I live in trainers. While I love how they feel, I'm not crazy about the athletic look. In search of a smarter sneaker, I bought these Rally laced trainers from Fitflop. Here's my honest review, after wearing them for a year.View Table of Contents
- Soft - no breaking in
- Look smart
- Suede versions are Scotchgard protected, so ok in rain showers
- Several variations available - slip on, laced, high top & knit
- Larger sizes 7-9 uk (9-11 us) only come in whole sizes
- Not easy to slip on & off (untie laces first)
- Not that cushioned underfoot
- Suede fades over time (pre Sep 22 version)
Here's a video review of my Fitflop rally trainers after a year, with lots of close up shots:
I wore my Rally sneakers regularly from August 2021 for about 9 months & still wear them occasionally now (September 2022).
There was no breaking in needed and these shoes have never rubbed my heels. I found them good to walk in from the off, but they do feel more like a comfy casual shoe than an athletic shoe on.
These Fitflops are great for on the go or when I want a smarter casual look. I've done plenty of walking in them but gym style runners (like my Nikes) would still be my go-to for longer weekend excursions.
1 year on, the navy colour has dulled a bit but they still look fine otherwise, despite me not doing a THING to the suede! Perhaps if I looked after them better with a special suede cleaner they may have kept their colour better.
Note: In September 2022, Fitflop launched suede Rally sneakers with a new oiled suede sheen finish, which may wear differently.
Suede Rallys come protected with Scotchgard for water repellency, which lasts well. This combined with the dark colour and soles has kept them looking good long term.
The suede uppers are lovely & soft and the lining is comfy too. There's also a padded collar around the shoe opening. There is no breaking in needed. That's unusual for my overly sensitive feet.
Unusually, Fitflop Rallys have no hard structure at the heel. There's a soft material right around the back of the heel and you can feel the outside and inside of the heel as separate layers, but the heel is fully flexible and soft. I’ve blister prone feet but these felt lovely at the back from day 1 with no rubbing at all.
The rest of the lining is smooth elastane which is also unusual. This means Rally’s feel more like a shoe than a sneaker around your foot. They feel light & loose instead of your foot feeling enclosed by lots of foam padding.
Wearing them feels like a cross between casual flats and gym shoes. If I close my eyes, it feels like I've got very comfy smart casual shoes on rather than trainers.
Classic tennis shoe style sneakers often have a rigid sole, but Fitflop rallys have an ultra flexible sole. You can bend the shoe in your hands right out of the box.
They look like they could be quite a heavy shoe but they're actually very lightweight to wear. My size 9 UK suede shoe weighs just 255g, nearly as light as my Nike knit runners.
I've often gone for long walks in these (3-5 miles, 6-8km) and my feet felt fine afterwards. That said, if I'm heading out for a day's walking at the weekend, I still reach for my Nikes instead.
This is my first pair of Fitflops. Before looking into the brand more, I had this idea in the back of my head that they just did fancy flip flops that were good for your feet. I'm a bit wary of shoes to help posture and foot alignment, because they can make my fussy feet feel strange.
No need to worry here. While Rally sneakers have fancy Anatomicush technology with an "anatomically contoured footbed" which "increases foot-to-midsole contact for maximum comfort", you don't feel anything odd underfoot or that you're walking any differently.
There's a very slight wedge angle to the insole. You're not aware of this wearing them but it means they are not too flat like other plimsolls or converse can feel.
They just feel comfy to walk in. Although they are not super springy or anything. I didn't get that walking on air feeling, even when they were box fresh. So if you prefer a super cushioned sole, I'd suggest trying Skechers instead.
Fitflop's laced Rally shoes are rather smart sneakers. They are a classic tennis shoe design, but this is quite a sophisticated take on a sporty style.
They have a long, slender look. When I opened up the box, they were laced up really tight & looked really narrow . I immediately set about loosening them before I even tried getting my foot in. But as soon as I put them on, I had to tighten the laces a LOT!
So they are a lot wider than they look & I'd recommend them if you have a wider foot, especially if you would like to disguise that. You'll look like you have slender ballerina feet in these.
Fitflop rally sneakers are also very roomy in the toe box and have lots of space around the ankle, which may be helpful if you have particular foot problems.
Tip: Rallys elongate your foot, so if that's not want you want, consider Veja Campos (up to 47 eu) instead. These similar style sneakers look slightly wider but also shorter for a balanced, neat look.
I chose the midnight navy suede finish, which has a particularly minimal feel as the upper, sole and laces are all one shade.
