The sandal gets its name from Mākaha, a town in Honolulu county on the island of Oahu, though it is located about 35 miles north of Honolulu.
The town is well-known in Oahu for its excellent surf and history, as well as stunning beach views and thriving populations of sea turtles.
You’re looking for a shoe that is smooth and durable, and feels great on your feet. Perhaps a shoe coated in Polyurethane, abbreviated as PU, is for you. But what exactly is PU?
Polyurethane is a polymer, or synthetic resin. PU is desirable because of its strength, durability, water resistance, and because it generally dries as a transparent, taking on whatever color it is dipped in or whatever it’s brushed on. It also tends to be scratch-resistant.
But, you may be wondering, what does this varnishing material have to do with shoes?
PU is most commonly connected in the shoe world to PU leather. PU leather is split leather, or an animal hide that has been split into thinner sheets than top-grain leather is, and then dipped into the PU resin to create a thicker, water-resistant, and more durable material. This PU leather is what is generally seen on shoes, although regular PU may be brushed onto a rubber or EVA surface to make it tougher, or PU may be molded into plastic sheets to be used on the outsoles of shoes, especially running shoes and sandals.
Although PU leather generally has a hide base, it is categorized as a synthetic because it has been altered by the polyurethane. Some PU leathers, called vegan leathers, do not have any animal hide products at all, but instead are made of fabric brushed with polyurethane made to look like genuine leather.
There are some definite upsides that PU leathers have that top-grain leathers do not. First of all is the cost. Genuine top-grain animal-hide leather can be prohibitively expensive because of the amount of labor and time it takes to complete the finished product. Using PU leather maintains the look and feel of leather while keeping costs down.
Secondly, because of the PU varnish, polyurethane leather is more waterproof than top-grain leather, which is perfect for sandals, flip flops, slides, or other shoes that might be brought on adventures that involve water.
It’s also lighter than genuine leather. Think of a 100% leather boot. It’s usually tough and very heavy. For a sportier shoe, there’s a great advantage to having PU leather, and that’s the weight (or rather, lack thereof). PU leather is very light, so when a sandal or other shoe is made with PU leather, it’ll be easier to walk in, travel with, and hop into when you need to get moving quickly.
PU leather looks and feels great on shoes, but many other products take advantage of PU leather. For example, wallets and purses often use PU leather, as do office chairs and other office supplies, backpacks, journal covers, and low-cost car interiors.
Still, PU leather arguably looks and feels best on footwear, as it is one of the only products in which the PU leather, which feels like top-grain leather, comes into contact with your skin. PU leather takes the stress off, because you can rest assured that you didn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount for it, and because you can clean it with water---something that simply isn’t an option for top-grain hide. Because it is water-safe, you can take the caution you’d normally have to take with leather and throw it to the wind. Want to head to the beach with your PU leather sandals? Go for it! The polyurethane can take it.
Make sure to check out the sandals available with PU leather options on AlohaShoes.com to get a sense of what PU leather looks like on sandals and slippers. Chances are you won’t be disappointed, and the price point for these products can’t be beat.
You may notice that many of the sandals offered at AlohaShoes.com have woven nylon straps.
Nylon is a fabric made from nylon fibers, which are tough elastic polymers (synthetic material). Nylon was invented in the 1930s as a toothbrush-bristle material, but gained far more notoriety in women’s stockings, often called “nylons.” Now nylon can be found in a myriad of industries and products including apparel, flooring, packaging, and upholstery.
There is a reason that high-quality shoe brands use nylon to create sandal and flip flop straps rather than plastic. These straps are comfortable, flexible, and waterproof, and they tend to be very soft so that they won’t painfully rub like some plastic strap alternatives.
They are also very compact in structure, making them tough and resistant to tears or breaks. It is much harder to blow out a sandal strap made of nylon than it is for one made of plastic, so nylon is an excellent choice when deciding on a sandal.
