I have been anxiously awaiting the ultimate death of my Sanuk Beer Cozy Flip Flops for a few months. Eventually the tongue on my left foot blew out and it was officially time to acquire a new pair. After the nearly instantaneous breakdown of my Sanuks I decided to investigate a few other options. On Amazon I came across a pair of Free Waters called the Tall Boy. They looked intriguing, the reviews were positive and they were vegan which was an added bonus. I bought the cheapest option and have been testing them out since.
Initial Thoughts- I had heard of the Free Waters brand when I worked at the local gear shop, but had no experience with any of their products. When scrolled onto the Tall Boys on Amazon I was intrigued by their stack height. The Tall Boys are just that, tall. The best way to describe them would be to imagine a sandal that Hoka developed and then cut the stack height in half. Still after that reduction the sandals are much thicker then any I have tried before. The Tall Boys are not just stacked high full of soft material, rather they have a supportive platform. There is a slight arch build into the platform as well as raised sides to keep your foot centered. Adding to the overall design the sandal is vegan which is always nice.
Besides design, Free Waters has a progressive business model. Because the company was started by two surfers there is a focus on water. Not a shock given the business name. The company participates in water projects around the world, as well as sourcing non-toxic materials for production. Besides being environmentally conscious the company also ensures fair labor practices and verify those practices are being executed.
Use- I live in sandals. If I am not wearing my work boots or trail runners I am in them. When I immediately tried these on I noticed two things, the cushion and the tightness of the thong. The upper is snug, and I don't have particularly wide feet. The tightness is around where the upper wraps around the foot and connects to the footbed. I believe that over time this will loosen up a bit and be more comfortable. The upper is not uncomfortable enough not to wear, but it is noticeable. On a more positive attribute the cushion is insane! It is like putting on my Altra Lone Peaks 2.5. After tearing my runners off at the end of backpacking trip, the Tall Boys are like walking on a marshmallow. A real supportive marshmallow. By far the most comfortable sandal I have ever worn. The foot bed is shaped like your foot, providing a perfect amount of toe room and heel length, but not so much as to represent a paddle.
Conclusion- The Free Waters Tall Boy Sandals are build using environmentally friendly materials and using social conscious business practices. The Tall Boys are the most comfortable sandals I have ever tried. The combination of the stack height and supportive footbed create a excellent environment for recovery. With the multiple color options you can find a casual sandal that can be worn anywhere. If your ready to treat your feet check out the Tall Boys or any of the other Free Water products.
*This product was purchased for testing.