As someone always on the lookout for the perfect barefoot summer sandal, the rise in popularity of the sports sandal as a stylish lifestyle option has been a welcome one.
Since the SS14 catwalk shows, it’s common to see different designers’ takes on the sports sandal (a few examples include styles from Burberry, Prada and Marc Jacobs) and they have adorned the feet of many at fashion week events.
So, although the Wokova Feather Sandal is certainly a performance shoe, seeing as I’ve never run in them (except maybe for the bus), I’m interested at how to make them work with my day-to-day wardrobe – rather than on the trails.
And I want to make the most of being able to get away with wearing a pair of minimalist sandals around the city, and not looking like I’ve just got back from a hike, because who knows how long this trend is going to last.
Although the Wokova Feather Sandal design was inspired by running huaraches, the model totally works as a casual lifestyle option. There’s something about the angle of the strap across the foot that makes them feel quite feminine. And, as they don’t have a horizontal strap, they are very flattering as they both lengthen the leg and slim the ankle.
In addition to black, the straps are also available in a bright pink, red and blue colourway that you can make a statement with. This also makes them feel less outdoorsy, with the exception of the olive green version – which, personally, I would avoid for this reason. Although I always tend to sway towards black (just as black goes with just about everything), I actually also really love the red version of these and receive a lot of compliments on them.
There’s a fine line between getting it wrong and getting it right when wearing a sports sandal about town. Here’s some tips to keep in mind:
Other than sporting them day-to-day (whether or not you’re trying to rock the athleisure trend), another time I found the Wokova Feather Sandals came into their own was on honeymoon in Indonesia last year.
From a practical point of view, they make such a great travelling option as they just take up so little space and are easily crammed into a full backpack. They are also super easy to clean (I literally just ran them under the cold tap at the end of the day and left them outside to dry). I think they also look great paired with denim jeans and loose dresses, which is what I tend to live in when on holiday.
I would say that I found only two downsides to wearing them in Indonesia…
Oh, and watch out for tan lines (or dirt lines if you’re in a particularly dusty location…) as they leave quite a distinctive mark when you then wear a different style of shoe.
As with all barefoot shoes, getting the size right is super important and is something that Unshoes have carefully considered. Each pair of sandals is handmade to order, which means there’s a few different options for choosing the right size for you:
Template sizes – Unshoes provide a range of printable templates so you can choose a shape that best suits your foot – these take into consideration whether you have a narrow or wide foot, fallen arches or even shorter big toe, for example.
Standard sizes – In case you don’t want the hassle of printing out templates you can also just go with a standard size.
Custom fit – As each are handmade it’s possible to make adjustments to any of the templates, great if you have problems finding sizes that fit well.
I went for the template option (with the most common template size) and have found the fit very good. I was also super impressed that I haven’t had any pain where the strap runs between the toes as that’s something I have found with huaraches in the past.
In additional to the sizing, knowing how to adjust the sandals for the best comfort and attachment to your feet is super important. Unshoes have created this handy video to make sure you’re doing it right…
One thing I didn’t realise at first is that you can move the buckle round so you don’t have any excess strap flapping about, so worth a quick watch if you’re finding you’re having that problem or if the pressure around your foot doesn’t feel quite tight. Remember that they should be well attached so you’re not having to clench your toes (or do anything else) when you’re walking in order to hold them on.
In terms of cost, in comparison to a lot of barefoot sandals on the market, Unshoes are very reasonable in my opinion at $48 for a pair of the Wokova Feather Sandals – especially when you consider that each pair are handmade in the US.
In terms of how they perform strictly from a barefoot point of view, well I’m giving them top marks:
Image via unshoesusa.com
HEEL – (5/5) for the zero drop
SOLE – (5/5) very thin and flexible at only 4m, which allows excellent feel of the ground beneath your feet but without any flappy-ness which can sometimes be an issue with a thin-soled huaraches
TOE – (5/5) the huarache sandal style means the toes have zero restrictions for maximum spread and wiggle room
UPPER – (5/5) very easy to adjust the tightness to make sure they are well held onto the foot (see video above) even with such little material – and there’s no need for any toe gripping as is the problem with so many minimal sandals
I’ve certainly been won over by the Wokova Feather Sandal, but, in case you’re taking a look at what else Unshoes have on offer definitely have a look at the Keota Sandal, especially if you are a fan of the Y shape look of a traditional flip flop…
Thank you to Unshoes for providing a pair of their Wokova Feather Sandals for this review
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