Writer urges quality in choosing sandals


Spring has officially returned for another season of allergies and “showers” — I say “showers” because California is in a drought — and colorful fashion.

Aside from the constant sneezing, April “showers” and questionable fashion trends springtime sees the return of a stereotypical California staple: flip-flops.

Yes. You read correctly. Flip-flops.

The season may not matter to the dedicated few donning a pair year round. I shamelessly say I’m one of the few and proud to sport a pair regardless of the season — my editors, staff writers and Collegian adviser can attest to this.

In rain or shine, I wear them all the time.

Some may wonder why I prefer wearing flip-flops as opposed to a pair of shoes.

The answer is simple: they’re convenient.

Flip-flops are accessible for quick situations like taking out the trash or going out for a casual day.

I can easily slip on pair of sandals and get to my destination rather than spend the extra couple of minutes finding some socks and unbreathable shoes.

According to Lance Silverman from anklefootmd.com, flip-flops allow your feet to breathe and keep them dry.

“Some foot conditions like ingrown toenails or athlete’s foot heal quicker if the foot is kept out of a tight, damp environment,” said Silverman.

Some may argue wearing them frequently will hurt your feet in the long run, which in some cases is true.

There are ways to prevent this from happening.

Investing in a quality-made sandal may help reduce the chances of future foot injury.

Birkenstocks sandals, for example offer comfort and arch support.

Being flat-footed and a frequent sandal wearer, I’m selective when it comes to investing. I choose my sandals based on the following criteria: aesthetic, comfortableness, durability and price.

With these four guidelines, I have found one brand of sandals continuously exceeding my expectations in minimal footwear: Rainbow Sandals.

I first learned about Rainbow Sandals from a high school friend. She always mentioned how comfortable her pair was and convinced me to invest in a pair.

I purchased a pair of the Premier Leather sandals on sale for $35 — originally $50.

When I first tried them on, they were tight on my feet but loosened and became comfortable with wear.

The sandal features mid-layer memory foam made from a closed-cell sponge rubber. The rubber molds to the shape of your foot.

The top layer is made of odor resistant premium leather and is suitable for wearing in water. I repeat for dramatic emphasis and as a refute to those believing sandals aren’t meant for water wear: they’re meant to get wet.

“We’re the first ones to make a sandal for the surf market,” said creator Jay “Sparky” Longley.

I’ve been impressed how my sandals were able to withstand different terrain throughout my many trips including Yosemite, Newport Beach and San Francisco — yes, I survived a day in San Francisco wearing flip-flops.

Despite the hefty full-price tag, the sandals are worth the investment. They’re versatile and appropriate for day and night usage, comfortable with continuous wear and come in variety of styles and materials.

They also have a “lifetime of the sole” warranty but should your pair become damaged or defective, the company will repair them.

Today, I’m a proud owner of three pairs, along with the original Premier Leather pair I purchased six years ago. My original pair still holds well against tough terrain despite its age.

I urge you to find and purchase a pair of feet-friendly flip-flops. While you’ll be able to purchase more if you chose some cheaply-made rubber flip-flops — I’m looking at you Old Navy — you’re better off purchasing a pair of quality-made sandals.

Your feet will thank you in the long run.