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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > OOFOS OOlala Sandals > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

OOFOS OOLALA WOMEN'S SANDALS

OOFOS Logo
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
April 14, 2016

OWNER REVIEW

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 65
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: OOFOS, LLC
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.oofos.com
MSRP: US $59.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 8 oz (227 g) per pair
Sizes Available: Women's 5 - 11
Size Reviewed: 8
Colors Available: Black w/latte, or chrome, black, cosmic pink, cloud white, crimson, Bermuda blue, seafoam green and Steele w/cosmic blue or cosmic pink
Color Reviewed: Black with Chrome

Other details:

" Made with OOfoam: to absorb 37% more shock than other materials
* Is made with non-toxic, non-latex materials
* Made in Korea
" Biomechanically designed footbed
" Soft, conforming toe post
" Moisture and bacteria resistant; doesn't retain smell
" Machine washable
" So light they float
OOFOS OOlala Sandals

FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE

Description of OOFOS OOlala Sandals

"It's chrome alright. Shiny, nice polished
Chrome. Chrome."
- Trace Adkins


Oh yeah, Chrome! That's the thing I first noticed about the OOFOOS OOlala Sandals! These are typical "flip-flop" footwear with a V-strap attached to the soles on the sides mid-foot, tapering to a toe post which fits between my big toe and its closest mate and secures the V-strap to the front of the sole. On my OOlalas, that V-strap is CHROME!

The footbed of the OOlalas is where the sandals start to look different from other flip-flops. A very noticeable contouring pattern is easily seen with the heel section being "cupped" a bit, the arch is definitely more pronounced than "zero-drop" shoes and the toe box dips from the mid-foot and curves upward. The soles of the sandals are very thick in the mid-foot and taper off a bit in the heel and a lot at the toes. The bottoms of the soles have some moderate tread with a "channel" in a "T" shape to shed water. And since a picture is worth a thousand words and no one wants to read a thousand words if it is not necessary, the picture below shows the construction better than I can describe!
Side view of sole
Side view of OOFoam Sole

Locations where I wore the OOFOS OOlala Sandals

At the end of January, I spent seven days in coastal Florida where they were having a "cold snap" and the temperatures were never higher than 70 F (21 C). While I was there the heavens seemed to weep constantly. Alas, though I wore my OOlalas casually, due to a death in my family, my hopes of some backcountry Floridian adventure were dashed and off I was to New Jersey.

I spent the next two weeks in New Jersey, pining for the outdoors and some sunshine while central Jersey experienced three storms, each dumping two-digit inches/centimeters' worth of the white stuff. Obviously, my sandals weren't very useful there. I had to borrow my sister's tennis shoes though as I slogged through the slush on daily walks in my sister's neighborhood - it was the best I could do. There the temperatures were frigid; 10 to 30 F (-12 to -1C).

Unfortunately, between my out-of-state trips and all the horrible weather elsewhere, most of my winter time in Colorado was bee-u-ti-ful! We had lots of sunshine, little precipitation and for the most part, the temperatures were above normal. Daily "highs" averaged between 50 and 75 F (10 - 24 C). In addition as recovery footwear after my daily hikes in south central Colorado - Canon City, where I call home - I wore the OOFOOS after several snowshoes in Rocky Mountain National Park and in the Wet Mountains.

Performance of the OOFOS OOlala Sandals

When I first put the OOFOS OOlala sandals on my feet and started to walk around, I felt wobbly and weird. I immediately appreciated the cushioning of the shoes but the forward/backward "rocking" back and forth had me feeling like I had one too many glasses of wine!

Fortunately, that sensation disappeared rather quickly and I came to REALLY appreciate what that rocking does to my leg muscles as well as the great cushioning! And these shoes really rock! When on a flat surface, (off my feet of course), I can press downward lightly on the toe or heel part of the shoe, and the sandal will rock back and forth all by itself!

First, about the cushioning. OOFOS uses a proprietary, closed cell foam material they call OOFoam for the footbed of their line of footwear. Purportedly, this foam absorbs 37% more shock than other similarly used materials. The human foot is subjected to shock from any walking and a lot of pounding (shock) when backpacking, so more shock absorption from my footwear is a good thing.

The arch construction is very, very supportive. My foot is in firm all-over contact with the footbed throughout the arch which I really like.

Walking with the OOlalas is like walking on a nice firm mattress. I feel like I'm inches/centimeters off the ground (actually am - 1.5"/4 cm at the heel and almost 2"/5 cm at the arch).

What is really special about the OOFoam footbed and the "rocker" construction is the way it stretches my calf muscles when I walk in them. After a strenuous backpack, especially with any amount of real weight in my pack, my leg muscles get tight. After a day of the ups-and-downs of mountain trails, even wearing the best of my boots, my legs can be tired and sore, but are gradually soothed by the stretching motion and the relaxing of those hard-worked muscles by the OOlalas.

In the past, I've usually avoided wearing flip-flop shoes because I don't like the feeling of the toe post. Most flips have very hard, unyielding posts with ridges that are very uncomfortable. They rub with every step. The OOlalas' toe posts are (magically?) molded seamlessly to the footbed and the V-strap with no ridges. And they're soft and flexible as well. I hardly know they are there! The straps are just as soft and flexible and I've never experienced any discomfort, redness, rubbing or rash from the constant contact. Super soft and comfortable. Also, most other flips get dirty and disgusting and develop a musty smell. Not so my OOFOS OOlalas. They continue to look and smell just fine!

Care and Current Conditions of the OOFOS OOlala Sandals

According to the OOFOS website, the OOFOS can be machine washed. As amazing as this sounded to me, I was also rather hesitant to trust that advice. What if my particular pair of sandals didn't LIKE being tossed around? I actually hand-washed them a couple of times in mild liquid dishwashing soap and warm water and then towel dried them. I was able to put them back on my feet immediately.
Before cleaning
OOlalas Getting Ready for Bath!
Floating in wash tub
Look Ma, they float!

Finally, I got brave enough and the OOFOS took a spin in my front-loading washer on a regular cycle with cold water wash and rinse. I was relieved to see the shoes came out beautifully clean with no detrimental results. (Picture in Product Information section is the "after" picture.) It did seem to take a bit longer for them to air dry as opposed to my hand wash and dry.

Since most of my wearings were indoors or in a tent, the flips really didn't take too much of a beating. I rarely wore them outdoors and then only to walk the minimum needed. The OOlala are still in great conditions and I plan on getting a lot more use of them this summer and beyond.

STARRING ATTRACTIONS

1.) Super comfortable to wear after any activity where standing, walking, running, etc. is involved
2.) Very lightweight and easy to pack or carry in my backpack - I use a carabiner to clip them to the outside of my pack
3.) Sturdy and well-made and able to withstand abusive conditions
4.) Easy to clean with plain water
5.) Stylish enough to wear casually in most situations - oo lala! (had to get that in somewhere!)

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1.) A little too pricey for me to splurge and buy one of every color!

SUMMARY

When I first saw the OOFOS brand sandals at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last year, I took a quick glance and thought "oh, yeah, another pair of flip-flops". I mean, really, what would possibly make these sandals different from any other flip? Well, then I got a pair of the OOFOS OOlalas this past winter and I found out just how different OOFOS flip-flops could be! Not only are they great recovery shoes I love to wear after a good day's hike; but they are also lightweight, easy to carry camp shoes to slip on at night when nature calls. AND I even wear them casually a lot at home where I have the typical southwest hard tile floors.

And while, I can't afford to buy one in every color, the shoes are definitely worth the price for the comfort they provide.

Great little shoes, the OOFOS OOlalas! I recommend them!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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