The Born shoe company has an established reputation for making comfortable shoes. Their vaguely Scandinavian sounding name has lent their unique aesthetic a Euro-hip vibe.
I owned a pair of Born shoes many years ago and have fond memories of them.
They were comfortable without looking like “comfort” shoes. Because of this, I was excited to pick up a pair of Born Wharf flip flops. The image online looked…unique, but I thought that they might have potential.
My optimism was shattered when they arrived. Online, they looked quirky-odd but with potential to be uniquely stylish. In person, they looked prehistoric – literally. The tag attached to the flip flops boasted,
Born hand crafted footwear is inspired by rich artisan detailing and Old World shoe making. They do, in fact, look handmade – handmade with stone tools actually. And I’ve got to admit that it’s hard to get more Old World than their Neanderthal inspired styling.
The gigantic and ridiculously wide strap is way too loose for the feet of any modern human and has an opposable thumbs-width gap between foot and strap. They look like they were made for and by Cavemen.
They’ve included four brass rivets on the straps for…styling? So, maybe they’re not like Old World as first thought. After all, they must have at least attained the Bronze Age to get those rivets.
The footbed is made of a material best described as second-hand cheap motel mattress fabric. This is stretched across the lowest quality, crane vending machine game, plush toy stuffing.
The fabric is so slick that my feet slide around like a child in a onesie across an unmade bed. It is hard to think of a material more poorly suited to the task.
The slippery knitted nylon footbed and too lose Bronze Age leather strap, work together to eject me as effectively as a bucking bull. Unfortunately, in these horrible flip flops, I am both the cowboy and rodeo clown.
Turning the flip flop over it is obvious where all the development and production budget went – it’s in the sole.
The sole is a full inch thick at the heel and a half inch thick at the toe. It is constructed of a ridiculously rugged and dense rubber.
The treads are well made and stamped with tiny little ocean waves. These soles mean business and should provide solid footing but the Paleolithic construction above render the soles as useless as band-aids at the guillotine. It’s like strapping a horse-drawn buggy to a rocket and calling it a spacecraft. It’s terrible.
These are without a doubt the worst flip flops we’ve encountered so far. From their styling that prevented me from risking being seen in public in them, to their complete lack of comfort, and their ridiculously overbuilt soles.
These fail on every level – even a caveman could see that.