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Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: OKA b. Shoes for Men and Women

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As a traveler who spends a good majority of time out walking and exploring cities, one of the things I will buy every time I go on vacation is a new pair of shoes – possibly two. My needs in a pair of shoes on my trips can vary. Maybe I’ll be spending all day at an amusement park. Perhaps I’ll be hitting up museums to learn about local art and history. I might be strolling along the beach or visiting a zoo. No matter what it is, keeping my feet comfortable is my number one priority. Second is keeping my feet looking cute. That’s why OKA b. shoes stood out to me. With their trendy styles and fun colors, they looked like shoes that would pack well, look good and keep my tootsies happy.


My husband and I had the chance to test out two pairs of OKA b. shoes: The Grant flip flops for men and the April ballet flats for women. One of the first things you’ll notice about this footwear is that it is shiny and the next is that the prices are crazy affordable. OKA b. sells their shoes for $50 or less, which means for the same price as a pair of running shoes, you can get two – or even three – pairs. Though they are inexpensive, they aren’t made to look or feel that way. In fact, all styles have arch support and conform nicely to your feet. You’ll see how they have bumps on the footbed, and that is designed to massage your feet. The reflexology aspect of the shoes makes them awesome for travel, because you know how much your feet can hurt walking around all day and your podiatrist would approve of your choice of footwear.


I chose the April flat, because ballet flats go with a ton of stuff. They look great with everything from shorts to dresses. Also, the cute bow detail in a nautical color and stripe are very on-trend, especially for summer. As you can see, they go great with skinnies, but you can also wear them with a variety of other outfits, so whether you find yourself in Hawaii, New York or Europe, you will always have the perfect shoes. And if you get caught in a rainstorm, you don’t have to worry about ruining your new foot candy, because they are waterproof. Obviously, this is a fantastic feature for shoes in the Northwest, since at any moment you may be surprised by a downpour.


The Microplast material that OKA b. uses for their shoes is amazing. It has a bit of stretch, so after a long day of pounding the pavement or 14 hours on the plane, even if your feet are a bit swollen, they are still going to fit comfortably in your shoes. The other awesomeness of this material is that it’s made from salt and fossil fuels – totally eco-friendly! Plus it’s non-absorbent, antimicrobial and colorfast. Wear them all day without smelling like you did, and if they do get dirty, toss them into the dishwasher to clean them without the colors running. Once your shoes are worn out, you can either place them in your recycling bin or send them back to OKA b. to be turned into new fancy shoes.


I enjoyed the flats, as they were bright, lightweight and felt like I was walking barefoot, but a step up, because they weren’t hard on the bottoms of my feet. They have a bit of lift in the heel, so you aren’t just flat-footing it walking around, they have nice massaging arch support and don't pinch in the toes like many shoes do.


Another fun thing about the flats is the box they come in. It’s like a gift on its own and looks like you could spend the same amount on it as you would for the shoes inside. The origami construction is lovely, which would make giving OKA b. shoes as gifts pretty impressive before the recipient ever put them on their feet. The flip flops will come on a hanger and not come in a fancy box, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy them.


Eric chose the men’s Grant flip flops to try out. He has a lot of flip flops, so he does have high expectations for them. He was drawn to the guava color, as it was bright and different than other colors that he currently owns. Unlike regular flip flops, he found them to be comfortable after walking around all day, with some nice arch support. They conformed to his feet and looked nice as well. He walked round in them all weekend and even tried to wear them while on the elliptical machine. While that didn’t work out, it wasn’t because of a support issue, but because they are flip flops. LOL!



I think these flip flops will be his go-to ones. It’s hard to find a pair that is comfortable enough to wear all day and not get ruined if you take them to the beach or pool and get them wet. Obviously, you can get them in more subdued colors, but we love happy hues for our feet. OKA b. shoes will also pack nicely – if you don’t wear them on the plane – because they don’t have rigid construction like other shoes.


Look at some more of their fun colors


More information
Where you can buy it: Oka-b online
Other colors they comes in
            April: black | red (shown)
            Grant: hot chocolate | licorice | cobalt | guava (shown) | slate
How much they cost
            April: $45
            Grant: $25
Other specs: reflexology-inspired design, anti-bacterial and odor-resistant, non-slip, non-marking, dishwasher safe, color fast, on-piece construction, made when ordered, made in the USA, environmentally conscious.

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Disclosure: We were provided with two pair of OKA b. shoes for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% our own.
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