Monday, February 11, 2008

Not-Too-Hideous Shoes of Comfort: The FitFlop

If you are on the Bath & Body Works mailing list, as I am, you may already be familiar with FitFlops, as seen in the B&BW ad below.

At first I thought, "Eh, better legs with $50 flip-flops? Hello, I've hiked with guys who can scale jagged hillsides with $2 rubber zoris from Longs. That's not going to happen."

That changed, however, when I actually found FitFlops at the Ala Moana Lady Foot Locker. (Note: Hawaii still doesn't have a B&BW store! We still have to rely on online orders and pasalubong from the Mainland!) The first time I tried them on, I was impressed by the shoe-like squishy sole and the curve-hugging top strap, which I thought was definitely superior to the zori that I'm used to.

Well, all of that changed yesterday, when I broke down and got the red beauties shown here below at the aforementoned Lady Foot Locker:

Several factors came into play: For one thing, my regular non-hideous shoes of comfort (the Reebok Trail Wave) have finally started to fall apart after two to three weeks of straight walking in the rain - I swear that the holes on the upper were causing my socks to get soaked ten times more than usual. And speaking of the rain, the weather's been so ridiculous in my school district that I've practically gotten used to coming to school in a wet jacket, wet pants, wet shoes, and a broken umbrella. (I've started packing dry ones in my bag ever since, and I should be getting a new umbrella-ella-ella in the near future.)

What really broke me, however, was the fact that I did need some comfortable shoes in the classroom that will actually let my feet breathe. I'll be the first person who will admit that flip-flops in any workplace don't always look professional (which is why I still carry flats with me), but I'll also cop to the fact that Hawaii is so casual that I can still get away with bare feet like this... and considering where I work, I could use all the comfort that I can get on my feet.

Anyway, I finally bought the FitFlops, and I put it through the test of walking from Ala Moana to my apartment in Makiki - a good mile or so, and 20 minutes in good weather. I had to, because my feet were already chapped raw from making the same walk from the other direction in my regular slippers and I was already going through a very stressful Saturday as it already was. I was definitely thankful for the springy cushioning in the platform sole - as good as any running shoe, if not better - and the straps were definitely sturdy as they held my instep as close as possible to the sole. The only problem I had was the little thong part that went between my toes, which was definitely not cushioned and ended up making that area more chapped than they usually are.

Okay, so it's only been Day 1 and I still have to test these against the elements (and the similar 1-mile walk from my bus stop to the school), but you get the idea. If you live in warm weather, or an environment that practically encourages flip-flops, then I definitely would recommend this in terms of a sturdy, reliable shoe that you can walk in all the time... and considering how comfortable they are, you will want to walk in them.

And as for the "workout while you walk" claim... well, if you walked in your FitFlops as much as I usually do, wouldn't that be the case? It sure beats wearing your knee joints out on regular rubber slippers.


Kenny Surtani said...
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fit flops said...

I am about to purchase my second pair of FitFlops. I LOVE THEM! They took a day to get used to but after that they were wonderful! I suffer from Leg and Knee pain ( constant ) but after just a few days of wearing these shoes the pain had subsided tremendously. I could give a rip about the weight loss or the leg workout - the shoes look and feel good - that is what matters!