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Leather Flip Flops vs Rubber Flip Flops

Leather Flip Flops vs Rubber Flip Flops: What are the Differences and Which is Better?

Flip flops are an unbeatable choice when it comes to casual footwear. This is especially true in the warmer summer months when there’s nothing better than letting your feet breathe while you soak up the sun outside. 

If you’re looking for a new pair of flip flops, you might be wondering whether leather vs rubber flip flops is the better choice for you. In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to make the right choice. 

We’ll compare leather flip flops vs rubber, looking at comfort, cost, longevity, traction, and so much more. And, for what it’s worth, our men’s leather flip flop sandals might just be better than anything else you’ve ever put on your feet!

Continue reading to find out how to look your best, feel your best, and find the most comfortable, long-lasting pair of sandals that will stick with you for years to come. 

Key Differences Between Leather vs Rubber Flip Flops

Before we look at the advantages of leather flip flops vs rubber, let’s take a second to appreciate each sandal for what it is. Here’s what you can expect from the best leather flip flops, and an overview of what rubber flip flops offer.

An Overview of Leather Flip Flops

The use of genuine leather (sourced from animal hides) offers a luxurious feel, often associated with high-quality sandals and a sophisticated appearance. Leather is a unique material because it molds to your feet over time, providing a personalized fit that enhances your comfort with every step.

An Overview of Rubber Flip Flops

Rubber flip flops are mostly made from synthetic or natural rubber compounds. This material is known for its water-resistant properties, making rubber flip flops ideal for hanging out at the pool or beach. These sandals typically don’t last as long, but can be more affordable. 

Leather Flip Flops vs Rubber Flip Flops: Which Material Makes for Better Sandals?

To choose between leather flip flops vs rubber, there are several different factors you need to consider. Let’s take a look at how leather vs rubber flip flops stack up in a range of different categories. 


In terms of comfort, leather vs rubber sandals have a few key differences. Once you break them in, quality leather will mold to your feet over time, offering a comfortable fit designed just for you. 

Rubber flip flops, on the other hand, may fit better than leather to begin with, but won’t become more comfortable over time - what you see is what you get! 


Generally, leather flip flops tend to be more expensive due to the quality of materials and the craftsmanship involved in creating quality leather sandals. Rubber flip flops are often more budget-friendly, but might not stand the test of time and typically need replacing much sooner.


What about leather vs rubber sandals when it comes to longevity? With proper care, leather flip flops can last for years and years. In fact, they don’t just last - they become more comfortable and develop a unique appearance, getting better with age like a fine wine. 

Rubber flip flops, on the other hand, lose significant points in terms of longevity. They commonly fade, crack, and break, often at the most inconvenient time. Rubber flip flops are unreliable, and end up costing more in the long run as they have to be replaced so regularly.


What are the maintenance requirements of leather vs rubber sandals? Leather requires occasional conditioning and cleaning leather sandals maintains their quality and appearance. 

Leather demands more upkeep than rubber, which is easy to maintain and clean but will never have that beautiful patina or soft feel of a pair of well-cared-for leather sandals. 


What about leather flip flops vs rubber when it comes to style? Leather flip flops are often associated with a more sophisticated and stylish look, and can easily be dressed up or down to suit your style (and the occasion). 

On the other hand, rubber flip flops tend to look cheap, and don’t carry the same aura of sophistication. They’re fine for a trip to the beach or wearing around your backyard, but may leave you feeling awkwardly underdressed in other scenarios. 

Foot Health

Leather is nice and breathable, which helps to reduce moisture buildup and potentially minimizes your chances of developing foot odor or common fungal infections. 

Rubber flip flops, however, may trap moisture, which can cause discomfort or foot issues, especially if you wear them for long periods.

Traction and Safety

Leather sandals often come with a more robust sole, providing better traction. Also, since the footbed molds to your feet over time, the sandals fit more securely, reducing your chances of slipping or sliding. 

Rubber sandals can quickly become worn out, leading to a sole that provides little traction or support. Especially if you’re wearing rubber sandals on wet or smooth surfaces, you have to take extra caution to make sure you don’t slide and hurt yourself. 

Adaptability to Weather

If your leather sandals are exposed to extremely rainy conditions, they’ll need to be dried out properly before you wear them next. Rubber flip flops may be able to handle wet conditions better, but can become dangerously slippery once wet. 

So, Which is Better: Leather Flip Flops vs Rubber?

So, when it comes to leather flip flops vs rubber, which is better? Leather flip flops tend to be more comfortable, stylish, and last longer. Rubber flip flops may be more affordable, but often look cheap. Plus, they break easily, causing you to spend more on replacements.

At the end of the day, the decision is yours. If you’re looking for a cheap pair of beach sandals, rubber might work fine. But if you’re looking for quality flip flops with an elevated style that stands the test of time, leather is the way to go.

Feel the Difference on Your Feet With our American Made Leather Flip Flops!

If you weigh up rubber vs leather sandals and decide leather is the right choice for you, we have the best American made flip flops here for you at Southern Polished. Our sandals are crafted from quality vegetable-tanned leather, an age-old process that never fails to deliver stunning results.

Not only does each pair of our sandals develop a unique, beautiful patina, but they will gently mold to your feet over time, becoming more comfortable with each wear. Using Italian techniques, we craft our sandals in Columbia, Tennessee, embracing traditional southern styles.

Durable, long-lasting, stylish, and made with love, your Southern Polished leather sandals will become your favorite summer go-to footwear in no time at all. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our gorgeous southern bags, made from the same high-quality leather as our sandals.

Bringing Our Conversation on Rubber vs Leather Sandals to a Close

When it comes to ​​rubber vs leather sandals, there’s a clear winner. While rubber flip flops are good around the pool or at the beach, leather sandals offer next-level comfort and durability, and provide a fashionable, elegant accessory to your favorite summer outfits. 

You can find the best leather sandals at Southern Polished. Not only are our sandals made from premium, vegetable-tanned leather, but they’re also designed and produced right here in the US. We have an incredible selection of beautiful colors to choose from - you’re bound to find something you love!

Treat yourself to beautiful leather sandals that will last for years - shop Southern Polished today!

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