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Slides vs Flip Flops: What’s the Difference and Which is Right For You?

Sandals are an excellent choice for casual day-to-day wear as an easy shoe that you can put on or take off in just seconds. Comparing flip flops vs slides as two of the most prominent types of sandals can seem like a debate between two similar options at first, but there are several key differences to consider.

Slides offer durable and stable wear, especially when they are made with high-quality materials like polyurethane. The difference of slides vs flip flops also stands out when it comes to style, as slide sandals are a fairly common sight on runways and red carpets, while flip flops have a reputation as a very casual shoe. Some would say they’re a bit outdated in this day and age.

There is plenty more to explore on how these two types of sandals differ, so let’s dive into the details to help you determine which type is right for you!

Are Slides and Flip Flops the Same Thing?

If you are hunting for sandals, you might be considering either slides or flip flops for your next shoe purchase. It is common to see both types of sandals out on the beach or during a daily stroll around town, as both types of sandals are easy to put on and take off in just a few seconds.

Slides and flip flops are perfect for those moments where you need to throw on a quick pair of shoes to protect your feet. If you have ever needed to take out the trash late at night or let your dog run around the backyard, either of these sandals is perfect for the job.

While there are a few aesthetic differences between slides and flip flops, both are perfect for casual settings where you just need to throw a quick outfit together, like a beach day or a trip to the gym. Flip flops and slides also can feature logos and other designs, though specific designs offer more potential depending on the size of the straps and soles.

While the two share commonalities, their differences play a massive part in helping you find the best choice for your lifestyle.

What’s the Difference Between Slides and Flip Flops?

These two types of sandals have several differences that set them apart. Comparing flip flops vs slides will help you make the right decision when searching for a new pair of sandals.

While comfort can be a personal preference, slides offer more support than flip flops, and are usually made of comfortable materials, like polyurethane. Flip flops can also fall short of extravagant designs due to the limited space on their Y-straps. 

The casual nature of flip flops leaves much to be desired when putting together a comfortable outfit that still looks good. On the other hand, slides have flexible aesthetic value that can keep a casual or beach day outfit looking sharp.

Our discussion about the differences between slides and flip flops will begin with a few more details. Let’s look at the features that define slides and flip flops to set the two types of sandals apart from one another.

What are Slides?

So, what are slides exactly?

Slides are a type of sandal notable for their wide strap, which goes over the top of the foot. While some form of slide sandals have existed throughout history, they were made famous in the 1970s as a way to provide soccer players with an easy way to keep their feet protected in their locker rooms.

Slides have evolved beyond their use as a soccer sandal, becoming an outright fashion statement in some regards. Slide sandals have even made their way to the runway, with top designers like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Dolce and Gabbana, and more offering slides as a cozy and aesthetically pleasing sandal option.

What are Flip Flops?

Flip flops are also a modern invention, with the current version being popularized in the 1950s. They are famous for their Y-strap design that leaves the big toe separated from the rest of the toes.

Flip flops are a common sight on any beach or casual setting, though they can lack some aesthetic flair. This lack of flair is due in part to the inability to customize flip flops with ease, as they do not have much area to work with.

One prominent drawback of flip flops comes from an uncomfortable wearing experience. Walking around town in a pair of flip flops will guarantee sore feet the day after, as flip flops lack proper foot support due to their thin base.

Slides vs Flip Flops: Which Should You Go With?

While both types of sandals are fun options for casual wear, the debate of flip flops vs slides comes down to a few key factors. 


At first glance, either slides or flip flops provide good levels of comfort typical of sandals. However, the difference between slides and flip flops is noticeable regarding long-term comfort. 

Flip flops usually lack proper support with thin soles, causing support issues after a couple of hours of wearing them. This can lead to massive discomfort, relegating flip flops to only be worn when you are not planning to walk around much.

Contrasting slides vs flip flops, slides come with a more rigid sole, providing a more stable walking experience. This makes slides perfect for more prolonged use cases, like an all-day beach trip or a stroll around town.

Flip flops can also be less comfortable due to their Y-shaped strap, which separates toes. The Y-shaped strap found on flip flops is also infamous for digging into your toe bed, causing friction with every step you take. The straps on slides are wide and fit over the top of your feet, allowing the pressure to be evenly distributed across your toes, unlike flip-flops. The wide strap found on slides also allows your toes a greater range of motion as they are not directly causing friction on your toes.


