Before we get started, we should mention that this particular sandal appears to come in two incarnations, in vegan ‘spider rubber’ and the leather alternative. Our review is concerned with the vegan rubber version.
Looking good from the outset, this is a billed as being a hiking or water shoe, which combines all the advantages of a sandal, with none of the bad bits. In other words, by looking at this, it should provide a good firm grip on wet and rocky terrain as well as protecting your big toe with its rubber toe cap.
There are no outlandish colors in this model, we are relieved to find. This is great because not everyone who dons them wants to be marked down as doing so, from a fifty mile radius, or in the cases of some sandals, from outer space.
Sandals on men are conspicuous enough, we feel, without needing to color them day-glow pink or luminous orange.
The colors these are available in are natural looking shades such as Turkish coffee and brown and even more variations on, erm, brown. This is good we feel and these should blend in nicely, not just to the natural environment, but also hopefully your wardrobe.
Once again, this is a sandal/ hiking shoe combination and built to last, as well as withstand water.
We must say we think they look as rugged as they claim to be, so all that remains now is to put them to the test!
Made of textiles and rubber, these certainly feel as if they should bounce and stretch without any ado. There’s a cushioned Shoc-Pad on the heels, to make it easier on your foot and a rubber toe bumper, to help shield your big toe against anything sharp that it might come into contact with – so ideal for hiking and walking in water or on the beach.
Over 80% of these fit as expected, with no significant need for upsizing or downsizing for that matter – this is a pretty good statistic we feel.
There are two fasteners, around the front and on the heel, which helps get the fit just so and be the closest possible for your comfort.
The hook and loop fasteners should mean you can hop in and out of these, with no problems.
But what are they like to have on?
Happily, most of the people who have worn these think that they fit just fine and are actually very comfortable. There are only a small minority for whom they didn’t fare so brilliantly and who said they got blisters- most likely place for this to happen would be on the back heel, especially whilst breaking them in.
But there’s every chance that these Omniums should be the perfect fit.
Being comfortable is great, but it only gets you so far. A slipper is comfortable, but it is not going to propel you across the Grand Canyon, so we need to look at how this sandal performs under duress.
Because it is billed as being a water shoe, it would be reasonable to assume that it should not slip, trip or become ruined as a result of going in the water. We would be hoping for a decent amount of traction and a good grip as you clamber about aboard a wet boat, or over slippery rocks.
On this, we think you should not be disappointed. Nearly everyone who has worn these says they are good in the water and will not trip or slip when you wear them in whatever aquatic pursuit you will (not diving, obviously!)
They are also pretty good for casual walking and hiking, but we don’t think you should be undertaking any major trek wearing only sandals, at least, not without a spare change on you, anyway.
Although these perform well in the water, the only one criticism that we have come across is the fact these do take a little while to dry out, when they get wet. So yes, of course, they can be worn and will perform well in the water, but just don’t expect them to snap back to being immediately dry again afterwards!
The adjustable straps, particularly on the ankle, should not let you down as you climb and clamber about over rocks and sand and other rough and wet terrain. The soles mean serious business and should form a protective layer around your feet.
In terms of longevity, most people who have owned these have had them for at least a year and usually longer. We feel confident that in most cases, these will not only stay the distance, but keep going for some miles beyond it!
At between $58-$95 a pair, these are not exactly what you would call cheap, so it is fair to ask what you get for your money.
We think on the whole these are a well constructed sandal and as near to a hiking shoe as you will get. They will keep your feet cool and comfortable, with the airing spaces in them and protect your big toe amply with the rubber toe guard. The rubber sole should be like walking on air.
They should last reasonably, not forever, but some of them might surprise you! Ultimately, a lot will depend on you, how much you use them and how well you care for them.
Apart from the odd incidence of chafing by the heel strap and some minor gripes about them taking a little too long to dry out, we think these are as a good a hiking sandal-water shoe combination as you are likely to find.
And no silly colors!