Review: OluKai Moloa (Your Favorite Beach Shoes Finally Grew Up!)
Whether casa de <insert your name here> is 3 blocks, or 3 days from the nearest salty ocean goodness, there is a really good chance you have a pair of super-comfy beachy shoes in your closet. Some are flip-flops, some are slip-ons… but they are all very comfortable, and immediately transport your little piggies to a place of vacation nirvana (even if just for an instant). In the vast retail world there are a few heavy hitters who reign supreme in this space. Names like Sanuk, Reef, Rainbow, Roxy & Skechers have ruled the sandbox… until now.
Introducing OluKai. While still a pre-teen in the shoe world (founded in 2005), they are RAPIDLY becoming the “it” shoe to embody the vibe of beach life. They also happen to be crazy comfortable, but in a grown-up kind of way. The best way I can describe them is by saying “They’re like Sanuk’s older brother who went to college, learned to appreciate the finer things in life, but never lost touch of his roots and still surfs a few times each week.” Their motto: “OLUKAI BELIEVES THAT EVERYBODY, NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE, CAN LIVE ALOHA.” is a little gimmicky, but fun. Here’s a short video they created to embody the lifestyle of OluKai.
Dialing it down a little more… the shoe that officially made me a raving fan of the brand is the Men’s Moloa Shoe (moh-loh-ah) TRANSLATION: Lazy ($120). I picked it up at Takkens on Marsh St. in San Luis Obispo and wore it out-of-the box to the Thursday Farmer’s Market. The comfort was surprisingly instant… no “breaking in” period a lot of the higher-end shoes require.
OluKai has a long list of industry jargon detailing out the shoe on their website, but I simply refer to them as my “I would wear these every day of my life if I could” shoes. Gushing and blubbering aside… a few reasons why I have fallen in love with this brand:
- Truly premium full-grain leather (not just the marketeer’s version of premium). The type of leather that makes you think of a Hawaiian Ranch owners hi-end range rover.
- Removable, washable, contoured foot-bed. After about a year of wearing my Sanuks (typically barefoot) they tend to get a bit rank. While I can wash the entire thing… it always fades. With these I don’t need to.
- The coveted OluKai “Drop-Heel”. Looking at all of their shoes, I’ve come to realize it’s kinda their thing… and it’s a pretty cool thing. It makes it super easy to slip them on when running out to check the mail, walk the dog, fire up the BBQ, or any other “gotta throw my shoes on real quick” action.
- The out-sole. Functionally it’s cool and I’m sure there’s are all kinds of reasons why it “good”, but I just think it looks badass (check out pics below)!
Final word: In case the review wasn’t uber obvious… these are the shoes you NEED to put on your radar. Comfort abounds and the style is pretty rockin’ too. I just read online OluKai has a Fall line of shoes & chukka boots landing in the next few months. Stoked to give them a try!
UPDATE: I doubled-down on the brand earlier this month (just in time for the 4th of July) and picked up the Men’s Nui Flip Flop ($79). Again, wore them out-of-the-store and they rocked! Buying a 2nd shoe to a brand I’ve grown fond of like this always makes me a bit nervous. I mean… what if it sucked? What if they killed my feet? What if I had to end my Summer love affair with this sexy Hawaiian brand just as it was getting started? Thankfully, none of that had to happen! All is good… and I’m living a little more “Aloha” every day!