Why these $128 sandals are worth every penny
Jack Rogers have become my go-to summer shoe.
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After spending four years at Wake Forest University in North Carolina (and four years surrounded by sorority sisters with deep Southern roots) I returned to Maryland with a degree—and a whole new wardrobe. Vineyard Vines tees, Southern Tide croakies, a bevy of Lilly Pulitzer dresses (after all, what else would you wear to a football tailgate in the South?!), and, on my feet, a pair of gold Jack Rogers sandals, of course.
Now, some 10 years later, I still wear my Jacks on the regular. They've become a staple in my summer footwear rotation and I can't help but feel like I'm in some kind of exclusive club when I see another woman donning a pair. It's the whole "if you know, you know" thing—and I definitely know.
What are Jack Rogers?
Jack Rogers sandals first became a thing back in the 1960s, when Jackie Kennedy discovered the leather sandals while vacationing in Capri, Italy. "She came back stateside, gave a pair to her cobbler in Palm Beach, and asked him to make her a few pairs in a few different colors," Claire Schultheis, Jack Rogers CEO, explained to Glamour. Since then, the recognizable sandals have amassed a large fanbase, particularly among the preppy, high-fashion set. Even celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence are fans. While Jacks now come in a variety of styles—including heels and wedges and jelllies—the most popular pair is the OG classic flat thong sandal.
What I like about Jack Rogers
My favorite feature of Jacks—and the reason I bought them in the first place—is their timeless, chic appearance. The soft leather upper lends them a casual vibe while the eyelet details, whipstitch, and signature circular rondelle add effortlessly elegant accents. Whenever I put them on, I feel like the Southern belle I always secretly wished I was, the kind who lives in a Gone With The Wind-worthy mansion and spends her weekends yachting in Charleston or sipping an old fashioned at Churchill Downs.
In real life, however, I spend my weekends running errands, drinking a few beers at my favorite waterfront bar, or meeting up with my friends for a post-gym brunch. All vastly different activities, but all perfectly appropriate for my Jacks. Enter the second-biggest reason I love these sandals: They're very versatile. You can wear them as an everyday flip-flop or as a less fussy alternative to a pair of heels for a night out.
What I don't like about Jack Rogers
If you're expecting to wear these babies pain-free right out of the box, you'll be sorely disappointed—pun intended. Like Birkenstocks, Jacks among those shoes that require breaking in before they're comfortable. The leather upper takes time to stretch out, and initially the three decorative dots on the heel irritated the bottom of my foot. However, after wearing them for a while, the dots wore down and became much more bearable.
They also offer very little arch support, if any at all. While this doesn't bother me—I have naturally high arches—it may be an issue for anyone with flat feet. Regardless, with their hard, flat soles, Jacks certainly aren't shoes designed for walking long distances, that's for sure.
Are Jack Rogers worth buying?
At $128 per pair, it's no secret that Jack Rogers sandals are expensive. So if you're looking for a cheap pair of flips that can get dirty or wet, look elsewhere. But if you like the iconic silhouette of Jacks and want a sandal that manages to be both elegant and casual at the same time, it's well worth the splurge. (Plus, any Jacks knockoffs might look the part at first glance, but the long-lasting quality won’t be there.) Once you get past the initial break-in period—which lasted about a week of wear for me—Jacks are comfortable enough to wear for hours and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. In the last 5 years, I've easily worn mine over 100 times, which works out to about a $1 per wear.
Our shopping editor, Courtney Campbell, has a pair as well and agrees they're worth the investment: "I’ve owned my gold Jacks for the past eight years, and despite taking a few weeks of painful walking to break in, they’ve really stood up to the test of time."
Available in women's whole and half sizes 5 to 12, the sandals come in nine gorgeous colors, from metallic silver to natural cork to bright teal. Just be warned: Once you get Jacks, you never go back.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.