By Flip & Flop:
You used to be cool man.
Growing up, I was never part of the skater crowd, but when I see Volcom I immediately think back a bunch of teens carrying their boards around wearing what I assumed to be a collection of in vouge brands, a Volcom T-shirt and Vans.
Upon getting my latest pair of flip flops, I did a quick web search; checking to see the current state of the brand.
A quick Google search of “Volcom” has a first result of:
“Is Volcom still cool?”
Clearly this edgy skater brand from the 90’s and its fans from decades ago have taken aging advice from Mic Jagger.
Planning a trip to So Cal in mid-January I thought I’d get some fresh flip-flop time in and begin the search for the next Flip-Flop of the year. I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you now that the Volcom isn’t that.
When spotting these online I saw that they promoted their shtick – puffy soles. Okay.
“Is Volcom still cool?”
We’re used to seeing Flip-Flops looking for a differentiation, so I didn’t think much about it and dropped them into the order basket.
Upon arrival I came to see what “puffy” really meant. The insoles are literally stitched in puffy squares like an 80’s La-Z-Boy recliner.
They even send it with this:
My first thoughts; overstuffed La-Z-Boys in the summer sun is NOT what I’m looking for. It was flashbacks to my legs and arms sticking to black slimy pleather, deciding it was better to lay on the romper room shag floor than swish around in my own perspiration.
So…in my head the card read, “let your sweaty feet get as comfortable as your thighs on a pleather chair on a warm summer day.”
It’s okay I thought; today is a warm enough 80 degrees out and the beach is a block away. Let’s go try these out.
First thought, they fit mostly right. They aren’t wide and sloppy, they also aren’t emasculated heroin chic; a perfect narrow and snug. The length is okay, but the toe area is too big and way too long, toe clipping is an inevitable future here.
“The unfortune part. A Blister.”
Strolling down the road, the puffy thing wasn’t so great despite having all the puffy stuff and pockets, they were surprisingly firm with almost no cushion. The arch support was un-expectedly good, as it isn’t obvious in the look (the pillow stuff covers most of it).
As predicted toe clipping was almost immediate, with the pleather insole overhang immediately catching the slightest sidewalk bump and getting as scratched up as a lotto card.
It’s surprising to me the number of manufactures that don’t know how to scale shoe sizes – Props to OluKai for revisiting their design and winning the FFOTY in part for addressing this aesthetic and physical hazard.
The sunny walks were pleasant and much needed in the dark days of winter. The unfortune part. A Blister.
I have never before had any flipflop give me a blister, ever. Let alone a blister right on the ball of my foot, but there it was puffy and very uncomfortable. I can’t help but think the strange way the pleather sticks to the skin right at a key flexing area managed to irritate the skin to a point of creating a big juicy and painful blister.
At first blush, a blister causing flipflop would be rated somewhere in the negative scale. Who wants to wear flipflops that cause physical pain and damage…but that’s not cool bro. Here at FFD, we’re straight forward, but not hateful.
So, for now we’ll chill on these guys and try to rate them for what they are. They’ll get another try in a few weeks and we’ll see if anything has changed.