Reef is among the quintessential flip flop brands. Their traditional styling has served them well for decades. But for whatever reason, Reef has never been my top choice and I’m not sure why. Their flip flops are well made and nicely finished.
So I picked up a pair of the Reef Leather Smoothy’s because I wanted to re-visit this brand. When I purchased them I wasn’t sure what “smoothy” referred to but figured it had to do with their simple yet smooth styling.
“I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to keep them on my feet.”
After spending a few weeks in them I now know why they’re called “smoothy’s”. The foot bed is made of a Teflon-smooth leather. I’ve only felt leather like this in the most expensive of leather jackets. It’s amazingly smooth.
Unfortunately, a silky-smooth leather foot bed is a terrible thing in a flip flop. I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to keep them on my feet. Each step requires intensive toe curl combined with a million other little flexes and thrusts and twitches by my feet and legs just to keep them on.
My calf muscles were exhausted after a 20-minute walk from all of the lower body effort needed to keep these snot-on-Vaseline-on-glass slick flip flops under me. That was on flat ground. Forget about wearing them uphill. Doing so, I felt like a dog trying to run across a newly waxed hardwood floor – lots of effort and motion but very little actual forward progress. It was exhausting.
Moving past the slickness, the fit is very nice and the midsole provides excellent comfort. Predictably, the great traction of the outsole is lost due to the failure of the banana peel insole. Sadly, the ice-smooth foot bed ruins the entire experience.
The arch support is spot on and the nylon lined strap and nylon toe post are very comfortable. If the foot bed was made of scuffed leather or suede these flip flops would be amazing. It’s just too bad the foot bed is so slick.