The first thing that I noticed when I opened up these sandals was not only the clean and well done packaging, but the odd style of support that Suicoke chose to use on the footbed. Alongside the strange support, the next thing that jumped out to me was not only the size of the Vibram sole, but the weightlessness of it. Suicoke/Vibram did a tremendous job to not only create the ideal silhouette, but also to preserve its functionality. Another thing that stood out at first glance was the strap fabric, they used a silky smooth fabric, unlike that of any other sandal. So silky smooth, in fact, that I doubted its sturdiness.
Now, before I go into how these actually wear, I’d like to note that I wore these most days of the week, and I usually bike 10 miles to and from work. So, though it has only been two months, these shoes have gotten plenty of real wear, as well as had their chance to get pretty dirty.Available Here
I have to say, hands down, these are the most comfortable sandals I have ever owned. I’m kind of a sucker for sandals (own two pairs of Birkenstocks, some Tevas, and some Chacos), and these beat out every other sandal I have tried. Where they lack in weight and substance from Chacos, they make up structure and comfort. Instead of having a depressed heelbed like Chacos and Birkenstocks, Suicokes have a little mound that your heel sits on. While it somewhat confused me at first, I very soon realized that it not only made walking more comfortable, but it also situated your foot within the straps better than any other sandal. Alongside the comfort it provides, this little mound (paired with the light Vibram sole) adds a little pop to your step. Now, that’s to say that Suicokes are nothing like those terrible old shoes with exaggerated shocks, but instead, the mound depresses as you step, but you can feel it regain shape immediately with your heel as you lift it. It is an odd, but extremely satisfying feeling.
But be warned, although I like the feel of the straps, they are a little tougher than other sandals to get the fit dialed for. Because these straps are softer, and have less obnoxious tracts of Velcro, they will not form a crease like most sandals in the strap. Though small annoyance, this means that you can’t just mindlessly throw your straps on as you are walking out the door, or you could be left with an uncomfortably tight/loose fit. You have to consciously look at where your straps are set, and fix them up each time.
The material wear on this pair of shoes was surprisingly minimal for the amount that I used them. They held up incredibly well to my biking, hiking, and running around in general. Because of the somewhat exaggerated Vibram sole, there were a few times that I found myself kicking a step or curb because I wasn’t used to the extra centimeter or so on the bottom of my sandals. Though this stopped quickly, the multiple times it happened resulted in no real scuff or noticeable damage to the shoe.
Alongside the sole, the straps held up way better than I expected. Most sandals that I have owned that use fabric straps (predominately Tevas) will snag, scratch, and look incredibly fibrous within just a few rough wears. Luckily, these Suicokes did nothing of the sort. From falling sideways on them while biking, to running them through my chain, the fabric withstood multiple stand offs with a scraggly fate. And, even when I did jam them into my bike chain, I just took them to the kitchen sink, threw some dishsoap on them, and all of the grease was gone with no noticeable marks. So, overall, from the straps to the sole, these sandals have shown no serious nor unexpected wear from near-daily biking and general abuse.
In terms of looks, I think these sandals have a very interesting edge on most others. With the white sole contrasting with the black footbed and grey straps, I kind of expected to only wear them in monochromatic outfits. Very quickly, though, I realized that while wearing colors, the black footbed was almost not noticeable and led to no incongruous colorblock where it was unwanted. From then on, I predominately wore them in either toned down outfits with lighter blues/greys, or strictly monochromatic and more minimalist outfits. These don’t exactly grab attention on their own, but compared to any other sandal that I have owned, they certainly add a nice detail, and only help to build a better and more coherent outfit.
With this all in mind, I will note that there was no point in the breakin process that I got a single blister – these were wearable right out of the box, and I walked a couple of miles in them the first day I got ‘em. Pair the interesting/comfortable footbed with the silky straps, and you’ve got an incredibly comfortable sandal.
I love them, and will certainly get another pair in a different color (and maybe style) when these get far too worn out to keep wearing. They are light, tough, and designed extremely well. These all combine to create a pretty unbeatable sandal.Available Here