“Mandals” have long been a confounding topic to America’s men, who would happily wear flip-flops to church yet consider a leather version to somehow betray a sense of femininity. Our counterparts from across the globe have embraced this go-to hot-climate footwear with stylish aplomb for eons – India has its leather slide, St. Tropez has its byzantine leather weaving, Mexico has its huaraches – and it is time for the U.S. to follow suit. Until we develop a more elaborate signature sandal it is probably best to stick with a leather flip-flop. Simple.
Island Slipper has been making its hand-crafted leather slides in Hawaii since 1946. In fact, it currently runs the only slipper factory left standing there, probably because the company’s superior product – an action-ready sandal that can also cross into town – has become the gold standard. With subtly stitched straps, a full-grain leather contoured footbed, a trademark grippy outsole, and arch support, the Island Slipper classic sandal is an easy-to-wear, non-pioneering step up from your rubber shower sandals. [$90; islandslipper.com]
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