An Honest Review of Message Slide Sandals in 2023

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Message, the new shoe label that specializes in cork-footed sandals, makes the bold claim that its best-selling sandals are like “a hug you can wear.” In true trade editor fashion, I told absolutely no one, “We’ll see about that,” and asked the brand if I could try them out for a couple of months. It didn’t take me long to realize that these would be the sandals I would wear all summer.

About the message

Before I dive into my experience with Message’s hero sandal, the Mullen Slide ($160), here’s a little info-dump about the shiny new sandal brand that’s most likely going to take over our social media and closets.

Message launched with two styles of slides in April of this year: The Mullen and The Shaw, both designed with a sweat-, odor-, and water-resistant cork footbed that’s not only sustainable (the brand sources a cork that comes from Portugal using, rather, re-use-wine corks), but also ultra comfortable and supportive.

mullen slides

Message, Mullen Slide — $160.00

Available sizes: 36-46 (EU)

Colors: 4

  • Water, odor and sweat resistant.
  • Comfortable
  • High quality
  • The available colors are really pretty.
  • easy to comb
  • walkable
  • no shooting time

The unisex sandals are made from a patented Hugflex strap that keeps your feet in place while offering elasticity; basically, they’re sandals that you can walk long distances in without flying off every two seconds (or never really, and I confirmed it). At $160 each, they’re definitely a higher slide, but the quality and comfort are palpable. They are designed to be your favorite sandals for a long, long time.

My Honest Review of the Message Mullen Slides

I started wearing Mullen flip flops in April when they were first released. The moment I put my pair on I knew these were special. The cork insole, which did not require any adaptation, felt cushioned and resistant, which gave me fair just the right amount of arch support for my fallen arches. The Hugflex strap is made of a stretchy material that moves with you and really hugged my feet as I walked. But using them around the house and at the grocery store felt like an easy test: how would they hold up to the holidays?

I used them almost exclusively on a week-long vacation in Mexico, putting all my trust in their design to support me on my travels. I wore them on the plane, the beach, the pool, and various walking trips to restaurants and stores (we didn’t have a car). My feet not only stayed comfortable the entire time, but they held up even after getting wet, sandy, and sweating in 100-degree heat (with 100 percent humidity, no less).

sandals with message
Photo: Author

sandals with message
Photo: Author

There is nothing complicated about the Mullen slides, which I love. They’re versatile enough to pair with some jeans or shorts, but you can easily throw them on if you’re wearing a dress or skirt for that effortless coastal “mix” I usually only associate with people who can afford a vacation in the Hamptons and have the confidence to eat in white button-down shirts. We can probably call it “quiet luxury” if you like, they are Under the radar luxury and certainly have the price to match.

And yes, the message slides get two thumbs up from podiatrists.

The icing on the cake is that these slides are approved by podiatrists, who love their foot-friendly features. Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon and physician in Jupiter, Florida, tells W+G that she likes them because they provide arch support, cushioning, a wide toe box, and are lightweight and flexible.

“These sandals are designed with built-in arch support, which helps maintain the foot’s natural alignment. This feature is particularly beneficial for people with flat feet or a fallen arch,” says Dr. Fuchs. (No wonder I love them so much, my fallen arches are in sandal heaven.)

Dr. Fuchs also loves the cushioning the sandals are known for, saying the footbed “helps absorb shock and reduces pressure on joints, making them comfortable to wear for long periods of time.” She adds: “Compared to other sandals, the Message sandals stand out with their focus on foot health and comfort.”

Another podiatrist, Mark J. Mendeszoon, DPM, whose practice is located in Ohio, tells W+G that the “ergonomic thought process, design, and materials will make these some of the best sandals on the market,” explaining, “The footbed appears to be a well-crafted, molded cork material, which is an excellent support material (and is widely used and custom orthotics).”

Message currently offers two styles: the Mullen (the ones I tried) and the Shaw Slide ($160). The only difference between the two is that the Shaw has a slightly longer strap, so it covers your foot more (plus, it has different color options).

The bottom line? If you’re looking for a sandal that’s truly supportive, lasts you through many, many adventurous summers, and adds a cool, casual edge to your wardrobe, then this sandal will be the best thing to invest in all season long.

Our editors select these products independently. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.

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