Latest Stories


Why your Sanuk will become your feet’s favorite traveling companion


SANUK’S Yoga Mat sandals are made using yoga mat material. Photo by Tatin Yang

No thanks to a steady diet of flip-flops, my feet have turned into recalcitrant brats. Every time I try to stuff my feet into shoes, my feet protest, while my toes scream in agony at being pinched.

THESE Yoga Mat Slings out next season are a study in comfort. Photo by Tatin Yang

Because of this, finding comfortable shoes for travel has become a chore, almost an impossibility. There have been times when I’m tempted to cave in and wear good ol’ cross-trainers with my dress, but I still can’t bring it upon myself to wear something that screams “tourist” a mile away.

When Sanuk invited us to walk around Thailand in various pairs around the beach and around Hua Hin to experience the Sanuk lifestyle and to have a sneak peek at their Spring collection, we were hopeful and skeptical. Could Sanuk be the answer to our travel footwear dilemma?

We started at the airport with Sidewalk Surfers featuring Sanuk’s latest “Vulc-Lite” construction. Ordinarily, a new pair of shoes aren’t the best choice to bring to a trip since you have to break them in first, but there was no break-in period needed with the Sidewalk Surfers—by the time we landed at the Bangkok airport and made our way out, the shoes had molded itself to my feet, no pinch, no problem.

Photo by Tatin Yang

Our first activity of the evening was a scavenger hunt at one of Hua Hin’s many night markets. Two hours of walking and running around was easy-breezy; my feet showed no signs of fatigue or ache and I was able to go around comfortably (we also managed to find the required items!).

The next morning found our feet stuffed in a pair of Sanuk’s Yoga Mat sandals as we headed to the beach for early morning outdoor yoga (a shrill, tiny alarm clock was hidden in the sandal box to ensure we’d all be up and ready for yoga at 7:30 am).

Founder Jeff Kelley has a penchant for creating sandals that look like shoes using the most unlikely materials—his first sandal, the Fur Real, was constructed using indoor-outdoor carpet (it was a crazy risk that paid off handsomely, obviously).

THE SANUK lifestyle is laidback and comfy. Photo by Tatin Yang

The Yoga Mat sandal is another example of footwear made out of an unlikely material. In this case, the sandal footbeds were constructed using the same material used for yoga mats. I’m glad someone thought about doing this, because the sandals are unbelievably comfortable—it’s the closet you’ll get to walking on pillows, the cushioning is amazing, and it’s a nice break for feet that have been abused in heels and stiff leather shoes.

Must-have for the beach

We can’t wait for the Yoga Mat Slings to arrive in store this summer; it’s a dainty version of the current line of Yoga Mat sandals, and it’s already looking to be one of the must-have items to have for the beach next season.

Our next pair to try and abuse were the Castaway Sunbrellas. The shoes feature a water and fade-resistant Sunbrella textile upper, and just like the other pairs we tried, this was also ridiculously comfortable that I didn’t even notice I had already walked over 5,000 steps (I was measuring on my iPod’s built-in pedometer).

I liked how Sanuk’s insides allowed my feet to breathe, too, so I didn’t have to worry about icky, sweaty feet, especially as we walked around in Hua Hin’s 32-degree heat. Because Sanuk’s sandal construction tries to mimic your foot’s natural walking motion when barefoot, you’ll find that you’ll be able to cover more ground without experiencing fatigue or back or leg pain. We may have just found the perfect shopping shoe, as well.

Though the brand is associated with the beach and surf lifestyle, they have started to create more shoes for other lifestyle activities, all created with comfort still their number one priority. This season’s styles feature cute nautical-inspired striped versions of the Castaways, and ballet flats for women looking for something feminine.

The men’s styles feature the Sidewalk Surfers in a multitude of prints and fabrics, with the addition of styles that look more like loafers and boat shoes. It’s a nice gift to give to the men in your life, especially if you’re planning to go on a trip that involves walking long distances (they’ll never complain that their feet hurt during one of your marathon shopping sessions).

We ended the three-day walking trip with more walking around the airport as we were scheduled for a late flight. It was here that I truly noticed how energetic I still felt, considering the amount of walking we’d done.

Normally, I would just sit at a coffee shop and wait for our flight to board, but I found myself wanting to explore the airport’s observation deck and shops, marveling at how my legs and feet were still at it.

Sanuk means “fun and happiness” in Thai, but the brand can change their name to the Thai word for comfort and it’ll still be appropriate to the brand. The walking trip left me a Sanuk convert.

Sanuk is available at Sanuk shops and selected department stores. Visit www.sanuk.ph to find a shop nearest you.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: fashion , flip-flops , Sanuk , Shoes

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Moderate earthquake jolts southern Iran
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • Netizens seething in anger over Aquino ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest