Don’t you just love the summer? Even though it may feel like the season is nearly over, there’s still officially another month on the calendar which means I plan to stay in flip flops for at least another 30 days. Good thing I found the Magic Carpet sandals from FreeWaters this year – this is a flip flop I can (and do) wear all day no matter what I get into.

FreeWaters calls the Magic Carpet a sandal (not a flip flop or thong) and based on the solid construction I’d say that’s an appropriate classification. The company boasts that the included “Response Arch Flex Shank creates a running shoe spring action” and as a runner that claim certainly got my attention. Out of the box the Magic Carpets are more stiff and heavier than your might expect but the thick, shock absorbing sole is easily the best feature.

I usually go through at least a couple pairs of flimsy, cheap flip flops every summer and my biggest problem is the foam padding leaves my shins aching after walking for more than a few minutes. The Magic Carpets don’t leave me with that aching feeling despite wearing them all day (ain’t working from home great?) or even walking from my house to the local watering hole. The soles also protect me from the foot jabbing I typically get walking in our pine cone infested backyard.

Outside the house I’ve been really impressed with how the Magic Carpet sandals handle the water. The rubber tread is pretty grip-tastic on wet rocks and slick roots. I wish I had taken a video during our trip to Dick’s Creek in North Georgia last weekend so you could see Leah slipping and sliding in her cheap flip flops while I walked beside her with perfect poise. Classic.

The other side of the slippery sole equation that many companies forget about is the foot bed itself. There’s nothing worse than having your foot slip while the sandal stays planted, jamming the web of your toes into the strap. Ouch! Even after getting my Magic Carpets completely soaked I was still able to slow jog back to the car to grab the sunscreen. The foot bed is covered with a soft, almost furry fabric that’s both cool and comfortable while still offering descent grip when it’s wet. I did notice a mildly annoying squishing noise when I walked in wet sandals, particularly in the right foot, but the problem only lasted as long as the moisture remained.

FreeWaters makes a big deal about the “patent pending” neoprene flex panel on the strap but to me, the strap basically does its job and stays out of the way. Yes, it’s comfortable but what I like the most is that it keeps its shape after you step out of the sandal. There’s nothing worse to me than floppy flip flop straps that I have to lift up with my toe every time I want to slip them on. The Magic Carpet strap is always ready for action!

I’m a big fan of the neutral styling of the black and gray Magic Carpets but you can also choose a blue/gray or brown/green version. The black/gray combo doesn’t seem to show much dirt or oil after many weeks of use. And unlike the flip flops you buy at the discount store, these are offered in individual shoe sizes from 8 to 13.

FreeWaters has a full line of flip flops sandals that retail for between $26 and $100 so you’re bound to find something that fits your budget, style, and performance needs. Take a Magic Carpet ride this summer and keep flying through the fall!

Thanks to the folks at FreeWaters for providing the sandals for review.

# Comments

  • Suzanne

    I bought some Vibram Five Fingers two weeks ago and I LOVE them! I cant wait to take them out on a trail! ( I got the ones with the thick sole)

  • Justin N

    Family is headed to Maui soon and sandals that are of higher quality would be a nice purchase since one does a fair amount of walking there. Your experience in Dick’s Creek is what I’m going for. Thanks for your take on these.

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