SANDALS, WITH HOLES

Passage Maker - - Paraphernautica - BY BRIAN K. LIND

When Veno­la­tion sent us a pair of flip-flops to re­view, I have to say I ap­proached them with a bit of skep­ti­cism. Their slo­gan is, “Soles with Holes.” We wanted to put them to the test over a long break-in pe­riod, the way any shoe ought to be tested.

Let’s be hon­est, it’s hard to be in­no­va­tive with flip-flops. For one, they date nearly as far back as the pyra­mids and the an­cient Egyp­tians to roughly 1,500 BC. Ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia, the mod­ern flip-flop is a ver­sion of the Ja­panese zori which was pop­u­lar­ized in the West on the heels of World War II.

I wore a pair of Ven­to­la­tion’s Bali sandals for a few weeks af­ter they ar­rived on my doorstep. The sandals are con­structed of an EVA/rub­ber com­pound that I found both com­fort­able and durable, and from the word “go” my feet have been blis­ter- and pain-free. They are sim­ple in de­sign, ca­sual, but ver­sa­tile enough to sneak into a de­cent restau­rant with­out get­ting in trou­ble.

The “in­no­va­tion” comes in the form of a per­fo­rated foot bed and sole that al­lows the bot­tom of your foot to breathe and wa­ter and sand to pass out of the footbed. Per­son­ally, I haven’t ever found sweaty feet, sand, or wa­ter to be an is­sue in a shoe that has a com­pletely open sole like flip-flops, but when you do, th­ese sandals are easy enough to purge of for­eign par­ti­cles.

Af­ter I spent some time walk­ing around town, in the wa­ter, and on the beach with th­ese, I did no­tice how well they shed wa­ter and sand. They also dried out faster af­ter walk­ing through the wa­ter, which was nice, and maybe the most no­tice­able dif­fer­ence be­tween th­ese shoes and a tra­di­tion­ally soled flip-flop.

Would I rec­om­mend them? Yes, but with a caveat: I fully en­dorse keep­ing a pair or two of flip-flops on your boat, but I can’t rec­om­mend them, or any flip-flop for that mat­ter, as boat shoes, per se.

How­ever, once you are tied up at the dock and you want to go for a stroll, ei­ther into town or along the sand, th­ese are a great go-to san­dal. They are sup­port­ive and the molded com­pound make them feel sim­ple yet durable. They come in mul­ti­ple styles for men, women, and chil­dren. I highly rec­om­mend them to have on board for kick-around-town shoes.

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