Woobies Shoes vs Combat Flip Flops

I want to take this opportunity to do a complete, long-ish-term, slightly unbiased review/comparison between two sets of shoes that I have been wearing daily.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of very hard-use gear, and I don’t mind putting my money into quality.

I have a very nice collection of high-end footwear, and after serving over three decades in the US Army with multiple deployments, my experience with footwear spans the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Woobies Shoes vs Combat Flip Flops

Woobies Mod 2 vs Combat Flip Flops Shadowban

To the uninitiated, the two pair of shoes I am referring to look "almost" indistinguishable from each other.

I have a pair of Mod 2 high tops from Woobies Shoes and a pair of Shadowban high tops from Combat Flip Flops. I did not set out to compare/contrast these two pair of shoes, it just sort of happened.

Both companies are US Veteran Owned and I’ve been following both for a long time now. I used to wear Converse "Chuck Taylor’s" as a kid, but as an adult, I gravitated more toward high-end technical footwear like Solomon, Vasque, Keen, or Danner.

When Woobies came out with their Mod 1 (low top), I almost bought a pair, but I like ankle support and prefer a high-top style shoe. When they released their Mod 2, I had to buy them.

Woobies BLACK MOD-2

at Woobies Shoes
Prices accurate at time of writing

I’ve had my Mod 2 (black) for about 4 months now and was immediately impressed the first time I put them on my feet.

I saw the Shadowban high top from Combat Flip Flops on Social Media one day, and since I had been wearing the Mod 2 from Woobies, they immediately caught my eye.

So, I ordered a pair to see how they stacked up against the Mod 2. The Shadowban was on backorder, but I didn’t mind waiting.

Fast forward to last week, I received the Shadowban and tore open the box like a kid on Christmas morning.

Men’s Shadowban High Top

at Combat Flip Flops
Prices accurate at time of writing

I immediately noticed the subtle differences between them and the Mod 2 from Woobies. They both look similar but have some main differences.

The toe cap on the Mod 2 is more visually pronounced since it has some Cordura (or whatever the synthetic upper is made from) that exists between the toe cap and the lace holes.

The Shadowban has a leather toe cap, but it runs all the way up to the lower lace holes. The Shadowban also has a leather cap at the top of the tongue.

The tread patterns are different as well. The Mod 2 has a topography feel to it, sort of like looking at contour lines on a map.

The Shadowban has a design that is reminiscent of a graduated reticle in a rifle scope. Both soles are flat, and both seem to be made of rubber that has some grip to it.

The shoelaces on the Shadowban are flat, whereas the laces on the Mod 2 are round. The Shadowban also has a ribbon stitched down the center of the tongue that acts as a lace guide, where the laces are routed through. I’m not sure what the intent of this is, but it gives a nice, pleasing visual edge to the Shadowban over the Mod 2.

Side-By-Side Testing

Side by side, my eyes gravitate to the Shadowban.

I had been wearing the Mod 2 for about three months before the Shadowban showed up. What I really LOVE about the Mod 2, is the way the shoe feels like it "hugs" my foot when it is laced up.

There is not a ton of cushion in the Mod 2, and it feels like a "zero drop" style footbed, but due to my very flat feet and lack of arch, I instantly fell in love with the fit of the Mod 2. I was curious as to how the Shadowban would feel.

Wearing the exact same socks (leftover US Army boot socks from when I retired) I put the Shadowban on for the first time. I found the laces "locked" into the eyelets very well, and took a little more work to get the shoe to open wide enough to allow my foot to go into the shoe. The Mod 2 allows the laces to move fairly freely, so they loosen and tighten easily.

Woobies Shoes vs Combat Flip Flops

The Shadowban, with its flat laces and tongue guide, tends to bite into the laces, which makes you have to go eyelet to eyelet to loosen or tighten. Not an issue, just a noticeable difference.

Once my foot was inside the Shadowban, I tightened up the laces, and off I went.

IMMEDIATELY, I noticed that the Shadowban just "felt" like it had more cushion. Both shoes have similar footbeds, and minimal padding on the footbed insert, but the Shadowban felt more compliant when walking.

The sole is more flexible, more conforming that the Mod 2. The Shadowban also had the same "hug" feeling that I love about the Mod 2.

Woobies Shoes vs Combat Flip Flops

I wore the Shadowban high tops three days straight and noticed that they had zero break-in time.

I can also say, I don’t remember the Mod 2’s needing a break in period either. Both shoes are ready to go, right out of the box. As day three ended, I noticed that I felt that they were just slightly more comfortable than the Mod 2, mostly, due to the softer feeling sole.

Both shoes have excellent grip, and I was able to test both on wet cement. I’ve also mowed my yard in both sets of shoes now, and they both clean up very easily.

Today, I decided to do an experiment. I wore the Mod 2 on my left foot, and the Shadowban on my right. I wear a size US 13 and both shoes are ordered as a size 13.

I’d have to say that the Mod 2 is just a tiny bit more on the narrow side, but you have to remember, I have aircraft carriers for feet.

As I am writing this, I feel that the toe box on the Shadowban has more room in it than the Mod 2, more "wiggle room" but this is without sacrificing the "hug" feeling that the upper gives my foot when the laces are tightened.

Side by side, wearing one of each, I can confirm, that to me, the Shadowban is a wee bit more comfy. Several times over the past few weeks, I would wear the MOD 2 on one foot, the Shadowban on the other, then switch the next day.

I did this over the course of two weeks and found that routinely, the Shadowban was just more comfortable.

I can only justify this due to the way the sole of the Shadowban flexes and conforms to the ground. It’s almost like wearing a flip flop, with a nice supportive full-foot wrap.

The Mod 2 is by no means uncomfortable, but the outsole on this shoe is noticeably stiffer than the Shadowban. Both seem to grip well, but I have to give the edge to the Shadowban on wet/slick surfaces.


I like both of these shoes equally. However, I find that I reach for the Shadowban more often than I do the Mod 2. They just fit me better. Both are very similar, but the price point for both leaves a huge gap.

Plus, the "lifetime warranty" from Combat Flip Flops is hard to deny, given that they are substantially less expensive than the Mod 2.

Either way, you are supporting a Veteran Owned small business, and to me, that makes them both winners! RLTW! DOL!



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