Gear Review: Ocean Minded’s Waveseeker Sandal
Ah, the climbing sandal. It’s one of those genius ideas that leaves you wondering, Why the hell didn’t I think of this before? Let me break it down for you: climbing shoes and boots are generally uncomfortable because, no matter how luxe the shoe, a foot gets cramped, tired, sweaty and hot inside of it. Sometimes, a foot just needs a little break and some fresh air—and that’s why so many of us mountain-minded folk bring along a pair of flip-flops on our adventures.
“But aren’t flip-flops dangerous on the rock? Aren’t Chaco or Teva sandals the better choice here?” Yes and yes, but also no—no matter how lightweight these approach sandals get, they can’t beat the light-as-air feel of a pair of foamy flip-flops in an already-heavy pack. Flip-flops stick to the inside of bouldering pads. They can hang onto the little piece of Velcro on the outside of your pack. Best of all, you won’t shed a tear if you lose them.
My new flip-flop of choice is the women’s Waveseeker from Ocean Minded (a counterintuitive name for a climbing flip-flop if there every was one!). At first glace it’s a simple, foamy flop with a generic thong shape, but there’s so much more to these sandals. The footbed is made from a dual-density OM Foam that’s extra supportive and cushy, while the upper is crafted from a quick-dry stretchy polyester, recycled PET lining and a webbing toe post. I love the Island Green colorway and the way the sole gripped the rock and protected sensitive toes. And the comfort—oh, the comfort. My feet practically sang with joy when I nestled them into these shoes post-climb. Am I over-praising something as simple as a flip-flop? Maybe just a little, but if I can convince one more sore-soled climber to add them to their climbing pack, I feel like I’ve done my duty. MSRP $24.99, shop.oceanminded.com.