Besides these benefits, they’re also very resistant to heat and sunlight. Where plastic becomes brittle with too much heat or sun exposure, nylon is unaffected and maintains its toughness and flexibility.
Because it is waterproof, nylon is also easy to clean. If you drip salsa or beer on your foot during a party, simply take a damp cloth and wipe it off. We’re not speaking from experience, of course, but you never know...
Nylon is also very easy to dye, so it is easy for shoe manufacturers to create fun and fashionable designs.
Resiliency is also an important factor in the choice of nylon straps because even when they’ve been stretched out on your foot for several hours, they’ll bounce back into shape once you take your sandals or flip flops off.
Nylon can also be varied in its luster, so that it can be made shiny, dull, or metallic looking---perfect for any outfit.
And nylon straps will help to wick away bacteria, dead skin, or moisture that can collect on your feet, making them a clean option.
Lastly, and most importantly, nylon is comfortable. Because it is stretchy and soft, it makes an ideal strap, and will grip your feet without feeling tight or painful.
Most nylon straps are flat and relatively smooth. However, there is another variety called “tubular nylon straps.” These tubular straps still lie flat, but are made of two pieces of nylon stitched together so that if it were pinched it would make a tube. The benefits of tubular nylon are that it doubles the strength and durability of a normal nylon strap, and is also softer and more flexible than flat-webbed nylon straps.
When shopping around for a quality pair of durable, long-lasting sandals, keep your eye out for nylon straps, especially tubular nylon straps. They will make life easier on your feet in a number of ways, and gone will be the days of painful blisters caused by lesser materials. You can shop for nylon-strapped shoes now in the inventory carried by AlohaShoes.com. Some examples are the Wahine, the Haleiwa, and the Ele Ele slippers, among others.
Though Pali Hawaii sandals are all the rage in the Pacific, it’s interesting to note that they have really taken off in Texas as well. Seriously, ask any Texan you know about “Jesus Sandals” and they’re likely to say that many people they know have a pair, or are longing after a pair for this upcoming Christmas. They may even hold out their own Jandals-clad foot and say, “you mean these?”
So what is it about Jandals, typically part of an island wardrobe, that have people all over the great state of Texas clamoring for a pair?
It’s as simple as one, two, three.
One, they’re dirt-resistant. You may be thinking, “but aren’t all shoes kinda dirt-resistant? Well, no. Most shoes are made of some sort of material that traps dirt, or at least shows it in unflattering ways. Think suede, canvas, aerated sneaker material, etc. Jandals are made of thick, durable rubber that’s completely waterproof and unbelievably easy to clean---just a quick rinse and they look as good as new!
Two, Jandals are the perfect mix of casual and chic. With the comfort of Birkenstocks but made to last in all terrains, Jandals fit in with the casual-cool style found all over urban Texas, from Austin to Dallas to San Antonio.
Three, Texas is famous for being larger than life. If Texas has a whole Jesus Day dedicated to loving the Lord and thy neighbor, why shouldn’t its residents have shoes to match?
Whether you’re a diehard Texan or not, there’s really no reason not to get yourself a pair of Jandals by Pali Hawaii and make these wonderfully comfortable and casual closet staples a national sensation from sea to shining sea.
When it comes down to rubber materials in shoes, does it matter whether the shoe you want to buy is made with 100% genuine rubber or a synthetic rubber?
In short, the answer is yes. When a shoe is made with real rubber, it is going to last you longer, protect your feet better, and keep you consistently dry, among other benefits. For all of these reasons, genuine rubber is an excellent resource in the making of shoes.
Rubber has a high rate of resiliency, meaning that it can easily return to its original shape when pressed or stretched. This is great when it comes to the soles of shoes because the sole of the shoe will last a long time, even when getting stepped on in continual use.
Rubber is also very hard to damage. Because it is so tough, it is very resistant to cuts, tears, and chips, so when you wear shoes with a rubber sole your feet are being very well protected.
