Shoes….Or sandals….maybe both?
Every now and again I come across a product that I have to mention here and this is one of those times. A little history first though of how I came to buying this particular product. In the past I was not traditionally a fan of flip flops. With no arch support and an annoying little plastic thing cutting between your toes it was more than I could handle. So I wore shoes everywhere. In a quest to find lighter and cooler shoes, I was always trying different brands and types. I then found a brand offlip flops I loved through trial and error. Olukai’s were breakthrough for me. With arch support, a comfy foot bed and a ribbon of cloth between my toes I could finally wear flip flops comfortably. What could be better? But there are situations that are not conducive to wearing flip flops. Like chasing the kids and trying out their longboards. Getting off of or stopping swings on swing sets is difficult in flip flops too…..so it was back to wearing hot heavy sneakers on those occasions. Was there a product that was the best of both worlds?
I was browsing the OluKai site and had been drooling over their trainers for some time. I love their flip flops so the trainers must be god also right? That was when I saw them on the site (www.olukai.com). A performance shoe that wears like a flip flop? Could it be possible they exist? The Makai could very well be that perfect blend of shoe and flip flop……..maybe, so I decided to order them. At $100 a pair I’m not one to experiment with shoes to “see if they work for me”. I have stupid sensitive, ver large (size 14), wide (for their length) feet that are very hard to shop for. If I could trade my feet in on a new less sensitive pair I would, but I am stuck with what I got.
I got the Maikai’s and at first glance they were exactly what I expected. A little weird looking with the big toe separated from the toes, but otherwise what I expected. Then I put them on…….a little help please! The Maikai’s run small…..or maybe they were meant to. With help from puling on the tongue and heel tab I got them on….very snugly. They are very narrow and very light. After putting them on I wondered if I actually had them on. They are like a cross between the feeling of the flip flops that I love while having the covering of a sneaker. Did I say they are amazingly light?
These shoes are excellent if you have average size feet, but I do not. Mine run a bit wide and thick near the top and ankle, so after a few hours of wearing them I was back to the flip flops….or maybe that was the plan. These are made for training (which I do little of) and not for walking around town looking cool in. Actually you get some interesting comments and looks when people see your feed. Japanese people love to ask me about them….I think. Most times it is in their native language which I don’t understand, but they are pointing at my feet so I assume it is about the shoes design much like shoes there.
The bottom line is if you love flip flops but want a shoe that’s not really a shoe, but is, then this is the one you are looking for. The Maikai’s are perfect for climbing those lava out croppings, biking in, skateboarding and anything else you want to have full coverage for without your feet feeling confined. But if you have large wide or “fat” feet like mine the MaiKai’s become uncomfortable after a couple of hours of wearing as they restrict the top part and sides of the foot. Overall worth the money and I think most people will absolutely love wearing them for those active occasions during your long weekend life.