Finding Safe Summer Flip Flops

Summer Shoes

A few months ago, I started the search for summer shoes for my children. Because most summer shoes require our bare feet to be right on the shoe (no sock barrier), I do my best to find non-toxic summer shoes for the kiddos. I don’t want their bare, sweaty, hot feet up against a lot of chemicals all summer long. I wrote about my “hunt” for good shoes for them here. It was a long and hard search, but I eventually found a couple options for each of them that I am fairly happy about. Now, on to my shoe dilemma…

I’m a terrible shopper. Actually, I hate shopping for clothes or shoes or accessories. Take me to Home Depot or Tractor Supply, and all the sudden I turn into a shopping machine. Take me to the mall, and I absolutely hate it. I guess that’s what happens when you are one of four girls raised on a farm. We were tomboys and shopping for clothes was never a priority (at least for me – my other sister’s have faired better than me when it comes actually enjoying shopping for clothes). Hence the reason, starting out this summer, I had one pair of shoes: a pair of Birkenstocks.

Birkenstocks aren’t really super safe. They do have some chemical/toxic stuff going on under the leather, and I’m guessing the leather isn’t dyed with safe dyes either. But I have high arches, and Birkenstocks are one shoe that support my feet really well so they don’t hurt during the day. The problem with my Birkenstocks is they aren’t water shoes. I needed something like a flip flop that I could slip on easily to go to the pool or just put on when I was outside with the kids, and they were playing in the sprinkler or whatever.

Why Flip Flops Scare Me

My guess is most of us buy 1-2 pairs of flip flops every summer. We pick up a $3-10 pair at our local Old Navy or Target. We wear them non-stop and then throw them out at the end of August, because we’ve completely worn them out. Flip flops are so convenient and so easy to slip off and on all summer long. BUT what scares me is the amount of chemicals we are exposing ourselves to through the soles of our feet.

Just walk into Old Navy and smell a pair of new flip flops. Yuk! I know it sounds funny, but smell is a good indicator if a product is full of chemicals and sure enough, most flip flops are extremely toxic! Just think, your hot sweaty feet in contact with and “soaking in” toxic chemicals every day. Not fun. Granted, it is just your feet and you are only wearing them several months out of the year, but what I’ve realized is it isn’t the individual exposures to toxins that are very dangerous… it’s when we add everything up that it gets a bit out of control. From beauty products to bedding to flip flops and clothing dyes. It’s day after day of small doses of toxin exposure that ends up really taking a toll on our body. So as small and insignificant as it sounds, changing out your flip flops is a small step to a healthier you. If you are interested in reading about what exactly is in most flip flops, here’s a good article.

Found Some Good Ones

I was doing a quick search on Google for some safe flip flops for me. I found this company: Feelgoodz. They make their flip flops 100% from natural rubber tapped from a rubber tree. If you aren’t familiar with rubber, it comes from a tree a lot like our maple syrup comes from a maple tree. In Thailand, they “tap” the rubber trees and it drips out just like syrup. It can then be made into various products like flip flops or mattresses.

How I Feel About Feelgoodz

My only concern about this company is the dyes. It says they use “natural dyes,” but that can mean a lot of things so I’m not completely convinced that these flip flops are 100% toxic free… but they are most definitely safer and better than flip flops from Target or Old Navy.

As far as “fit” goes, these flip flops fit mostly like traditional flip flops. I have pretty narrow feet so they are a bit wide on me, but I have that problem with almost every shoe. So I’d say these flip flops are fairly average and comparable to what you’d normally get. I got these. I normally wear a size 5.5-6, and these fit perfectly. I don’t see how someone who wears a size 7 would fit so I’d suggest ordering up one size if you think you might need it.

For $25 I was very happy. They are definitely higher quality than Old Navy or Target flip flops. I can see them lasting at least 1-2 summers. They are heavier duty but don’t necessarily feel heavy to wear. If you order $55 or more, you get free shipping which is nice. I only ordered one pair, because I wanted to try them out first. But since I’m happy with them, I’ll be ordering my husband and maybe the kiddos a pair too.

Overall, I like them, and I’ll probably purchase them again. I might shoot the company an email soon to find out if they can tell me more about the dyes in the shoes… but for now, this is definitely a better option than flip flops I’ve bought in the past, and they are priced at a do-able price for a pair of summer shoes.


  1. Linds on June 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Good find! I worked for a specialty footwear store that worked alongside physical therapists and unfortunately, safe goes beyond just chemicals. Flip flop sandals are some of the worst culprits in contributing toward hard-to-heal tendon and ligament injuries in the feet and lower legs. 🙈 A company called Vionic makes supportive options and Chacos will forever be my favorite choice! They’re also incredibly environmentally conscious. (They’ll re-sole or re-strap sandals so you don’t have to buy new ones!)

  2. Emma on May 25, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Are these flip flops nickel free?

  3. Emma on May 25, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Are these nickel free?

    • Lauren Dahl on July 19, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      I’m not sure. It says they are 100% rubber, but I don’t have any testing documentation on them.

  4. Al on July 16, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I bought 80 pair of Old Navy flip flops (on sale for $1 each) for an event. The chemical stench was so overwhelming that I had to move them outside. I had trouble breathing for days.

    • Sharon Lear on May 14, 2019 at 12:36 am

      I bought them on sale last summer and had to put them in the shed. I wore a pair in the yard yesterday, the bottom of my feet are numb AND burning!!?!

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