Breed a flip-flop sandal with a Vibram FiveFingers shoe and you might get something like the Sazzi. This new line of sandals, which are for sale on May 1, feature flexible and grippy soles, recycled materials, and — the kicker — toe straps that segment your pedial digits for “incredible agility and freedom of movement,” as the company puts it.
The brand, based in Newport Beach, Calif., was founded last year by Mark Thatcher, a footwear inventor who came up with the concept of the Teva sport sandal when he was a rafting guide in the 1980s. He sold Teva about a decade ago, and after a few prominent positions in the footwear world he concocted the Sazzi brand and concept.
Jumping on the “barefoot” bandwagon, Sazzi touts natural movement and things like “superior lateral and forward leaning control” with its Digit model, which is the beefier of the company’s two initial offerings. It has four straps, one to fit in between each toe, and the outsole is segmented to let toes flex and grip.
Traversing uneven terrain or “angled surfaces” is what the Digit is built to do, Sazzi notes. It is a slip-on sandal with Velcro straps made for people who might hike, run on the beach, scramble up rocky hills, then dive in a creek for a swim at the end.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.