Never have I worn a pair of flip flops more average than the KuaiLus.
Putting these on for the first time, there are a few things I notice. First of all, the cushiness of the footbed. While comfortable, the squish gives the KuaiLu flip flops the same feel as a pair of Havaianas so worn down by time and heat and life that they’ve almost melted into mush.
The material used to make the footbed feels cheap – definitely not the kind of feel you want for a flip flop if you’re trying to dress to impress.
I also notice that the straps aren’t equally tight. The right flip flop is perfectly tightened around my foot, making sure the flip flop won’t wiggle about with every step. However, the left is much too loose.
Every time I lift my foot, my left flip flop slides around, threatening my heel with street gunk as I walk along the muddy Manila sidewalk after a hard rain. So, unless you’ve got a fat left foot, I wouldn’t recommend these.
“KuaiLu flip flops should serve as the bar a pair of flip flops must surpass to be counted as ‘okay’.”
It doesn’t help that these flip flops don’t fit right even when I’m stationary, either. Just standing still, my feet fit slanted along the flip flops, not only making them uncomfortable, but making me look awkward as well.
In addition, they make my toes fan out weirdly, making me feel like a bird of prey grabbing the edges of the KuaiLu flip flops with my stubby talons. Not a great look, or feel.
How could a pair of flip flops be so average and poorly made? Don’t they keep quality in mind? It was as if they did the bare minimum to make these flip flops presentable and wearable. I feel like these KuaiLu flip flops should serve as the bar a pair of flip flops must surpass to be counted as ‘okay’.
I want to at least give these ‘dude’ points, but I feel like for a flip flop to embody ‘dudeness’, there has to be some kind of simple elegance to it. And, do these have what it takes? No. Straight up, these are just poorly made flip flops. No elegance here.
These are the thoughts that were racing through my head when the truth of these flip flops was revealed to me.
Someone I knew shouted, “Hey! Those look just like mine.”
Usually when someone says that, the similarities are minimal. Maybe they’re the same color, and have a similar design, but it’s quite obvious that they’re made by different manufacturers. You don’t expect them to literally have the same exact flip flops as you under a different brand name.
I shook my head when I saw the similarities.
“And, lo and behold, my stubby talons returned.”
The straps were made of the same material. The wavy design on the footbed was identical. The outsole had the same pattern, with the same little ‘A’ carved into it. In appearance and material, they seemed to be exactly the same, save for the one key difference: the brand name. Theirs was ‘Falsa’.
They told me to try them on, so I did.
All the color drained from face. These flip flops had the same mushy cushiness. The same cheap feel. The inconsistently tightened straps were consistent between them – the right was perfect, and the left was loose. And, lo and behold, my stubby talons returned.
There could only be one explanation. These flip flops must have been manufactured by the same factory, and were bought and branded by these two separate companies to sell as their own in hopes that no one would ever find out.
And here I am, finding out.