Don’t you wish you could bring the beach with you wherever you go? You can now with the OluKai walking shoes. These trainers are designed with a laid-back style that embodies the island life. On top of that, each pair promises to keep your feet comfortable, even during long periods of wearing.
Before producing its line of comfortable walking shoes, OluKai was making flip-flops. It was prompted by a study, which revealed that this type of footwear causes orthopedic problems. Bill Worthington, the founder of OluKai, was born and raised in Hawaii. He used his barefoot-exploring days growing up as a basis of creating sandals at par with premium shoes.
The brand released two main lines: the Makai and the Mauka.
- The Makai, which translates to “to the sea” is intended to be used in or near the water. The line includes sandals, flip-flops, and open-toed shoes.
- Meanwhile, the Mauka, which means “to the mountains” is for inland use. It includes slippers, boots, and closed-toe shoes.
OluKais for men and women
OluKai offers footwear for men, women, and kids. The styles range from sandals, slippers, shoes, and boots. Depending on the model, they can be used in various settings. You can use them in the office and at the end of the day, head to the nearest watering hole for some happy hour or just take a stroll along the beach. Some styles are also suitable for trekking, while others are suitable for nautical adventures.
One of the most popular walking shoes for men is the Nohea Moku. This pair of OluKai walking shoes is designed for boat use.
- Its stretch-bootie top is crafted from a quick-drying mesh. No more worrying if it gets wet during the trip.
- Another loved feature is the no-tie laces. They allow wearers to quickly put the shoe on or remove.
- The rubber pods at the bottom provide ample grip even on wet surfaces.
As for OluKai ladies walking shoes, the fan-favorite is the Pehuea.
- The base model is a slip-on footwear with gore panels that keep the fit comfortably snug.
- The open mesh top keeps the foot fresh.
- Meanwhile, the inside is lined with a moisture-wicking fabric that helps in managing sweaty feet.
What makes OluKai walking shoes unique
OluKai trainers come in various styles from slip-ons to laced-up walking shoes. But what makes them unique is the patented Drop-In Heel. In most cases, the back panel is constructed to easily fold down, turning the footgear into a slider. It transforms the look from formal or smart casual to uber casual style, which is great for after-work parties or just walking on the beach.
But why the need to fold-in the back? In Hawaii, it is customary for people to take off their shoes before entering the house. Entering the abode without removing the footwear is considered very rude. So, having shoes that can be easily slip on or off, like OluKais, brings the Hawaiin custom anywhere you go.
OluKai slip-on shoes
Slip-on walking shoes are one of the most popular footwear styles in the market. Wearing and removing this style is a breeze because there are no laces or straps to fondle with. They are suitable for people with mobility issues.
Some OluKai walking shoes are equipped with conventional laces, while others have elastic ones for quick wearing. Though not all of them may look like they are slip-ons, if they have the Drop-In Heel feature, they can be turned into sliders that are easier to put on and take off.
OluKai slip-on shoes come in mesh and leather tops, which offer their own advantages:
OluKai mesh shoes
Embody the chill vibes of Hawaii with OluKai’s line of mesh walking shoes. They are easy to maintain and can be used on boats, trekking near bodies of water, or even hiking up the mountains. They are often lightweight, so wearers often forget that they’re wearing one.
OluKai leather shoes
If you need a formal looking pair of footgear, there are leather walking shoes to choose from. For men, the Moloa looks good paired with khakis, jeans, or shorts. Its waxed nubuck top is water-resistant and can withstand the abrasions of everyday goings.
For ladies, the Pehuea Leather sports a sophisticated look with its full-grain leather top. It looks good paired with skinny jeans or capri pants. Keep the look formal when the back panel is propped up and fold it down for a more casual vibe that partners well with skirts and shorts.
Frequently asked questions about OluKai walking shoes
Are OluKai shoes good for walking?
Yes, OluKai shoes are crafted to make walking pleasurable, even if you use them to explore the beach, the mountains, the city, or in some cases, your office. According to the makers, they used the wet sand principle in their shoes. The moment you step on your OluKais, you will be reminded of the feeling of walking on wet sand, it conforms to the shape of the sole t provide maximum comfort.