While rubber is doomed in intense heat like heat from a fire, it is resistant to hot climates---you don’t have to worry about walking around in Hawaii and having your shoes melt off your feet. In fact, genuine rubber would have to be exposed for a long period in heat hotter than 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rubber is also good at adhering to other materials, which makes things nice in the production of shoes and sandals because shoes are usually made with many materials. For instance, many of the shoes from Scott Hawaii have a rubber outsole, rubalon insole, and PU outsole. The fact that rubber is easy to bind to other materials is a great advantage in these situations.
So how is rubber made? Natural, 100% rubber takes a process that starts with latex being harvested. When harvested, latex is a runny, milky white liquid, and is usually collected from a type of tree called Hevea brasiliensis, better known as “rubber trees.” This is not the only plant that produces latex---some 200 plant species have it, including the common dandelion---but the rubber tree is the species that makes up 99% of the world’s rubber.
Latex is collected from these trees in a similar way that maple syrup is collected from a sugar maple tree. First, the rubber tree is tapped, meaning that a v-shaped cut is made in the bark. Then it drips down into a cup placed there by the harvester.
Once latex has been harvested, it is filtered and washed, and then mixed with acid, causing a reaction that makes a rubber coagulation. This concoction is pressed into sheets and dried. Next, big machines roll over the rubber to make it softer and more malleable. Then more ingredients are added and the rubber is cooked, making the final product.
Most rubber is black, but rubber can be made a variety of colors. A popular one for shoe soles is white because white rubber is non-marking. This means that when it is rubbed quickly on a surface, it will not leave a black mark, making white rubber non-marking soles popular in sports with a court, such as tennis, basketball, or volleyball. Non-marking rubber preserves the clean look of the court.
Natural rubber is a very strong, durable, and flexible material. When you buy shoes with a real rubber sole, you’ll notice how well it absorbs shock and how springy your steps will become.
You already know Scott Hawaii for its dedication to ultra-comfy, high-quality sandals. Scott has a wide base of dedicated fans who swear by their products and won’t buy slippahs from any other brand. But how did this company get started, and how did it become such a well-known Hawaiian staple?
In 1932, a young couple went on vacation to Hawaii. While there, they fell desperately in love with the island, and couldn’t bear to move back to the mainland. Instead, they decided they needed to find a way to made a living in Hawaii so they could stay permanently. The couple, Elmer and Jean Scott, noticed that there was a demand for sturdy, breathable shoes for the workers who worked on the plantations. Thus, the Scott sandal was born. The shoes didn’t require much material, which was scarce during the ration time of World War II, and the shoes became immensely popular on the island. The Scott Hawaii company is now in its third generation, but the dedication to quality craftsmanship is the same as it was when Elmer and Jean started it all those decades ago.
The Scotts were so dedicated to making quality footwear, in fact, that they started the “lifetime of the sole” warranty, which remains in place today. If a customer wears the shoe down to the next layer of the sole, they are guaranteed a new pair.
You can buy your own pair of excellent Scott Hawaii slippers in a variety of styles for men, women and children at Alohashoes.com. And hurry---Christmas is sneaking up fast!
The men’s Hokulea slipper is perfect for the fisherman in your life. The shoe comes in a variety of fish-inspired designs. Plain black is reminiscent of waking up before sunrise to get your fishing gear ready. The navy design is inspired by the deep hues of the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii. The Mahi design is stitched with very detailed depictions of the Hawaiian fish on the tubular nylon strap. This same attention to detail is made in the Ahi design, in which Ahi swim on the tough, unbreakable strap. And for the patriotic man, there’s a flag design to show that courageous American spirit.
The Hokulea slippers are made with a slightly textured sole that helps the feet to grip to the shoe.
This means that when you’re sport fishing out on the open ocean with huge Hawaiian waves crashing on the deck, you can have a singular focus, and not be distracted about losing your shoes to the open maw of the sea.
