Olukai is well established as a maker of amazing flip flops. Just look to the flip flop of the year award-winning Olukai Ulele for confirmation that Olukai knows how to make great flip flops.
The Olukai Kulia is on a completely different level. These laser-etched Italian leather flip flops bring true luxury and artisanship to the flip flop craft. Some brands think that slapping an obnoxiously large version of their logo onto an other-wise uninteresting pair of flip flops will justify a nearly $600 price tag. Not Olukai, because at Olukai, the flip flops come first, and no detail goes unnoticed.
“Olukai Kulia is on a completely different level.”
The baby-soft supple Italian leather strap gently, yet firmly, embraces the foot and holds it snugly atop the laser-etched Italian leather footbed. The underside of the strap is made of a downy soft, almost raw, Italian leather stitched to the sleek-smooth Italian leather top portion of the strap. The outside, near mid-foot, is discreetly laser etched with a Hawaiian inspired featherlike pattern. At the toe post the iconic fishhook Olukai logo is discreetly stitched into the leather.
“… a cozy little nest for each toe to nestle into.”
The toe post tappers down from the strap to the footbed, wrapped in the same leather and stitched at the front, away from the toes, to prevent any discomfort. A detail that could easily be overlooked yet the craftsmanship of the stitching speaks to the quality and care for craft put into what many wouldn’t give a second thought to, the toe post.
The footbed is perfectly contoured to optimize comfort. It includes a raised section just in front of the ball of the foot and behind the toes – a cozy little nest for each toe to nestle into.
The arch support at midfoot is nearly perfect and tapers back into a heel cup that holds the back of the foot just so. At the heel is a tiki-god laser etching that is as beautiful as it is practical – providing both art and traction between foot and footbed. The cushioning of the footbed and sole is a perfect balance of firm and soft.
“…you get much more than a gouache logo to brandish.”
The Italian leather continues onto the sole of the Kulia and is imbedded with nine rubber islands of tread in various shapes to provide both durability and traction. Each tread is embossed with a Hawaiian and ocean inspired design including a large fishhook Olukai logo, in white, at the center. The effect of these on beachside footprints is unique and striking.
The Olukai Kulia flip flop is a work of art and craft and elevates this most basic and humble of footwear to an artform. Though expensive for flip flops, they are worth every cent and in return, you get much more than a gouache logo to brandish. The Olukai Kulia is the flip flop life done right.