I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
I have a love/hate relationship with flip flops. I hate that some people call them “thongs.” I love that in Québécois French, they’re called gougounes (goo goons). I love how easy they are to slip on and off. I hate how easily my knees start to hurt due to a lack of arch support. I love how I can break them out and pair them with anything as soon as it’s warm out. I hate how, as soon as it’s warm out, I have to break them in and endure blisters for weeks. I love how inexpensive they are. I hate how I need a new pair every season because they fall apart and wind up in the trash.
I have great news! Unless you insist on referring to them as “thongs,” there is no hate in my relationship with Okabashi flip flops!
Okabashi flip flops are manufactured in Burford, Georgia. This location was carefully selected: it’s close to many American population centres, reducing the environmental impact of transportation. “The average Okabashi shoe travels only 7% as far as the average imported shoe, which is a difference of almost 10,000 miles.” Okabashi shoes contain recycled material and are also recyclable. Like, actually recyclable. Not “shipped off to Africa” recyclable: you can send your worn-out Okabashis back to them, where they will be recycled into new shoes or other non-apparel items, depending on their condition. They believe in “closed-loop recycling to reduce the use of virgin material and to keep old shoes from becoming environmental waste.” Find out more about Okabashi’s environmental initiatives here.
Everything explained above came as no surprise when I received my Oxford Blue Maui Flip Flops. I went searching for recyclable flip flops to review because I’m sick of throwing away worn-out flip flops.
What I didn’t expect was how comfortable they would be. Once sock-free season rolls around, I budget a couple of weeks to get my feet used to wearing flip flops again. I get blisters between my toes and under the straps. By the end of the summer, I’m eager for socks and supportive shoes again, since my flat feet leave me prone to sore knees when I flop around in flips without any arch support.
The very first outing in my Okabashis was on unexpectedly rocky and uneven terrain:My husband likes to spring “surprise” adventures on us on the weekend. We have so many places to discover within an hour’s drive of Calgary. Based on the picnic he encouraged me to pack, I wasn’t expecting we’d be doing much walking. Turns out that we did quite a bit of walking at Elbow Falls, including a decent stair-climb and just generally hopping over boulders and rocks. Much to my surprise, not only did I not have any blisters after our afternoon at Elbow Falls, but I also had no leg pain. Okabashi flip flops’ massaging insole and ergonomic foot-bed are no joke. I’ll let you know how my legs feel after what I shall henceforth be calling “The Summer of Okabashi,” but I’m pretty confident that this is the first of many Okabashi summers.
Shop & Connect
Okabashi makes a wide-range of sandals, flip flops and clogs for men and women. When you send your Okabashi shoes back for recycling, you receive a coupon towards a future purchase. All Okabashi shoes are also covered by a two-year guarantee. Shop on their website!
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