Aloha for your Feet: OluKai Footwear for Sailing

OluKai believes that everybody, no matter where they are, can live Aloha. Live "hello"? No, not exactly. The word "Aloha" goes far beyond just a greeting. The true deeper meaning is love, peace and compassion. A life of Aloha is one when the heart is so full it is overflowing with the ability to influence others around you with your spirit.

Now you're educated about Hawaii's most popular word, but what about popular Hawaiian shoes for sailing?

Shoes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about sailing gear, but good grip and comfortable feet can make life on deck or the dock better. Here's two pair of OluKai's I've been trying out lately that I recommend for boat use:

Holona ("Sailing, Traveling")
  • Non-marking molded rubber outsole with "traction pods"
  • Built for the water: quick drying and water-resistant
  • 100% synthetic, 0% animal products
SFLF remarks: I love the low profile design but was initially concerned that this would mean they lacked the comfy, squishy footbed of other high-end sandals. Not so! These are still very comfortable under foot while feeling light. Wet traction is good, particularly for a flip-flop style sandal. While the materials are 100% synthetic, the look could fool you into thinking they're leather. Be aware that these run about 1/2 size small based on my experience.

Akahai ("Modest")
  • Full-grain leather (Canvas is also available but mine are leather)
  • Non-marking rubber outsole w/ heavy gauge sidewall stitching
  • Dual-density footbed
SFLF remarks: At first glance, these don't look like a boat shoe but the non-marking outsole, solid grip and slip-on style fit the bill. I particularly like that the heal leather can be worn up for a more secure fit or down for quick no hassle step-in performance. The stitching adds visual appeal, but is heavy-duty and feels like it will do its intended job for the long run. Arch support is very good and the upper fits snugly, perhaps a bit too snug if you don't like feeling a shoe wrapping your foot. I've worn mine with and without socks and they seem fine either way. As with the Holonas above, the Akahais run small compared to my normal shoe sizing.

I've always liked the OluKai brand. I guess the OluKai Makau fishhook logo cast from their marketing team snagged me before I even tried on one of their shoes. And their Hawaiian product names stir my desires to sail the trade winds and explore salt-soaked islands, but I can honestly say that their footwear is very high quality with styles that are outside of the norm.

Aloha for your feet!

>> Don't forget to visit SFLF's Gear Review page for more sailing gear reviews/tests. <<


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