If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
That’s what Mom would say. The Dude can’t be bothered. But this dedicated beach footwear enthusiast needs to speak his mind.
Toms – I really only know this brand for their overpriced rags posing as shoes that people brandish as a social statement against something I never really bothered to understand. But I suspect, in reality, served merely as a salve to their own guilt for “having”, when so many “have not”, while not bothering to really know if the “charitable” arm of the brand really did any good.
They were fighting the “man” by having the “man” drive the outcome.
These things are terrible. For whatever social justice or anti-something, these contract manufactured flip flops were clearly the outcome of three months of marketing analysis, weeks of meetings and heated discussions about “strategy” all driven by some MBA who’s presence negates any previously acquired social justice for the brand. They were fighting the “man” by having the “man” drive the outcome.
The box was a box, a light plastic industrial band holding it together with some tissue and the flip flops inside. Upon opening; the first thing I see is the “Extra Cushy” sticker on the heel. It’s not on both heels, it’s not embossed on the sole, it’s an off-centered sticker that could just as easily say “Chiquita Banana,” placed with the same grace and precision as the grocery clerk applying the blaze orange “Sale” sticker on this morning’s day-old pastries.
The fit, in fairness, they were true to size.
Now here’s where they really start to fall apart.
Sole – Made of what can best be described as balloon rubber. It is the strangest choice for flip flop soles; it doesn’t breathe, it collects all the sweat and moisture, it’s louder than the squeals of delight at a toddler’s birthday party, and it has all of the comforts of wearing rubber gloves on your feet. Seriously, I can’t think of any good reason or value in these soles. It’s as if during the committee meeting everyone decided to go for Sally’s “clever” idea.
Strap –The leading edge is made of something that latches onto your foot and rolls under as you try to put the flip flop on. Every time I slide these on, I have to pull the strap back to its proper place in order to get my foot into the flip flop. It’s kind of like trying to pull on a pair of rubber underpants that are two sizes too small.
The paradox of the strap and sole is that it’s a really tight fit, but loose as hell. The smooth rubber sole is only stable in the driest of conditions, but even in the Sahara these quickly get as slick as astroglide once any moisture wicks its way up. There’s just nowhere for the natural perspiration to go, so it pools on the sole creating this disgusting pool of slick ick. Eventually, regardless of the conditions, the excessively tight strap can’t hold the foot to the disgusting cesspool sole. All traction is gone. So, the strap is too tight, but the flip flop is loose.
I haven’t tried any of Tom’s other shoes, maybe they are better. But the Santiago Flip Flop is a complete mess.
If Toms still has the buy one, give one campaign, great. In this case, it will be buy one, give two. I’m not keeping these. I can only hope that Toms isn’t donating these disasters to anyone. The Santiago is not going back into my rotation, ever.