Name: Freewaters Bolinas sandals
What it is: Eco-friendly, water-friendly, lightweight (4 ounces each) women's sandal with a hand-stitched leather toe post, a midsole engineered with anatomical arch support, heel cup and toe spring. The outsole has an arch flex shank to create a spring action like a running shoe. The recycled eco-rubber has a grippy dot pattern for traction. With every pair of Freewaters sold, funds are allocated for the digging of freshwater wells around the world through ProjectFreewaters.org. The company's mission is to create great footwear while providing clean drinking water to those in need. Freewaters also makes sandals for men.
The good: I've tested these women's sandals at poolside as well as while lounging in the Dead Sea, and I love their arch support. The Dead Sea has a rocky bottom, so you need to wear sandals to wade in, unless you have feet like a lumberjack. The sandals are easy to pack because Freewaters supplies a carrying bag that lies flat in your suitcase. Although other sandals may be equal in performance, I love knowing that I'm wearing footwear that helps bring clean drinking water to rural communities in Kenya and other countries.
The bad: My only quibble is a caveat. I was foolish to wear them in such salty water. Though the sandals are water-friendly, despite my washing them immediately, the Dead Sea salt dried out the Bolinas' microsuede foot bed a bit.
Cost: $80 listCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times