Lately, my Doc Marten z-strap sandals have been on high rotation on hot days that require a lot of walking. I previously owned a pair of Chaco Z2’s that look similar, except much more orthopedic. The straps on the Chacos were too long on me, not built for my thin/long feet. Lucky for me though, they have a cult following among outdoorsy people so I was able to sell them easily online for almost the same price I paid.
I found these Doc Marten Balfour sandals all over Japanese streetwear blogs. They are so cute and dorky at the same time. I love how they work with and without socks. I got mine on amazon. The soles are made of the signature rubber soles on all Dr. Martens, so they feel substantial and will last many years. There’s not much arch support, but I’ve been reading more about how orthotic supports can actually be bad for your feet over time because the muscles that maintain your arch begin to atrophy when not in use, which hasn’t been proven but it makes sense in theory.
The nice thing about the z-strap design is that one long continuous strap hugs the foot securely in place. They perform well on uneven surfaces, hills, long distances, rain and mud. Little rocks don’t get trapped in these as much as they do in Birkenstocks. In Birks, I often had to stop while walking the dog to shake out the pebbles that get trapped by its cup-like soles.
I’ve been focusing a lot on shoes lately, but that’s where I seem to have the most trouble getting right. I’m close to posting my review of the day flats from Everlane, so stay tuned!