The anatomically-shaped insole plays a massive role in achieving this experience. This footbed supports the natural structure of the foot and helps position it to make wearers walk with ease.
Where are OluKai shoes made?
Despite Hawaii being the most significant influence of the brand, OluKai walking shoes are made in Asia and Mexico. However, the design and development of each model happen in the U.S.
What does OluKai mean?
OluKai translates to “comfortable ocean.” The use of high-grade materials affords owners a pair of walking shoes that are enjoyable to wear.
What does the OluKai logo mean?
The logo is called the Makau, or fish hook. It is a symbol of strength and good luck. It also means safe passage over bodies of water, which is fitting given the seafaring roots of the Polynesians.
The hook is also popularly associated with Maui or Maui-a-kalana. The Hawaiian demi-god wanted to prove to his brothers that he is good at fishing like they were. However, when Maui cast his magical hook, it caught the ocean floor and formed the islands of Polynesia when the fish hook was reeled in.
Do OluKai shoes have arch support?
Yes, most OluKai walking shoes offer arch support. The removable insole that comes with them is shaped anatomically to provide the needed foothold and support for a comfortable walking experience.
OluKai shoes are also orthotic-friendly. If the arch support feels insufficient, just replace then with your choice of customs orthotics.
Are OluKai shoes waterproof?
OluKai walking shoes, even if they are made with leather tops, are not waterproof. However, those that have leather uppers are water-resistant, meaning they won’t get destroyed if you walk in the rain or if it gets splashed with ocean water.
Do OluKai shoes stretch?
Like other shoes, whether they are made of leather, canvas or mesh, the top of OluKai trainers tend to loosen up with regular use. The upside is you can turn most of them into sliders. You can still use them as house or bedroom slippers or wear them when doing chores.
How to clean OluKai shoes?
OluKai walking shoes are equipped with removable insoles. In most cases, these can be washed by hand or thrown in the washing machine. But if the top cover is made of suede or leather, you need to use the proper cleaning solution to freshen them up.
As for the entire shoe, if the upper is made of mesh, wool, or other synthetic materials, it can be hand-washed. If it is made of leather, suede, or nubuck, you need to use specialized solutions to clean them up. If your OluKai trainer uses Liko, a particular fabric from Hawaii, the brand advises that you only clean the outsole and not wash the upper.
Are OluKai shoes zero drop?
Yes, OluKai walking shoes are zero drop or the heel is not higher than the forefoot. Some owners often compare the experience with walking barefoot because the midsole is not thick, which they appreciate, especially when traversing rocky surfaces.
Do OluKai shoes have a warranty?
OluKai offers one year guarantee, from the date it was purchased, from manufacturer defects. Delamination of sole layers, straps pulling out from areas that aren’t worn out, and frayed stitchings on the upper, insole or logo, are some of the instances covered in the warranty.
Why do OluKai shoes have Polynesian names?
Aside from tickling the curiosity of shoppers, using Hawaiian or Polynesian terms is OluKai’s way of spreading and preserving the culture.
Are OluKai shoes vegan?
Not all, but there are options to choose from for those who live a vegan life. OluKai lists what types of materials make up each model. If you see leather, suede, or nubuck, those are not vegan-friendly. However, those with synthetic leather are vegan-friendly because they are 100% synthetic, and no animal products are used in them.
Are OluKai walking shoes environment-friendly?
According to OluKai, it uses natural latex for its gum rubber while the outsole is made of 30% recycled materials. As for product packaging, the brand claims they use 100% recycles materials.
For leather products, OluKai states that it sources its leather from environmentally conscious ISO-14001 certified tanneries. However, when it comes to glues, the brand is still in search of an environment-friendly bonding substance that won’t compromise the durability and quality of the build.
A portion of each pair sold goes directly to the Ama OluKai Foundation. It is a non-profit organization based in Hawaii, founded in 2014. The group aims to preserve the land and the ocean, including culture and traditions on the islands. Those who help celebrate and keep the Aloha spirit are also honored by the Foundation.
9 best OluKai walking shoes
- OluKai Nohea Moku
- OluKai Moloa
- OluKai Alapa Li
- OluKai Eleu Trainer
- OluKai Inana
- OluKai Kahu
- OluKai Kahu Pahaha
- OluKai Kulana
- OluKai Alapa