In water sports cultures, few things are as utilized as the flip-flop or water sandal. Originating in ancient Egypt, made popular in Japan, returning GIs made flip-flops de rigeur summer footwear. My kids practically live in them during our time together here at the shore.
My upcoming trek on Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail means plenty of river crossings, which I love, but also means an extra pair of footwear. No fun wading an icy creek with sharp stones underfoot. Also, see slippery.
River sandals would make sense, and I already own a pair of Keens, so no money need be spent (but where’s the fun in that?) if I were to go that route. The thing is, I’m really trying to get by with as little gear as possible, just whatever fits in my carry-on bag.
Water sandals are big. Flip-flops are not. However, flip-flops could easily get washed away in a strong current, and then where would I be? Enter the Astral Filipe Flip-Flop.
Astral has taken the basic flip-flop and amended it to be more utilitarian in a relatively compact size.
The soles have a sticky G®Rubber outsole and footbed to reduce foot slippage. Need to make sure they stay on your feet? A simple adjustable strap converts the flip-flops into water sandals, making sure they stay put. Ingenious.
I’ve been wearing these to go down to the beach, wade in the shallows, and even swam with them a bit. The furthest I’ve walked in them is just over a mile. In every situation, they’ve been very comfortable and worked exactly as I’ve wanted them to.
Most people may not need such technical flip-flops, but these will be perfect for bringing along to Iceland. Anyone who paddles a SUP, kayak, or canoe would be well served by these as well.
A minor issue: while the straps make these stay put, they are also very uncomfortable to leave and wear the footwear as a flip-flop. The obvious answer is to take the straps off, but there’s no simple way to store the straps.
Perhaps replacing the straps with an elastic band might be a solution? I suppose that would make them less secure.
Still, it’s a minor complaint and I suspect most people will know whether they will need the strap in a given situation. This minor issue wouldn’t deter me from buying these again.
*Product provided at a discount for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.