* Prices may differ from that shown
I got these to keep my feet fresh and cool in the hot weather, was thinking this would be great for athletes foot. Please note that these are walking sandles and are based on walking shoes/boots.
When I first tried them on they felt really comfy, fitted nicely, It was when I walked in them I noticed that the skin on the bottom of my feet were sticking to the rubber, this felt very strange and led to discomfort, every time I took a step I would feel the skin being stretched, not really what you want, to remedy this I used talc on my feet, fair enough this helped but it was visible, the other option was to keep my socks on, bit of a fashion no go but as I would not be sporting shorts with them I am sure I will get away with it.
They look very trendy and quite sporty taking them away from the traditional sandle stereotyping, the straps are patterned and sport the Karrimor name, the straps are secured to the sole very securely at 4 places, the front strap goes at the point were the toes meet the foot and is fully adjustable with the use of velcro, there is also a strap across the top of the foot just and behind the heal these are also adjustable by velcro. these straps are comfortable and also have added cushion protection at the main contact points.
The sole is made up of a large chunk of rubber making it a rather chunky sandle, the sole has a good tread on the bottom giving them plenty of grip and a good solid feel, a bit too solid for my preferance but I am sure I will get used to this over time. I am sure a membrain or lining of somekind would enhance this product greatly.
You might have noticed that I've done a few reviews of summer footwear. Admittedly it's because I have quite a collection, but it's also because one day I hope to invent 'the perfect sandal' that would revolutionise the sandal market and would become an indispensable part of every summer wardrobe. But what might this sandal look like? Might it be a complex feat of engineering or might it be a triumph of simplicity, that makes people wonder how on earth they'd never thought of it? In short, would the sandal be Concorde or the paper clip?
My research into 'the perfect sandal' continued in earnest when I bought my first pair of walking sandals last summer. I wanted a versatile pair that could conceivably be used for beach holidays, or for summer sightseeing in hot and crowded cities. In such places flip-flops are pretty much worn by everybody, whereas walking sandals instantly mark you out as a tourist, so I knew that I had to tread carefully. I found the Karrimor Amazon sandals in Sports Direct for the very reasonable price of £15. Teva (perhaps the most well known sandal brand) have walking sandals starting from around £29.99 but are often a lot more so £15 seemed a very attractive pricetag. In addition, they looked like Tevas, with their visible arch-support and jazzy pattern on the straps. So far so good, I thought.
The Karrimor Amazons follow a fairly conventional design. One strap goes across the base of your toes and another goes across the area where your ankle meets the top of your foot. These two straps are joined to each other by a smaller strap that goes along the outside of your foot (presumably for added stability) and bears the Karrimor name in red lettering. This means that the inside of your foot is left uncovered, which provides useful ventilation in the heat. Both of the large straps are fully adjustable, although I tended to keep the strap across my toes fairly loose because it's more comfortable and the sandals felt stable enough anyway. The sandals also have a heel strap that can be adjusted (but not removed as with some sandals) and substantial areas of cushioning underneath all of the straps and fastening areas.
While I'm usually a UK size 9, I found that the size 8 for these sandals was ample for me. Karrimor generally tend to underestimate sizes and I've noticed this for their t-shirts and jackets as well, so it's often worth buying a size smaller than you're used to. I must confess that I wasn't taken with the pattern on the straps, which looks like a series of black arrows on a grey background. Unfortunately this was the only pattern that the shop had, although I can see from the picture above that the women's version has a more cheerful pattern, appropriate for an exotic holiday rather than a sombre prison uniform.
The sandal's tread is slightly more 'technical' looking that with Teva sandals and is remarkably similar to the tread of Karrimor's walking shoes. It certainly looks as though it would stand up to rambling and light hill walking but I probably wouldn't climb Ben Nevis in them.
The footbed is a made of a firm but spongey rubber and has a noticeable rise in the middle to support your arches. I found this slightly uncomfortable at first because my arch was not in the exact same place as the arch support but after about a week's wear, the sandal (rather than my foot, I hope!) changed shape and I there wasn't any more discomfort. That said, I would have liked it if the footbed had been slightly softer as I think a day of walking on roads and cobbles in these sandals can be a little hard on your feet.
Once the sandals were broken in, I no longer noticed I was wearing them. The cushioning is very effective, although the padded areas do prevent the sandals from drying quickly when you get them wet. I found them fine for a summer trip to France, although I really wish I'd had them for last year's holiday to Sri Lanka because I would have lived in them. I've worn them for country walks and they've been fine and the open part on the inside of your foot means you can easily remove any small stones or leaves that get stuck. I wore them around the house this morning (without socks- bear in mind it's February!) and it was nice to get reaquainted with their comfortable feel.
