Friday, September 18, 2015

Pinnacles National Park

I went to Pinnacles National Park on Labor Day, and meant to post these earlier, but life intervened. It was a beautiful, perfect, though scorching hot day. These pictures are rather feeble, but they are the best I have. Memories from this trip are holding me afloat right now.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Salt Water sandals | Review

After a lot of indecision, I purchased a pair of the Salt Water sandals from the Hoy Shoe Company at the end of June ($39.95 via Zappos). My shoe options were decidedly weather inappropriate -- Dr. Martens Chelsea boots, H&M ankle boots, or running shoes -- and simply didn't mesh well with high-temp attire. I've never really worn sandals or any sort of strongly 'summertime' shoe like espadrilles or slip-ons because I find light colors abhorrent and designs too kitschy.

Influenced by (copying from) the Dead Fleurette's coolness, I sought out the Salt Water sandals as my solution. They're fairly well-known in California, and I've noticed a few people wearing them around campus. These are non-obtrusive, quiet, plain shoes. They go with mostly all of my outfits, are damn comfortable, and quickly became an everyday, all-occasion shoe for me.

About the comfort: I'm a wide 6.5, which means I generally prefer 7 over 6.5, and always 7 over 6. Mine are black leather in women's 7 (and beware, the sizing is given in 'big kid' and 'women's') and were a bit narrow. According to the information in the box, the wearer is supposed to stretch and flex the shoe a bit before wearing, and that though they may feel snug, the leather will soften and mold easily to the foot. Because I found the front slightly narrow, my feet kept sliding back in the footbed, with my heel nearly slipping over the edge. I solved this problem by stretching the front of the sandals and consciously sliding my feet forward. Buckling at the tightest comfortable hole helps this process as well, and now, they fit wonderfully. If anything, they're a bit loose (as expected).

In spite of the 100% leather upper construction, these sandals are made to be submerged. While I didn't dip my feet in the slightly suspicious waters of Lake Merritt, I wore these kayaking with no fear of getting them wet. They wear well in casual walking around campus and town, even for extended periods of time. I thought that lack of arch support would be a problem, but the only discomfort was a bit in the ball of my foot, which has not bothered me. After about 1.5 months of near-daily wear, the soles don't show wearing and the buckles and straps, which were originally very stiff, are still sturdy.

These are not all-terrain and will do you little good in a hike or even extensive walking over moderately steep hills. Minimal tread, would not recommend anything more than a brisk, short jog in these.

All in all, these are great shoes. I've developed new tan lines on my feet, and they have filled a serious niche in my wardrobe. It's still summer in California, and I'll wear them until it gets unbearably cold to do so.