As promised, I wanted to provide an update as to where I'm at with the sandals....
First of all, I can say that after 3 weeks of wearing these I could not be more thrilled. Spending summer weekends and holidays in the upper peninsula of Michigan, I run into the same problem every year, the trade-off between heavy sandals that stay on your feet (Chacos, Keens) or lightweight flip-flops that tend to cause some (obvious) problems near (and in) the rivers, lakes and forest. I also have the very same issue traveling periodically for work as I want something that will stay on my feet and not look half bad wearing with jeans to dinner.
To test these out as much as possible over the past three weeks, and to see if I could make them fail in ways suggested by some of you, here is what I have put these through:
- week of travel through airports and various cities from Detroit to Sao Paulo, Brazil
- several miles running on uneven terrain in Detroit
- chasing four-year-olds around a field for my son's first t-ball practice (i am coaching this year for the first time)
- taming a wildfire
- running in and along the shores of Lake Superior and rivers and forests of the UP
- swimming in some of the rivers as well as Lake Superior IN the sandals (extremely cold this time of year, I was told around 40F in Lake Superior, 57F in the river near our cabin and it definitely felt like it),
- wading and walking in river mud just to get the sandals as messy and slimy as possible before taking a few jogs out of the rivers and up hills to see if my feet would slip
- chopping up deadwood to stock our wood pile to heat the cabin
- hiking through the thick forests of Upper Michigan, crossing over beaver dams, walking through sand dunes
- up and down logs, sand hills, rocks,
I am sure I missed a few things but as you can see, I basically put these things on in the morning and didn't take them off until night just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I will say that other than an interesting tan line, I experienced no blisters, hot spots, bruises, cuts, etc. I have never been this satisfied with a pair of sandals and, at the very least, my search for the perfect spring, summer, fall shoe/sandal has come to an end. The strap design + molded footbed definitely locks in the foot for the second skin feel. Even swimming with the sandals on worked out quite well and I never once felt as though they were going to come off, either in the water or walking through the river bottom muck.
So...I tried to throw together a quick blog to at least show some photos and (not so great) video of some of the experiences I've had so far through this process. Instead of trying to post of all the photos here (and not being able to duplicate the videos), I will provide the link: http://www.exodussandals.tumblr.com. This site is a work in progress but seems to handle photos well.
My plan is to start a new thread in an appropriate location on the forum early this week(gear deals? gear swap?) and see how many are interested in buying a pair (for a little above cost and shipping) to wear and provide feedback.
Let me know your thoughts...