The act of comparing flip flops vs slides means nothing without a look at the style potential of each type of sandal.  

Flip flops usually lack specific style features due to their thin strap that leaves out the possibility for extravagant logos or aesthetic qualities. Beyond the physical attributes of flip flops, they also tend to have a reputation as a highly casual shoe, which can limit you in terms of outfit planning.

Slides have better aesthetic potential, starting with their wide strap. The strap present on slides can be adorned with logos or patterns with ease, and some slides even come with detachable straps that can be swapped out for any given occasion. Slides also carry more aesthetic weight when putting together an outfit, as the right pair of slides can help bring together an outfit. 


The durability of slides vs flip flops can vary depending on the brand and quality of the shoe, but, generally speaking, slides are considered more durable than flip flops.

Most flip flops are produced with low-quality materials, positioned as a cheap option. While it is possible to find flip flop sandals with high-quality materials, their thin structure can lead to long-term issues. Owners of flip flops often find the Y-strap broken or frayed, or even the base of their shoes coming apart at the seams.

Slides offer a stronger base, thanks to a thicker sole and a strong strap that won’t break at the first sign of tension. Additionally, finding solid materials, like polyurethane, is easier when shopping for slides. Polyurethane is unrivaled in providing a comfortable wearing experience while maintaining long-term durability.

Foot Health

When looking at foot health, the difference between slides and flip flops is night and day. Supporting your feet with a stable base allows you to maintain proper alignment with your feet and ankles, and slides are better constructed for the job. The stable base of slides also tends to be wider than most flip flops, providing support for your entire foot, not just the center of it.

In addition to a strong sole, you also have to consider which sandal option is better between sandals or flip flops when it comes to materials. Sandals made with polyurethane can help absorb shock while walking, easing the pain off your feet and joints.

So, Which is Better: Flip Flops vs Slides?

The difference between slides and flip flops is clear; slides are an overwhelming winner. While either slides or flip flops can be a casual option, slides have great versatility with better style potential. These days it is not uncommon to find slides on runways and red carpets, while flip flops have limited uses.

Slide sandals are also significantly better for the short and long-term health of your feet, providing a stable base that gives a comfortable wearing experience. While flip flops are casual enough to be comfortable, they are severely limited in the amount you can walk in them before incurring foot pain.

See Firsthand Why Slides are Better Than Flip Flops By Getting Custom Slides Made Today!

Are you looking to upgrade your wardrobe with a fresh pair of sandals that won’t cause feet pain the next day? Here at Deco Slides, we offer custom slide sandals fit for any occasion! 

We craft our slides using 100% polyurethane, which is the strongest material on the market thanks to its ability to provide a comfortable wearing experience in addition to its long-term durability.

Our entire inventory of custom slides also comes with tons of stylistic versatility. The straps on our slides can be swapped out with new customizable straps at any moment, giving you multiple style options with just one sandal.

Whether you want custom slides in bulk for an event or just want your own single pair of customized slides, we’ve got you covered. Our manufacturing process allows us to provide a super fast turnaround without compromising on quality, unlike most slides on the market. We also provide a simple-to-use design tool to help bring your design to life.

Bringing Our Conversation on Slides vs Flip Flops to a Close

The debate of flip flops vs slides can look like a wash at first, but diving into the details, it's clear that slides are a winner. Slides offer superior aesthetic potential, to the point where they are even commonly found on the red carpet, while flip flops have a limited design area to work with. 

Additionally, slides offer the strong support your feet need thanks to a wide base and strap, without compromising on comfort and retaining their easy wearability. Flip flops, however, do not provide the necessary support to do much beyond quickly walking from one side of the house to another before your feet start aching.

Looking for a place to bring your custom sandal ideas to life? Here at Deco Slides, we offer 100% polyurethane slide sandals with an ultra-fast turnaround time that fits your needs. From the endless customization options with our detachable straps to top-quality materials that will last far longer than most sandals on the market, our slides are a fantastic choice.

Plus, we offer an easy design tool that will allow you to express yourself with your slides. Whether you need slides in bulk for an event or just a single pair for yourself, check out our inventory at Deco Slides today!