Thursday, May 17, 2012
Product Review: Jambu Water Diva Sandal
I've never been a huge fan of the look of most river sandals, nor have I found them to be overly comfy. A friend of mine suggested I look in to Jambu shoes. I had been considering the Keen water shoe but they are a bit more bulky and blocky than I really wanted. Enter the Jambu Water Diva vegan sandal. I looked around for a sale, and eventually found a small one. These shoes average about $100. I think I got mine for $90. Yeah...such a steal. Snork!
I haven't had them very long. I'm spending short periods of time in them to see how they feel. I have some initial thoughts and opinions about them...some pros and cons. In the final analysis, I think they will do fine for my trip and I can update you later as to how they perform under heavy daily use in and out of the water.
I purchased mine from Planet Shoes. I don't have anything bad to say about my ordering experience. Yeah, I wish the sandals were a better sale price. But they were delivered in a timely manner and in perfect condition.
I'm very prone to heel blisters and was a bit concerned about the heel strap on these since it's very thin. It does have a nice little pad on it though so it might work just fine. Time and use will tell. Another small concern was the placement of the little plastic loops that the straps run through. There is one that falls right at the top of my arch and at times it can sort of poke me there. Again, time and use will tell if this is a problem. In some of the reviews, some customers mentioned it being an issue for them. I'm sure it depends on your foot too.
They're cute, offer foot support and good toe protection, are waterproof and the straps are thin enough that it still has a feminine look. I like the look.
You wanna know my main beef, and one I struggle to overcome? The price. Nearly $100. It also sort of torques me off that it supposed to be such a big deal that they are "vegan". I don't mean that only vegans can wear them, I mean that it is this trend to not have any animal based materials (leather) in a shoe. It's a feel good thing...a trendy thing. In lay terms, what it really means is the same thing as "all man-made" and often that used to translate into "falls apart soon" or "stinks when your feet sweat" or "hurts".
I would be all for the trendy vegan thing...but if you're gonna charge me the same price for old recycled tires with nylon straps as you do for leather? I have a problem with that. There probably isn't $5 worth of material cost in these. And if Vegan is the new feel good thing, why are they made in China...probably in some sweat shop...by kids who can't afford to eat meat...or much else. So the advertising that makes one think it's so "green" and hip is misleading. I'm not so easily mislead. It just chaps my ass to be treated like a fool.
But I did buy these for a specific purpose and for that I think they will work nicely. Nobody wants to go on vacation and injure a foot.
I will be taking my fave cheapy stand-by sandals too. From Old Navy. I reviewed them in a previous post. I walked all over LA for a week in these without a hitch. I just had this fear that in wet sand in water they might suck in and then pull out at the button like flip flops can be prone to do. But honestly, if you want a comfy, CHEAP sandal that holds up well...look at those toe strap flips. They don't carry them every year, so I buy a few pairs on the years they do carry them.
Rant over. I like them, I think they'll work. I like the style better than the Keen (which is close to the same price). In general, I don't like to wear shoes at all, so I really don't like spending what seems like way too much for them.
UPDATE: I wrote this post almost a month before it "aired". Since that time I've had an opportunity to wear them a bit more. The heel has not been an issue. That padding seems to be enough for me. My foot feels well supported and comfortable. Honestly, though, I still like my Old Navy flips best of all...I don't think they will work well for water sports though so I'm gonna take these Water Divas with me to the beach in August and give them a whirl. I like a quick pair of slip on shoes by the door. I'm lazy like that. Comfort, fast and easy. That's me...just ask my husband.
September 2012 Update: I actually only ended up wearing these for my first day of travel...the long day of running through airports. The rest of the time I was in my stand-by loves, my Old Navy toe cross flips. The Jambu's fared well in airports. I wanted a little added toe protection for the journey. It wasn't until after I got home a week later that my husband noticed a large, dime-sized flap of blister skin on my little toe. I hadn't felt the rub while running through airports, but these are the only shoes that could have done it. I was in flips the rest of the time. So...hmmm. I don't think they are worth the high price, but they are a comfortable shoe overall and I like them. I didn't end up needing them in water. But a girl can never be too prepared, right?