Freewaters GPS Sandal Review
First Impressions of the Freewaters GPS Sandal
Its snowing, again, yet I’m writing about the Freewaters GPS sandals. You feel me though because it’s Spring everywhere (except the Central Rockies), and with Spring comes a bevy of miraculous things: tans, BBQs, wheat beer, jean shorts and of course, sandals. “First Impressions?,”you ask. For starters, the name Freewaters is cool, and the back story is fun: a couple of footwear design insiders break away and build a company with lots of cool product offerings and a sustainability angle that at least inspires a second glance. As the name Freewaters implies, their mission is to address water supply issues in developing nations and globally as water becomes more scarce. Read more here.
Design and Construction
Out of the box the Freewaters GPS sandal has a familiar look with dressed down stitching and typical color options. What’s not as familiar is the footbed design; I had the sandal on before I actually noticed that these were different. The ridges making contact with my foot were unusual, but not uncomfortable. I flipped the sandal up to take a closer look, and remarked “Hey, this looks a lot like a Thermarest ridged mattress.” Genius!
Yes, Freewaters has partnered with Thermarestto deliver a design hoping to ride the legacy of comfort that the outdoor sleeping pad company has built over the decades. Lest you think this is a gimmick, keep in mind that Freewaters offer a wide selection of flip flop style sandals that incorporate a “regular” footbed style. But does this unique design hold up in terms of comfort and support? Sandals are inherently the toughest test for design because there’s no buffer between flesh and shoe. You heard it here, the Freewaters GPS sandal is the real deal.
The arch support is surprisingly good; I have a collapsed arch in my left foot and felt arguably better support in the Freewater than in past sandals. Also, the surface area of the footbed was perfect for the shape of my foot, provided a safe coverage area without being clunky.
Real World Testing of the Freewaters GPS Sandal
After a month of continuous wear, the Freewaters GPS sandals have trumped my other pair of flip flops. I ran them through the ringer with a twice daily walk to the main surf break in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, over gravel driveways, dirt roads, and gritty sand. The Thermarest footbed has actually become a feature that my foot craves, and combined with the Hovercraft anatomical support midsole, my dogs are in heaven.
Materials and Rating
The material is touted as a mysterious vegan-friendly, Hyro design, though a quick perusal of the website and Google search netted no further explanation (at least no honey bees were enslaved to bring this product to market). The jury is still out in terms of long-term durability; I’m used to my sandals working overtime for at least a year before they blow out, and they always do so in dramatic fashion. One advantage of the Freewaters GPS sandal is their self-rating as designed for heavy water exposure. Water is the usual destructive force with the thong design, so we’ll wait and see with high hopes.
Overall, I highly recommend the Freewaters GPS sandal as your next flip-flop. The comfort level is exceptional even if the Thermarest footbed design is a bit of a surprise at first.
The Feewaters GPS sandal’s color options come according to sole tread color: black, blue, green, or white. The sandal retails at MSRP $40.00