With April showers nearly over, it's time to start thinking about putting away the umbrellas and rubber boots and breaking out the warm-weather footwear. There's nothing that says summer more than a pair of flip-flops, but there's nothing that can rain on your parade like a blown out pair. But just because the average sandal has a simple design doesn't mean it should look like it went through a paper shredder after three weeks. Even beach bums need a little predictability in their lives.
We've rounded up a few sandals that are comfortable, durable and, best of all, guaranteed by the company (dogs and skateboarding accidents notwithstanding). While these flips are pricier than the dollar store sandal that you bought to wear in the shower at summer camp, you'll find that it's worth the money to buy a shoe that will last season after season. If nothing else, spend the extra cash to avoid being a cliché from a Jimmy Buffet song.
Speaking from experience, this is the best sandal I've ever owned. After eight summers — and more than 600 miles of walking — these sandals are still in excellent condition. Beyond quality craftsmanship, all Rainbow sandals also come with a warranty that extends for the lifetime of the sole, and includes things like the strap pulling out, the delimitation of layers and the stitching coming loose.
This company was started by a band of climbers and surfers who wanted gear that could stand up to their own standards. Their Ironclad Guarantee goes for all its products, including sandals, for quality craftsmanship, durability, comfort and style. Like many guarantees, there are exceptions, but according to customer reviews, the company stands by its word to replace sandals, even after years of wear and tear. The company even offers a few vegan flips for the cruelty-free shopper.
While this popular brand may be recommended by podiatrists, Birkenstock sandals do not, contrary to popular belief, come with a lifetime guarantee. However, given that most Birkenstock shoe components can be replaced, these sandals could potentially last a lifetime if cared for properly. You can easily find a shoe company that will replace or repair any Birkenstock component for a lot less than it would cost for a new pair.
Of all the sandals on our list, Docs come with the most reliable guarantee for life, within the reasonable parameters of "normal" wear and tear, of course (clickhere for the full terms and conditions). With every kind of sandal imaginable, and a sense of social responsibility, Doc Martens are not just for disgruntled teens mimicking their parents' counter-culture brand of rebellion.
The Metal Detecting Sandal
Finally, for the gadget geeks and high-tech beach bums, we found a sandal that is guaranteed for life and finds spare change and bottle caps while you stroll the beach. It may not be the most comfortable sandal on our list, but it does have non-skid soles and provides up to six hours of treasure hunting, without having to schlep around a cumbersome metal-detector all day. If you don't want to give Dad another tie for Father's Day that he'll never wear, this a great alternative for you. *Discovery of buried treasure not a guarantee.
Happy sandal (and treasure) hunting!