Photographer and Surfer Mikey DeTemple spent a week in OluKai's Tuahine sandal.
OluKai was born out of the desire to create footwear that combines durability, comfort and style for those whose days are spent on the water. The brand's Tuahine sandal is crafted from waterproof, full-grain leather, making it an ideal handsome, all-day sandal. To test the Tuahine, we needed someone who spends more time in the water than on land. Mikey DeTemple was the first person to come to mind. The New York-based photographer is based out of Montauk, where he can be found surfing or sailing when he's not behind the camera.
DeTemple's favorite part of living near the water is how much that proximity alone can create a community. "People are drawn to these coastal towns for love of the ocean and the activities to go along with it," DeTemple told us. Thanks to his 15-year career as a professional surfer, when it comes to outdoor gear, DeTemple knows what he is looking for. "Functionality, quality and style are important to me when I’m choosing new gear or researching something I need," he says. We traveled to Montauk and spent some time with Mikey as he tested out the Tuahine while doing what he loves the most.
“We set out to design the perfect sandal – the comfort and class of a full-grain leather sandal but make it waterproof so you can wear it to the beach or the pool.” – Blaine Conrad, VP Product OluKai
DeTemple put the Tuahines to the test while walking along the pier in Montauk, editing from his studio, grabbing a coffee in town and exploring the nearby rocky beach. These sandals had a big week ahead of them – DeTemple's days are about as action-packed as it gets.
Flip-flops aren't always super durable or meant for precarious environments. The Tuahines are, however, particularly where it matters most: a wet-grip rubber Outsole features an added breeze block lug design to provide safe traction for slippery surfaces. Whether you're fishing, surfing, or just strolling in the rain, the Tuahines prove safe and promise to keep you on your feet.
If you're slipping on a pair of flip-flops, comfort is key. Oftentimes, new sandals of any type will create first-wear blisters, because your feet aren't protected by socks at critical points. Not the Tuahines. Their soft, stretch mesh lining and comfortable nylon toe post ensure an ultra-comfortable fit no matter how long your day is. Their anatomical, compression-molded EVA midsole delivers extra support and cushioning as well, so perhaps you'll squeeze in a few extra hours of adventuring before kicking off your sandals and kicking up your feet. This is precisely how DeTemple felt: in terms of comfort, the Tuahines exceeded his expectations and provided great support throughout a typically busy day.
I was impressed with how good the traction was walking down some of the steeper paths to the beach.
Detemple was also impressed by OluKai's clean design and choice of natural colorways, which should match any wardrobe (your favorite trunks and tee). Other details, like special stitching on the sides inspired by the winds of Hawaii, subtly hint at where the Tuahines would prefer you wear them.
The most important factor for a water lover's sandal is capability in the wet. Tuahines shine in this department. DeTemple wasn't interested in a simple wave-wading test; while shooting photos at the beach, he kept the sandals completely submerged for the better part of a day. He described a noted absence of that dreaded soggy feeling that befalls most leather sandals in similar conditions. Moreover, the Tuahines also dried pretty quickly and there were no saltwater stains on them even after his day spent in the ocean.
The OluKai Tuahine is a perfect sandal for anyone who is spending any time near water this summer. Comfortable, durable and extremely versatile without sacrificing comfort, this is beach-ready footwear you'll be proud to wear to the tiki bar after you top off your Vitamin C tank.
The OluKai Tuahine is one solid sandal. With their added comfort details and ultra-durability, these sandals are capable of whatever you have planned this summer, from days at the beach to outdoor dinners to [extremely] wet photoshoots.