The back half of the rubber sole looks quite thick and comes up about an inch. But the clever design means the sole is actually slightly narrower than the upper, so so you can't see the rubber sides when wearing them. There's also a subtle wedge underfoot, which further flatters the foot even though you can't feel it's there.
I could instantly tell they were high quality when I opened the box. At £90 ($100) full price, they are not cheap but they do have a premium feel.
The suede is really soft and just begging to be stroked and the laces match perfectly. The subtle Fitflop branding at the top of the back heel with a red accent is a nice detail.
I usually wear my navy Rallys with neutral trousers or denims. When I pair them with dark indigo jeans, the colour match gives a nice understated vibe. It's a great way to shrink big feet too! You can find more expert style tips for how to make big feet look smaller here.
I find Fitflops run a little big. The laced Rally sneaker sizing is definitely generous and on the wide side. So consider going down a half size from your usual casual shoe size for the best fit. Note that half sizes are only available up to 6.5 UK (8.5 US) though.
My feet are on the wider side of medium width. While I find my size 9 uk (11 us) Rally shoes comfortable to wear, they do feel more spacious than most of my shoes. If they did an 8.5 UK, I'd have been tempted to try it, but the fit is good enough. The laces help with that.
Fitflop go up to size 9 UK (11 US, 43 EU), but I think Rally shoes would still be worth trying if you are size 9.5 UK (11.5 UK) due to the roomy fit.
TIP: if Fitflops don't come in your size, Veja do trendy sneakers with a similar tennis shoe look up to a roomy 47 eu - read my review here.
I wouldn't recommend this style for narrow or slender feet. While you can adjust the laces, I need them fairly tight for my normal to wide feet as is. Look for Fitflop styles with the Dynamicush narrow footbed instead.
I bought Fitflop Sumi ankle booties after the success of my Rally trainers. While the size felt just right when I put them on, the boots rubbed my heels when walking as they were slightly too big. Luckily I was able to fix this using padded heel inserts.
But I'll stick to open back or adjustable styles with laces or straps in future, because I find Fitflops run 1/4-1/2 size big for me.
Yes. Suede Fitflop sneakers come protected with Scotchgard for water repellency, which lasts well.
I've got caught in several rain showers wearing them over the past year. My feet have stayed dry so far & the sneakers dry off fine too. But I still wouldn't wear them out on a proper wet day.
While there are plenty of Fitflop stockists around the world, they only sell size 9 uk (11 us, 43 eu) shoes direct as far as I know. Fitflop are a UK brand but as well as their UK site, they have online stores for EU, USA and Canada.
Fitflop have also just launched rally sneakers with a new oiled suede sheen finish, which they say is more resilient.
If you're not keen on the laced tennis shoe look, there are several other Rally sneaker styles to choose from: slip ons, high tops, strap fastened & knit versions. Check out the full Rally range on Fitflop UK and Fitflop US.
You can get 15-20% off your first order (full price shoes only) if you join the Fitflop mailing list. That's what I did. They offer discounts for students & NHS workers too.
They also have big sales a few times a year & regular discount codes for 10% or free shipping. If you get fed up with all their emails, you can keep an eye on the discounts page instead.
The only problem with waiting for sales is that if you need size 9 uk (11 us), the shoes you had your eye on could be gone in your size. Fitflop's key styles stay around long term in the core neutral shades though. So waiting to buy should only be risky if you want a special seasonal colour or material like this navy suede.
One good thing about buying from Fitflop direct is that there are no extra taxes or duties charged on delivery.
While there is free shipping if you spend a certain amount, you often have to pay delivery if you're just buying 1 pair. It's £4 for UK, but $9 for USA & €8 for Europe - ouch! I found the shipping from the EU website to Ireland (via DPD) very efficient at least.
Fitflop offer 28 day returns. These are free in the UK (excluding clearance items) and the US (but final sale items can't be returned & there is a restocking fee). You have to pay return postage in Europe and Canada though.
If you want lightweight, comfy sneakers that look smart, these Fitflop rally sneakers tick the boxes if you have normal to wide feet. They are a generous fit, so you might need to size down. Good news if you wear 9.5 uk (11.5 us)!
Fitflop shoes are definitely worth trying if you have sensitive feet that need more support & can't get away with wearing shoes from department stores or cheaper fashion brands.
A year on, I'm happy with my first Fitflop purchase (& have ordered boots since). The suede is wearing well due to the scotchgard protection too. I'll update this post in the future to let you know how long they last.