All thongs (for the feet, that is) are not created equal. There are plastic and foam flip-flops that you buy at the beachwear shop after blowing out your previous pair on a pop-top, and then there are premium-grade sandals that are produced by reputable craftsman for serious leisure usage. The Hokulea from Scott Hawaii falls into the latter category. I’ve had a pair of these rugged, comfortable slip-ons for a year, and I still have plenty of sole left — in fact, there’s barely any bottom wear at all.
The Hokulea’s best feature is its all white, non-marking rubber outsole. Not only does it grip wet surfaces especially well, but it also has built-in arch support. The Rublon insole is soft and pliable yet durable; I dropped a boat propeller on one of my thongs (luckily, my foot wasn’t in it at the time) and it left only a small mark. The insole has a nonskid pattern and a heel cup that helps keep your foot where it belongs.
The straps are made from multiple tubes of nylon that roll with the foot when you walk; they’re not hard-edged or abrasive like one-piece straps. Though I’ve taken my thongs on numerous adventures in the field, the straps have lost none of their original navy blue color. When they start to get grimy, all I do is rinse them in water with a light detergent, and the straps are as good as new.
Now, I’m not recommending that you wear thongs when you’re rock climbing or fishing (or when changing a boat prop), but if you’re kicking back at the campsite after a long day on the trail, Scott’s Hokulea will keep your feet happy and sure.
Scott Hawaii Hokulea; MSRP: $33; www.scotthawaii.com
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor of Terrain Magazine