The sole is made in two parts for double the comfort and durability. The top sole, called the insole, is made from textured rubalon. Rubalon is a mix of EVA foam (a cushy synthetic polymer) and 100% pure, natural rubber. Rubalon helps you to reap the benefits of both these materials, as the EVA foam makes the sole soft and squishy while the rubber makes it tough and durable.
The insole has also been molded for extra support and fit. There is a molded arch and heel cup, mimicking the natural rise and fall of the foot. When you step into these sandals, the arch will fit naturally and the heel cup will ground your foot in the back while the nylon strap stabilizes in the front.
The outsole, or bottom sole, is made from white non-marking rubber. That means when you’re wheeling and juking on the deck of your fishing boat, you’re not going to leave unsightly black streaks everywhere you turn. The rubber also absorbs shock and vibrations, steadying you when you’re rocked and jolted on deck.
The strap on the Hokulea sandals isn’t just decorated with intricate designs. It’s also built to last. Nylon is a synthetic material known for its flexibility, toughness, and quick-drying features. The Hokulea straps are made from tubular nylon, meaning that two of these tough straps are stitched together, doubling their strength.
To get a sense of how strong tubular nylon is, some climbing ropes are made from this material.
To showcase the strength and Hawaiian roots of the shoe, it was named after a replica of an ancient Polynesian double-hulled canoe. Polynesian voyagers used to navigate the seas using the stars and other techniques, and today the Polynesian Voyaging Society keeps the Hokulea for long trips using the same Polynesian navigation techniques that were used centuries ago.
While those traditional navigation methods are no longer the norm, you can put on the Hokulea slippers and feel the power of fishermen and seafarers of old while you hit the same seas that they used to sail.
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Most people, it’s safe to say, decide to buy a shoe based on numerous factors that don’t include orthopedic health. They’ll choose a shoe because of the cost, material, brand, or design, but rarely does it occur to the consumer to think about the arch support the shoe provides.
This is a shame, because arguably, this ought to be a shopper’s number one concern: how is it going to make my feet feel? Will it eliminate foot pain, or end up causing it? Luckily, there are a number of different types of arches found in shoes meant to protect the natural shape of a human foot arch so that your feet are protected and happy.
Common types of arch support systems include orthotics, arch cushions, cushion insoles, and sport insoles.
Perhaps the most popular type of arch support is orthotic arch support. Orthotics have insoles with rigid arch supports to make sure that your feet don’t flatten, which can cause injury to tendons. With an insole that includes a rigid built-in arch support, the natural shape of your arch is preserved while walking and standing, which is better for your feet.
Another popular type of arch support is arch cushions. Arch cushions are great for people who have less severe arches and little to no foot pain. They still have prominent built-in arches, but these are typically made from foam rather than plastic or rigid gel, so they’re somewhat softer than typical orthotics. These are great for people with high arches whose feet are too sensitive for plastic-based orthotic inserts or insoles.
Cushion insoles are another popular choice. These are made with comfort in mind first, then arch support. While they still include a slight arch, the arches are soft and squishy like the rest of the sole for optimal comfort. These arch supports are great for people who spend long hours on their feet, as they are the most comfortable option while still keeping feet in good form.
Another type entirely is used for sports shoes like running shoes, tennis shoes, and cleats. The insole and arches on these shoes are dependent on the needs of the athlete who wears them. For instance, an insole built for a marathoner is going to be different than that of a cyclist who is attached to his bike.
Runner's World Magazine suggests a test to find out what kind of arch you have. You can do this simple and informative test by dipping your feet in water or paint and stepping on butcher paper. If you have high arches, there will be a skinny line connecting the ball of your foot to your heel, and if you have lower arches, that connector will be wider, as more of your foot touches the paper.
Once you know what kind of arch you have, you can purchase shoes accordingly--a higher or stiffer insole for high arches, or a softer insole for lower arches.
