21/06/2010 09:53:09

Words by tcsh

Top 5 Sandals

As we enjoy a rare period of prolonged sunny weather and head towards the main Summer holidays, I thought I’d do a quick run down of our top 5 sandals / summer shoes on the site. Obviously outdoor sandals are a slightly different breed to that of your beach-wear flip flops; they need more support from the straps and a far better sole unit that will cushion the foot during prolonged wear.

The consideration when buying a pair of walking sandals is how much support you need. Nowadays, you can get anything from a pair of light thongs up to a pair of vented shoes, and a whole raft of products in between. You should therefore have a think about what you need them for, whether you will be walking long distances in them, if you want to use then in the water etc, which should give you an idea about what style of sandal you’ll need.

Here’s a review of my top 5 sandals from www.climbers-shop.com (in no particular order)

Teva Terra Fi SandalsMens & Womens – These are the flagship product from Teva’s sandal range featuring the now familiar strap arrangement and excellent cushioning for better support. Like the Sport Flips, the Terra Fi’s don’t rely on a flat featureless sole unit, it is more sculpted and supportive than most. What you often find is that people who walk in boots a lot, and spend most of their days in supportive shoes, have a tendency to twist their ankle when they convert to sandals. This is because the support they are used to is suddenly removed, In the Terra Fi, Teva have tried to provide better support around the sides of the foot to keep it more balanced and stable.

Inov-8 Recolite 190 Recovery Shoe – Designed as a post racing recovery shoe the Recolites have a nice wide fit that avoids cramping tired and painful feet, yet it contains the foot and protects it from abrasion to help recovery. The large vents allow a good breeze to blow through and cool the foot down as well as allowing it to dry out after being hot and clammy. All this sounds quite dramatic and beyond a normal sandal but the truth is, they are great as a pair of simple sandals as well. The fact that they have a heel to them means that they can be worn as a shoe but the soft suede style fabric can be folded down to convert them into a loafer instead. These shoes/sandals cover both uses very well and if you need a shoe for just mooching around in then you could do a lot worse.
(I have a pair of these and wear them almost every day in a variety of situations - Rich)

Sole Sport FlipsMens & Womens – These innocent looking flip flops take sandal technology to a new level. Sole, the orthotic insole manufacturer have put a lot of their innovation and technology into these Sport Flips to create a sandal that is not just a bit of foam with a strap attached to it. These Flips have got a footbed that can be personalised and molded to suit your individual feet which offers far better support than the standard sandal. This may all seem a bit much for a paid of sandals, but a lot of active individuals have particular foot and orthotic needs and there is no need to sacrifice that support just because it is summer!

Teva Womens Tirra Sandal – If you’re a woman looking for a comfortable pair of walking sandals but don’t want to conform to buying the standard unisex design that everyone seems to stock then look no further than the Teva Tirra’s. These attractive shoes have a more elegant strap formation which looks good and continues to offer walking support. The sole unit is also still a good stable design with excellent support not offered from simpler and cheaper sandals.

Teva Hurricane SandalsMens & Womens – These sandals combine the comfort and support of the excellent Teva range with the cost effective price point of simpler summer sandals. With the Hurricanes you still get a good level of strap support and a comfortable sole unit but, considering it’s price, is slightly more simplified than the Terra Fi’s. If you are not prepared to shell out for one of the more expensive pairs but still want to get a better class of sandal than your standard beach flip flops then the Hurricanes are definite must.