Flip flops are an absolute necessity here on Ambergris Caye. When I moved down here full time with my bag of 2 for $5US Old Navy flops, I realized quickly that I was going to need more. The cheap sandals are great – lots of different colors, not a big deal if you lose one or have a “blow out” and easy to throw in your beach bag.
Old Navy’s in India
But as soon as the cheapies get wet…in a sudden downpour or just when walking along the edge of the sea…grab a mouth guard and a helmet. It’s like trying to run to get cover from the rain on ice. SO slippery it’s actually easier to run without them.
And some of the tile floors in town? A little rain and they become LIFE THREATENING.
So over the years, especially as I get older and walking in a totally flat flip flop starts to hurt my feet, I’ve tried upgrading.
First, the Havianas. Made in Brazil, they are the only “name brand” rubber flip flop I know. Easily IDed by the little Brazilian flag on some of the styles. They are also a good deal more than Old Navys – running from $20 to $50US.
They look super cute and casual. They come in tons of great colors and styles AND they can actually GRIP when they are wet. But your toes need to cling to them…like monkey feet…and it’s not a good long term strategy. For a rainy week in September – these are not the comfortable choice.
So it was time to upgrade again…to a shoe that I could wear day and night, every day of the week, every day of the year. And…I don’t want them to be super ugly.
I loathe Crocs.
I don’t want some that looks crazy technical or overly sporty…
I mean…who am I kidding?
I also don’t want to look like I have a truck tire strapped to my feet.
And…as I was just googling Tevas and found this Teva-Ugg collaboration. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!
Now I know what you are thinking. I fully understand that my life here in Belize is not a fashion show but I want something that looks decent. So I moved on to Reef Sandals…and they are comfy but slippery and no support.
I ordered a pair of Tevas – the least ugly pair I could find – to travel and…they hurt. I can’t have all these abrasive straps all over my feet. I’ve worn them maybe 15 times and I got an oozing blister with each of those wearings.
The Teva Kayentas in beautiful Flores, Guatemala
I then upgraded – heeding the advice of Dr. Oz – to Orthaheels. A HORRIBLE name for a shoe but man are they comfortable!
I think they are now called Vionics. And I loved these shoes.
Comfortable, neutral, non-offensive but pricey at $59.95US. I liked them so much that I bought them three times. And each time, after 4-5 months, the in-between-the-toe strap snapped rendering them useless.
Getting these shoes wet does them NO favors. They stretch and the fabric weakens. I love these but they just don’t last.
Especially for $59,95US. DO you know how many Old Navy Flip Flops I can buy for that?!
So just a few months ago, after getting about 40 suggestions from my facebook friends, from Chacos to OluKai, I ordered Rainbows.
RAINBOW SANDALS! Cute, totally Calfornia surfer in the 70s…they arrived.
Leather AND they wet and dry beautiful. No slip when wet. Super comfortable and a great arch. It’s almost 2 months now and I couldn’t be happier. They have a six month warranty – which I think makes them well worth the $56US price.
They also come in Rubber and Hemp and…I just found a photo on their website that makes me MORE certain that I chose correctly.
HOLY MOLY! Rainbows in Caye Caulker! How super cool.
AND what is not to love about their message? “Our goal has always been to make a quality product that will not end up as landfill. Our commitment to that goal does not end when our sandals leave the store. When you are through with your Rainbows, if they are past warranty but still have life left, please return them. The layered construction allows us to repair where needed and instead of throwing them away, we will donate these sandals to protect the feet of the homeless, orphaned, and victims of natural disasters.”
PLEASE let me know what you think – if you are in love with any certain sandal. I’d love to test some others out. Why not get crazy and have TWO pairs of sandals!