Big promises come with a plush new sandal offering from insole-maker Superfeet. We slipped them on for a first-look review.
At $60, the flip-flops are sold as a superior open-toe option, absorbing shock, supporting the arch, potentially relieving plantar fasciitis, and even “great for body alignment,” as the brand puts it.
Superfeet is a leader in the insole category, with decades of experience making products that interface with the bottom of bare feet. Sandals seem like a natural brand extension, and this spring the company launches a line for women and men.
Review: Superfeet Sandals
I tested Superfeet’s Outside Men’s Bison model, which come with a deep heel cup, synthetic leather straps, as well as the aforementioned bio-mechanical claims.
I’m not sure about “body alignment,” but if that term is a stand-in for foot support that translates to comfortable ankles, knees, and above, Superfeet gets a pass. These sandals exude a firm, confident fit the moment you step in.
The footbed is a firm foam textured with tiny dimples and scored with concentric lines. A half-inch depression cradles the heel, and the sandals contour subtly with your arch before flattening at the toes.
A thick midsole cushions as you walk. The straps are lined with neoprene for comfort against the skin and a secure fit — the sandals stayed on my feet while walking on a steep trail.
The outsole is touted as “slip-resistant,” though there is minimal tread underfoot. I had no issues with grip on dirt, stone stairs, or around water.
Casual, Supportive Sandals
Overall, Superfeet accomplishes a design that both looks nice and feels great. I have hiked for a couple miles at a stretch, including on dirt trails, pavement, and sand.
Don’t expect anything beyond good-fitting flip-flops, however. These will not stay on in a river. The design is made for casual walks and everyday wear.
If you run, bike, or race in endurance events, the company markets the sandals as a post-activity footwear option and an “excellent way to get your tired feet some relief while maintaining good support underfoot.”
A side note: Another insole maker, the Canadian brand Sole, introduced similar contoured sandals a few years ago. Today, Sole’s slip-on footwear lacks the Y-yoke and are a different design that costs $70.
Superfeet Sandals, New For 2016
The new line is not the first go at the category for Superfeet. The company released sandals a few years ago that were more structured and “orthotic-y,” according to a company representative. “They either fit you perfectly or not at all,” she said.
For the new sandals, Superfeet worked with a design firm in Portland, Ore., called Nine Concept Creation, which has contracted with other major outdoors footwear brands.
The result is a sandal the has a contoured, supportive footbed that is not overbearing. The forefoot is flexible and molds to the terrain as you walk.
In the end, the Superfeet sandals delivered on most of their touted claims, though at a high price. You can purchase multiple pairs of less expensive flip-flops for $60, forgoing support and some style.
But as go-to summertime kicks, the Superfeet sandals are a solid choice. They are versatile, easy to wear, and good-looking enough to pass in any social scenario where bare toes are allowed.