What follows is a review of the Aldo Haoen flip flop. For reasons that may, or may not, become apparent in the lines that follow I feel that it is important for me to make it known that I have nothing against Canada. In fact, I have the privilege of visiting our neighbors to the north a few times each year and every time I have an excellent time and meet the most kindhearted and friendly people. This is merely my attempt to share my experience with these flip flops and, because I am me, it is done within the context of my experience with our fifty first state. So, no hard feelings.
“A prime example of Canadian fashion.”
Aldo, a Canadian retailer with a global presence are the creators of the Haoen flip flop, which are a prime example of Canadian fashion. The Haoen embodies the style that one encounters on the streets of beautiful downtown Vancouver, BC. Cute and quirky – often with a bit too much hair gel and Chapstick. A look that says, “I’m Canadian, eh!” They have a quirky blend of European and Asian styling – in the Haoen’s case it’s an East Berlin meets pre-WWII Tokyo vibe. A mix not only of cultures, but of eras. Being Canadian, they are simultaneously almost American and nearly European but to those that hail from the US and Europe are not quite either.
The fit was disappointing. I am a true to size 13 yet these were a bit small, but oddly so. The front half of the flip flop is a perfect 13 fit – arch and toes are right where they should be. Yet, the back half of the flops are a size smaller and left my heels to dangle uncomfortably over the back of the flip flops. This set the overall tone of my experience.
“So, no hard feelings.”
The boxy shape and stoutness of the footbed accentuated by the braided nylon strap reminded me of a pair of ancient Japanese wooden sandals – which are among the world’s first flip flops. This gives them a look that approaches trendy but misses the mark in a way that is difficult to convey but is somewhat like pouring gravy and cheese curds over French fries and calling it, “Poutine.”
The footbed would be the perfect place to attempt a land speed record in miniature. These suckers are as flat as the Bonneville Salt Flats. Featureless doesn’t begin to describe its flatness. In fairness they did sort of start to conform to my feet the more I wore them but barely.
Overall, everything was just a bit…off with these Aldo Haoen flip flops. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a Canadian fashion statement that I just don’t understand?