Once you get to know your own arches, you’ll be amazed at what a difference an arch and insole match can make. Help yourself to prevent foot pain by finding some shoes with perfect insoles for you.
Jandals. It’s a term meant to describe a sandal: that much we know. But it’s a contraction of “sandal” and what, exactly? Some will claim that Jandals are “Jesus sandals.” Others claim they’re the less holy “jail sandals,” while a third group argues that “jandals” is a contraction of “Japanese” and “sandals.” Is it one? All three? It’s time to settle the debate once and for all.
Let’s start with the Jesus style sandals. These are a good contender for the term Jandals. These bad boys really do look like ancient relics from olden times. These are made by Pali Hawaii, though they have taken off in popularity all over the mainland, and if you take a college tour you’ll be sure to see many twenty-somethings sporting these simple shoes. The most popular styles are usually understated brown shades but Pali Hawaii Jandals are also available in many bright shades as well.
They’re made with a soft, flexible plastic and because of this are completely waterproof. You can’t walk on water with these, but you can walk in water and not worry about getting your shoes wet. But are Jesus sandals the real Jandals?
Pali Hawaii gets a Jandals point for having copyrighted the term, but the folks of Urban Dictionary have their own definitions they stand by. On the slang site, there is only one definition that describes “jandals” as Jesus sandals, and it is toward the bottom of the list. The overwhelming amount of responses come from New Zealanders who argue that Jandal is in fact a contraction for “Japanese Sandal.”
It makes sense that Jandals would stand for Japanese Sandals, especially in New Zealand. According to New Zealand's government history site, a businessman from Auckland, New Zealand named Morris Yock was a trader who spent some time in Asia and was inspired by the Japanese footwear called zori. Zori are like modern day flip flops but made of straw or wood. Inspired by this and sensing that the simple shoe would take off in New Zealand, Morris started manufacturing them in the ‘50s in Auckland and named them “Jandals,” for “Japanese sandals.”
Therefore, Jandals in this sense are flip flops, the flat sole with the Y-strap, or as one Urban Dictionary contributor defined, “what you damn Aussies call thongs!” This seems to be the consensus among most of the contributors to the definition of Jandals. The most popular definition says that Jandals are “a ubiquitous New Zealand rubber sandal, equivalent the Australian rubber thong or US/UK flip flop,” giving an example of “I’d wear ya Jandals mate, the showers are pretty chancrous.”
But although the New Zealanders have made a fairly good case for “Japanese sandals,” there’s one more candidate to consider. This, of course, is the “jail sandal.”
We’ve all seen movies and tv shows depicting sad, shuffling inmates wearing orange jumpsuits and thick-soled, slipper-like sandals. Some might say that “Jandals” refer not to flip flops inspired from Japan nor to Jesus-style sandals, but to something altogether different: sandals inspired by convicts.
Jandals in this context does not refer to a specific style of shoe necessarily, but refers to any sandal worn by prison inmates. For example, some jandals might have two straps while some would have just one, like a pair of slides. Jail sandals are also a bit different in structure to the other Jandals discussed here. They are usually made from a soft EVA foam (a synthetic, soft and squishy flexible plastic foam), making them comfortable to walk on. They’re also waterproof, odor proof, wear-resistant, and slip-resistant. Better than all of this though, is the fact that these shoes cannot be used as a weapon by prison inmates---they’re hard to cut through, and too soft to cause any harm.
Modern “jandals” in this regard are quite the step up from the prison uniforms of old. In the 19th century, before national prison standards and dress codes, prisoners often were not issued footwear at all, instead being forced to walk everywhere barefoot. In Oregon in the 1860s, prisoners were forced to wear the brutal “Prison boot” or “Oregon boot,” which was a work boot with a 50 pound weight attached from the sole of the shoe to the prisoner’s ankle. While the papers at the time claimed this contraption had “a fair degree of comfort,” it left several prisoners with permanent limps and other damage.