These sandals are very easy to wear and the added stability of the heel strap makes them suitable for activities such as cycling, rambling and rowing. That said, you do risk getting muddy or wet feet but often the comfort and ventilation of sandals is a fair price to pay for this. Luckily the openness of the design means that the sandals can let out water as fast as they take it in. The sandals are very easy to clean- run a shower or a hose over them and dirt and grime can be removed in no time. Get these sandals wet and the footbed area takes no time at all to dry- in fact leave them in warm sunshine and you can literally see the water evaporating off their surface. Despite this, the cushioned areas tend to retain water, so unless you don't mind a bit of dampness it's worth giving them a while to dry.
Overall, these are a great pair of sandals and I'm looking forward to getting loads more wear out of them. Karrimor have delivered a sandal that feels a bit rigid at first but does a great job for a very low price.
My quest to find the perfect sandal continues...
Like a true Irish person, at the first faint glimmer of sunshine I have summer clothes and sandals on me. We're a freckly race, and without this kind of over-eager exposure to the sun we might end up with normal skin tone. And no one wants that, do they?
Anyway, if there's one thing I love, that's trotting around with my tootsies unleashed. This year, I was ahead of the game and ordered my sandals off Amazon in December, when they were much reduced in price and had a good selection of sizes.
I see a definite distinction between 'going out sandals' and 'everyday sandals'. The former can be as glittery and flimsy as my heart desires because I have no intention of walking far in them. In fact, as long as they show off prettily painted toenails and I can walk from the taxi to the bar and (just about) stand up in them, I'm a happy girl. Everyday sandals, by contrast, need to be comfy enough that I can walk around all day in them without them hurting my feet. I'm not a big fan of flip-flops or sandals that have a toe post, as I find they tend to rub and cause blisters with any kind of serious walking. Nor do I like sandals that have no back, as they feel unsupportive, and I find they tend to slide off my feet when I'm driving.
These Karrimor sandals are definitely in the everyday camp, although they are just about girly enough to be worn out to the pub. Probably not to a club, though, lest the bouncers look at you like you're recording secretary of the Ray Mears Fan Club.
These sandals are fully adjustable, as each strap is fastened with Velcro and so should accommodate most breadths of feet. One strap goes across the widest part of the foot, just before the toes, one goes around the back of the heel and one around the ankle. The straps are wide enough to be secure but not so huge that no air gets to your feet and the Velcro holds securely even after a long day of being on your feet. The straps are finished with a patterned material that gives a bit of a feminine edge without straying into Barbie territory. Mine are a purply-pink colour that's less garish than it sounds and goes with most outfits. Overall, the look is a slightly rugged feminine one. They're solid and practical without being as unashamedly fugly as a pair of Birkenstocks.
~*~Fit and Comfort~*~
I have magic feet that somehow transmogrify themselves into entirely different sizes depending on the brand of footwear. Thus, I'm usually a size 7 but have shoes that are 6, 8 and 9 as well. I bought these in a size seven and they're a teeny bit on the large size. Not so much that it looks like I'm wearing clown shoes, mind, but the size 6 probably would have been absolutely perfect.
On me, the straps fit nice and snugly across my arches and around my ankles and there's no rubbing thanks to the fact they're slightly padded. The soles are thick and have a springiness to them that makes walking on pavements very comfortable. I've walked along roughish tracks whilst out with the dog and have never found them hard going, but if this was solely the type of terrain you were tackling I think that these may not be up to the job; better to invest in serious walking sandals. Walking on grass or sand feels great, although the open nature of these shoes means that you will end up with dirty/sandy/grassy feet if the ground is at all wet. Thankfully, a quick rinse with warm water and a wee scrub brings these up as good as new and rinsing under the tap has never damaged the fabric of mine. They also dry quickly, meaning you're not squelching along for any longer than is necessary.
The grips are good for all the surfaces I've walked on and I've never come close to slipping. I suspect they'd be useless on ice, but if you're wearing sandals in those conditions then you have greater issues to worry about than the prospect of falling over. If walking on freshly cut grass the grips are so effective that you will end up with great swathes of the stuff imbedded in the soles, but a quick scrape with a stick or scrubbing brush quickly sorts this out.
These are great casual sandals for spring and summer days. For the current price of around £12 on Amazon they will make your tootsies and your purse happy.