Maybe it sounds strange thinking about sandals in the middle of winter, but depending on where you are, perhaps the snow is not falling crisp and deep and even. Or if it is, you want something to wear on your holidays.
So what about a sandal that gives a complete airing to your feet, while providing enough support to actually cover some serious miles – and not just on concrete either? But also comfortably hike across the beach and other terrain, that you would usually have to consider boots or walking shoes for?
Well this is what makers OluKai thought when they dreamt up this sandal.
Resembling a flip flop more than a traditional sandal design, it is possible that you may be feeling a little skeptical about the ground these could cover – reliably at least.
At best you could probably flip flop about in the ‘average’ pair of flip flops for maybe a mile, before they start rubbing or worse still, just fall apart on you completely.
Hence, the premium class flip flop was born, to give a higher level of service, satisfaction, comfort and longevity.
At over $44 a pop, these are definitely in the premier league, but do they deliver the goods?
We decided to put them to the test.
Firstly, we inspected the materials this is made from.
If you’ve ever tried in vain to find quality vegan walking sandals, then you can rest at long last.
Because these OluKai Sandals are made from 100% synthetic materials and the outer sole is non marking gum rubber.
But from a toughness perspective, these feel, look and perform on the same level as leather does. Additionally, these are water resistant – so a light soaking won’t waterlog them completely – and if one does fall off in the beach or whilst kayaking, it should float easily to the surface of the sea.
The foot bed is comprised of compression-molded EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) with ICEVA inserted into the drop in the foot bed, for a closer fit.
In other words, they should fit nice and cozy once you’ve broken them in and will hug the shape of your feet in a way that cheaper sandals will not.
These are fairly heavy to have on, so it may take a while to readjust your step to having something a little more weighty on it, if you are used to the wafer lightness of ‘normal’ flip flops.
So, do these fit as expected? Because as we know, ordering on the internet can be a bit of a lottery sometimes.
Well, 83% of customers who bought these online think they fit just fine, which is about as good a statistic as we can realistically hope to get.
In terms of comfort, these also tick all the boxes. The vast majority think these are very comfortable indeed.
The EVA foot bed definitely helps provide a soft cushion for the sole of your foot.
But what about the strap, especially the bit between the toes. These can sometimes take a bit of breaking in on flip flops. These OluKais are no exception.
In a fairly small number of cases, they do rub a bit – but only to begin with. Once they’re broken in they’re usually fine, which is the good news.
There‘s one or two people who find them a bit tight for the wider foot and the sizing does only go up in full sizes, but for most wearers, this is simply not an issue.
If you need arch support, have flat feet or any other type of foot problem, these should give you all the help you need.
Delighted customers are full of praise for not only the comfort, but the support these give. You can wear them all day, every day and not ache – what more do you want?
Well, hey, this is all looking really good on the comfort front, but what do these look like to actually have on?
It’s all very well having all the arch support in the world, but no-one wants to look as if they’re wearing old man’s orthopedic slippers – especially on holiday when there’s half a chance that they might pull.
It is true that some ‘firm support’ sandals look more like something found on a hospital ward than on the beach.
But these don’t look as if you need a prescription to be wearing them. They’re available in multiple shades of the rainbow – well, as long as you like the rainbow dark anyway. Choose between shades such as dark java and dark shadow and everything in between, including the mystifying mustang/mustand (a kind of beige).
When you’re being asked for upwards of $44, especially for something that’s ‘only’ a flip flop, you will want to know that they are going to stay the course, literally.
A good sign is the manufacturer has put a one year limited warranty on these sandals.
The limited warranty means that:
“Straps pulling out where soles are not excessively worn. Delaminating of sole layers.”
“Frayed or loose stitching on uppers, foot beds or logos”
Are covered. However things such as the soles wearing out through overuse, water damage, heat damage or cuts, burns and tears caused by exterior forces are not.
More good news is that customers are full of statements such as “these lasted for two years of continuous wearing” in their testimonials.
A lot of times, the reasons for repeated buying hasn’t been because they fell apart, but because people like them so much, they wanted them in another color.
So, to conclude, how do we think that these sandals score overall in terms of value for money?
These are not cheap, it is true, but it is fair to say that these fit extremely well, are comfortable to walk in and will not fall apart before you’ve walked a long way. Oh and they look pretty good too!
All in all, these are a good solid pair of sandals for your beach walking holiday this year.
Your only issue may be never taking them off!