Though modern "jail sandals" are actually quite comfy, this version of "jandals" are decidedly less popular than Pali's Jandals and the classic flip flop, but who knows? If the Crocs had their moment in the sun, maybe jail sandals will too.
So let’s review. Kiwis from New Zealand claim that not only did they invent the term “jandal,” it doesn’t identify to a typical sandal at all, but rather the classic Y-strapped flip flop.
Young people, among whom the Pali Hawaii copyrighted Jandal has become a closet staple, claim that these Jandals are the one true Jandal.
Another group, seemingly only vocal on Urban Dictionary, claims that Jandals are “jailhouse sandals worn by tweens who think they’re hipster and have never been to jail.”
Which of these “jandals” do you think is the one true Jandal? Perhaps this breakdown of the definitions has influenced you, or perhaps your mind will never be changed. It probably depends on your age and location on this good green earth. Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard the term “jandal.”
Whatever the case, we have our own opinion. Jandals are Jesus sandals made by Pali Hawaii. They’re perfect for bringing to the beach, and if you get a pair in one of the bright colors they offer, you won’t lose them in the sand or surf. Plus, their rising popularity means that you can go from surfing to shopping without changing your footwear. The flexible plastic is comfy and won’t break or rip. Flip flops aren’t Jandals, they’re flip flops over here in the US. Get with the program, New Zealand! And we don’t really want to show off our new shoes if they’re called jail sandals. We prefer Jesus sandals. But that’s just us. Whatever you think of when you think of Jandals, we hope you go on the best adventures with them.
It is easy to see why yoga has been such a popular pastime in recent years and decades. Yoga increases muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. And of course there’s the squishy, super-comfy surface of the yoga mat.
Yoga mats are most often made from PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride. PVC is the third most used plastic in the world. It comes in two forms, soft and rigid, and can be and is used in thousands of products. Yoga mats are made from the soft form of PVC. They’re durable, soft, and best of all, ultra-comfortable on your feet. For these reasons, some shoe manufacturers have caught on to the hype and begun producing sandal soles made of yoga mat material. Imagine walking to yoga class on shoes made of yoga mat. The bliss!
It makes sense that yoga mat foam would be used to make shoe soles. First of all, they come in almost unlimited colors and textures, and can be printed with different designs, making it easy for shoe manufacturers to mix it up and cater to a variety of customers and personalities.
Secondly, the yoga mat foam can be textured to be smooth for comfort or textured to prevent slipping. Furthermore, it’s a buoyant material, meaning that should a shoe get lost in the surf or a river, it’ll float rather than sink to the bottom never to be seen again.
PVC foam is also relatively inexpensive, meaning that when it’s used in shoes it creates a shoe that has all the previously mentioned benefits without breaking the bank.
Like yoga mats, soft yoga mat foam insoles protect your feet from shock and vibrations, so that if you’re doing jumping jacks or just holding a long pose on your feet, the mat will mold to your foot shape and support you.
Yoga mats are also supposed to help keep you centered and your energy focused on your body and its place in the world. This calming state of mind can be yours every time you slip on your shoes, if your shoes are basically a traveling yoga mat.
You can also say goodbye to bacteria. Because yoga mat foam is so easy to clean, there’s no reason that your feet can’t be hanging out on a clean shoe all the time, even after months or years of wear. Just rinse with a little soap and they’ll be as good as new.
Lastly, yoga mat sandals or flip-flops are very lightweight. This has numerous benefits. Yoga mat shoes are easy to travel with--take them through TSA or pack them in your carry-on without a hitch. They can also fit in an overnight bag on a camping trip or just be the go-to lightweight shoes you always wear around town.
Whatever the case, we highly recommend that you check out the slippers on AlohaShoes.com that are made with soft yoga mat foam insoles, such as the Kilakila, Kukini, or Moena flip flops. Once you grab yourself a pair, you may end up being a convert for life.