Living on a sandy island in the Caribbean, you might think that footwear would be easy. Right? Just a pair of flip-flops or…no shoes at all. Any brand…even those 2/$5US slides from Old Navy will work great. I mean…why not?
WRONG! Or more like…I beg to differ. When you are living here, you need shoes that are more than just shuffle-to-the-beach shoes. Or hop-in-and-out-of-the-golfcart shoes.
You need a shoe that handles many many MANY situations and weather conditions. Shoes that will keep your feet cool but also won’t be terribly uncomfortable if you need to run errands around town for an hour or more.
One where the inner sole doesn’t turn into a slip-and-slide if you need to run for cover in a passing downpour. And has some GRIP if on wet tiles. Oh the wet tiles can be treacherous!
You might be walking along a rocky patch of the west side of Ambergris Caye, near Secret Beach.
Ideally, the shoe would weather nicely – could take quite a bit of sitting in the sun and maybe rain on your front porch (where you kick them off or slide back into them)
The sandal pile at the spot I stayed a few nights ago – the GORGEOUS Casa Nova Beach Cabanas on the west side of the island.
When I moved here years ago, I arrived with TONS of flip-flops. Those Old Navy cheapies that I mentioned above…I had those in about 14 colors. (Old Navy even sells them in a 50-pack! That kinda says it all. Disposable!)
Read here: Packing for Your Move to Belize (I need to update it to include GOOD SANDALS!)
Havianas (those classic Brazilian thongs) look cute…and were better for rain. I had those.
But here’s what I learned – and I fought it for YEARS…to find a good quality COMFORTABLE FOR WALKING don’t-kill-yourself-when-wet flip-flop/sandal for all the time wear in Belize, you are going to have to spend more than $5US. You are going to have the spend more than $20US but not much more with my favorite favorite option.
It’s totally worth it. You want durable, comfortable arch support. You are going to want a good fit so you don’t twist an ankle on a slippery sidewalk or stub a toe on a wonky dock. You are going to need a little more to your shoe than a paper thin, flat piece of styrofoam or a rigid slice of plastic.
Here is what you want:
This is the shoe I keep replacing when they ultimately break from constant use where the in-between-the-toe thing separates from the sole. That usually takes around 1 year of CONSTANT wearing to happen.
They come in nice neutral colors and while they look like flip flops…they have arch support and a bit of height and support. I am a HUGE fan. Here’s the link to their site.
Or you can order them on Amazon because well…it’s so darn easy. AND it will get me the .0000001% that Amazon pays me for providing the link. Eye roll.
AND…I actually got a new pair of shoes that I am loving too. I’ve walked around town in them extensively…and on the beach. They are super comfy and come in 101 cute colors.
The matching polish was accidental! Periwinkle is my favorite color.
One note: I wear a size 9, average width (I think…) and the 39/40 fit perfectly. BUT if you have a wider foot…I think these might pinch a bit. You’ll want to size up or just try a different shoe altogether.
I’m loving them so far.
Lastly…a shoe I swore up and down that I would never ever ever own. NEVER would I own a Birkenstock. NEVER a Teva.
Dreaded hippie shoes of the 80s and 90s…both brands were a lifestyle, not just a shoe.
But you know what? They’ve both come fully back into style over the last few years and I’ve warmed to them both. SO much so that I bought a pair of Birkenstocks.
AND just like everyone says…they are SOOOO comfortable. Great tread on the bottom. You could walk for miles.
I’m hoping they last forever since they…for a sandal…cost a fortune. To help them along I bought a little Birkenstock first-aid kit to apply TLC to them once in a while.
I’m very glad to have them and wearing them all the time. But…they are not for wet weather.
And so…the #1 bang for your buck, wear all the time, every day sandal in Belize remains the Fitflop.
You can’t go wrong.
I still love the look and they are a great option.
Let me know the shoes that work for you in Belize…I am always open to suggestions!