Sanuk Vagabond Chill Review
SANUK! Sannuuuuuuk. Sanuk. If nothing else, it’s just a fun word to say, the way each letter and sound rolls together. It’s hard not to smile when saying Sanuk – and that’s the company’s motto – smile and pass it on. Wearing the Vagabond Chill sandals (yes, I said sandals, not shoes) will definitely put a smile on your face.
This being my first experience with Sanuk’s I wasn’t sure how the sizing would work out because Sanuk makes only whole sizes instead of half sizes, and wouldn’t you know it, I typically wear an 8.5. I couldn’t find a good recommendation on the website as to whether to order a size up or down from my normal size, so I opted to try a size 8. That proved to be the smart decision because when I put the sandals on they fit like a warm snugly glove out of the box. I have to admit, the Charcoal color is very cool, and at a retail price of $55, not so much that a pair will break the bank. Sanuk also offers a six month manufacturer’s warranty on their products, so you feel there is some guarantee on the quality of the product. And if you’re still a little curious as to how to pronounce Sanuk, head to their website at www.sanuk.com and roll over the “how to say sanuk” link for an audio representation. Keep on rolling over the link for a variety of interpretations. Don’t question me on this one, just do it, you won’t be disappointed.
The first time I put them on was on my way out the door to drop off the kids at school and head into work. I went for function over form, but I have to admit I was rockin’ this pair of Sanuks, even with my professional getup. In fact, by the time I made it into work my feet were so relaxed that I opted not to change footwear. I have a privacy panel on my desk so who would know anyway that I still had my Sanuk’s on. Using this mentality, the Sanuk’s have become my go-to wear to work sandal, changing into my heels is optional.
My office is fully carpeted with that industrial low pile-minimal padding-might as well be concrete flooring. The Sanuk’s were plenty comfy to be trekking around the office all day with lovely cushioning in the sole. However, when I took a gander through the lobby, the sandals were a tad slick on the marble floors, though not so much that I felt like I’d jettison across the room a la Tom Cruise in his tighty-whiteys in Risky Business. I decided these Sanuk’s would be perfect for the drive home after a day of snowshoeing, or for those of you who prefer skiing or snowboarding, they would work just as well on your drive home too. Just take care not to slip and slide on the ice traversing the short distance between the rear of my truck and the driver’s seat.
The Vagabond Chill has a lining for warmth. Is it fleece? Sheep’s wool? Something else manmade? Who cares (though for the record it is a faux shearling), all I can tell you is that is it sweetly soft and provides just the right amount of warmth, but without the icky feeling of having my feet sweat and stink, and considering that in my part of the country we’re having a late summer with plenty of warm days, no sweaty feet is quite the achievement. Sanuk says their sandals are protected by the Aegis microbe shield that controls odor, staining, and deterioration. A few 90 degree days here and no stinky insoles with the Vagabond Chill. If there is anything negative I could possibly say about these sandals is that the lining does shed a little, but it is not huge clumps to where the inside lining becomes threadbare, more like little fuzzies. So really, why quibble over the small stuff? By the way, for those of you who are eco-conscious, the Vagabond Chill is in fact vegan and vegetarian.
So, who has noticed that I keep referring to these Sanuk’s as sandals and not shoes? Gold stars for all you observant readers! Sanuk claims their products are “handmade…not shoes, they’re sandals”. At first glance, the fabric upper looks as though it is glued to the sandal sole. I pulled and pried the upper to see if I could get it to separate from the sole; no such luck. This is one well made little sandal. Upon closer inspection one can see the stitching on the upper that holds this sturdy sandal together. With the sandal bottom, Sanuk claims the result is “ridiculous comfort…that allows your feet to bend and flex the way nature intended”. While many people look for arch support in their footwear to prevent fatigue, I wore my Sanuk’s all day multiple days and still felt fresh and ready to go another round with them.
Where did Sanuk come from? Supposedly a Southern California surfer with a “whacked out taste in footwear” developed these little puppies that are as much about funk as they are function. Who could argue with that? So, say it with me…SANUK! Sannuuuuuuk. Sanuk. Smile and pass it on. Pssst, did you know that Sanuk translates from Thai to mean fun and happiness? Pass it on, but don’t pass up a pair of these sandals.