if you are still confused and want to know more about them, we have a full-fledged article written about them.

The sandal vs flip-flop is a debatable topic and many people back them for their versatility. But, if you want to know what will really suit you, come with us, let's find out.

Sandal vs Flip flop

what are sandals?

Sandals are a bit heavy type of footwear which you can wear casually. They have thick straps around them to keep your feet secure. Mostly, sandals have two straps in which one goes around the instep and the second secures your toes. Moreover, they have thin soles, most probably flat to keep your feet posture straight.


However, even if the soles are thin, they are strong. People living in the hotter regions consider wearing sandals because your feet stay exposed. As your feet stay exposed, air can circulate around them. Further, wearing sandals can work best for you if you have sweaty feet as they dissipate moisture.

what are flip-flops?

Flip-flop is actually a kind of sandal and it's too casual to wear. They are usually used at homes, beaches, or somewhere there is no need to dress up. Flip-flops might have thick or thin soles depending on the brand and their quality, but generally, they are thin.

While wearing flip-flops, your feet stay exposed as they have only two straps going over the feet. Also, there are a lot of differences between them. Below we have given a detailed comparison of flip-flops vs sandals to answer your query.


sandals vs flip flops

1. Type of material

As said earlier, sandals are on the heavier side, they are made of thick materials. Their soles can be of rubber, rope, or even leather. That's why people prefer buying sandals for long-term usage.

But, they take a lot of space like shoes and you might have questions like are sandals shoes? The answer is no. On the other hand, flip-flops are lightweight and mostly made of rubber and plastic. Therefore, they are highly flexible. Also, if you want cheaper footwear, always go for flip-flops.

2. Looks

Moving towards the aesthetics, both the footwears have a thin sole and straps. But their looks and type change with the position of the straps. Flip-flops have two straps, but both of them start in between the big toe and the second one and end on both sides of the instep.

Moreover, you can also find flip-flops with a broad step going over the instep. On the other hand, sandals have at least two straps, one goes over the instep and ankle while the other one goes over the toes.

sandal vs flip-flop

3. Shape

There is a lot of difference between sandals and flipflops when it comes to their shape. Even though they might look the same from a distance. The flip-flops have a flat sole which might mold in your foot shape with frequent use.

But, you cannot use them for a long period. While the sandals have ergonomics with pre-defined foot shapes to keep your feet comfortable. As they are made for long-term use, sandals have this shape.

4. Where to wear it?

There are some unwritten rules which we follow. One of them is to not wear flip-flop shoes at a dressy event. However, you can wear sandals as they are not casual wear. And with a proper choice, you can be the center of attention.

sandal vs flip-flop

On the other hand, flip-flops are perfect for casual outings at the park or a swimming pool. Moreover, you can use flip-flops around water as they are fully made of rubber.


1. what are sandals made of?

Sandals generally use rubber, wood, leather, or rope for their soles. While the straps over it can be rubber, leather, or jute.

2. what is the difference between flip-flops and sandals?

There is a lot of difference between flip-flops and sandals such as their sole material, price range, occasion to wear them, and their looks. However, both of them are technically sandals.

3. are flip-flops shoes?

No, they aren't shoes, flip-flops keep your feet exposed and are best suited for casual occasions. On the contrary, shoes keep them enclosed and are perfect for weddings or professional meetings.


Now you know the difference between flip-flops vs sandals you can choose which one suits you the best. You can find the sandals or flip-flops according to your personal preference. Or you can buy both of them on different occasions as flip-flops cost little. Both of them are versatile and come in different styles. Hence, get a pair or two for yourself today.

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