A pair of sandals can easily be found in most anyone’s shoe collection. They’re comfy, easy to slide on, and are perfect for when it’s hot outside. Something a typical sandal lacks though is the arch support. Over the past couple of years, I’ve fallen in love with my more “rugged” sandals because they’re stylish and comfortable with their added arch support, but they’re just so dang bulky and heavy. I’ve constantly been sacrificing weight or comfort, until I found out about Freewaters at the Surf Expo.
I met up with these guys and got to see their entire line of shoes and sandals that are currently on the market and ones that are coming out in January 2014. The styles and designs looked sweet as can be, something any surfer, hiker, climber…heck, something anyone who loves to spend time outside would want to wear. They even have a cool boot design for the ladies that resembles an Uggs boot, but is more visually appealing. The guys hooked me up with my own pair of Freewaters, the GPS, and I’ve been wearing them around town quite a bit, and this is what I’ve found.
- Arch sport
- Incorporates Therm-A-Rest
The GPS is a great all-around sandal. Perfect for wearing to the beach, around town, out to lunch, to the gym, etc. It may feel flimsy, but I can assure you that it’s made with quality material and is going to last for a long time. I love the fact that it’s lightweight and has the arch support. Other sandals I have with arch support feel like they weigh a pound or two, but these babies feel like they weigh a couple ounces! If you’ve ever slept on a Therm-A-Rest sleeping pad, you know how comfortable they are, and if you haven’t, all you need to know is that they’re one of the most comfortable and lightest sleeping pads on the market for backpackers and campers. That being said, it makes sense that Freewaters is incorporating the Therm-A-Rest feel into their footwear, including the GPS. When I’m walking around in these sandals with the Therm-A-Rest foot-bed, it practically feels like my feet are getting a free massage just from walking. When you buy a pair of shoes or sandals from Freewaters, you’ll also know you’re giving back to those in need because 1% of all sales goes towards building clean wells in Africa, so folks can have access to clean water.
- Off sizing
Luckily I was able to try on a pair of sandals at the Surf Expo and I was able to get the right size that fit my feet. Normally, I’m a size 11.5-12 in shoes and sandals. I ended up needing a size 13 and proper sizing is everything with this kind of footwear. Getting the right size is a necessity since there’s the arch support in these. If you’re off a size, that arch support is going to be pushing up near the ball of your feet or behind your arch, close to your heel. If that happens, you’re going to be in a lot of discomfort when you’re walking. My suggestion, try a pair on at a retailer near you and then order them online if that retailer doesn’t have the size you want. The biggest flaw I’ve found with this sandal in particular is the annoying squeaking sound it makes when I walk. It seems like it only happens when my foot or the foot-bed gets wet. Whatever it is, it’s hard to make it stop once it starts and I’ve found myself altering the way I walk at times to reduce the loudness of the squeaking. I’ve been trying to wear down the foot-bed, thinking that might be the problem, but no cigar so far. Maybe mine are a defective pair?
The sandals are great (aside from the squeaking) and the company has great values that will resonate with most anyone. I wish I could give them a better rating, but a 3.8 out of 5 is the best I can do solely because of the squeaking. If my sandals didn’t squeak, I’d give them a 4.7 hands down because they’re so cool looking and are so comfortable. Looks I’ll be trying a different pair of Freewaters sandals and let you know how those compare.
I was supplied with these sandals from Freewaters, but the views expressed in this review are strictly my own.