Generally speaking, we feel that something called “Gear of the Year” should probably be one thing at a time. However, due to the nature of the footwear that SOLE puts out we’ve decided that all of their shoes, slides and flip flops should wear the mantle as well.
SOLE’s philosophy is that no two feet are alike and therefore there is no such thing as one size fits all. The moldable footbed from SOLE is one that, with a little bit of time, molds itself to YOUR foot. If you have a particularly high arch, this will offer the support you want while at the same time, flattening out just as easily for those with normal or flatter feet.
I have been wearing SOLE shoes since early on this Summer. I started out with the Men’s Casual Flips and took them off only to put on my Sport Slides, ride, run or go barefoot (or for the occasional formal event). Perhaps on of the coolest features of these sandals is that the midsole and footbed is made up of 35% cork by volume. This is great because cork is a wonderful renewable material, it is a great product for dispersing heat and is lightweight. The Sport Slides once again offer the same footbed with slightly more coverage on top and no split toe.
For cooler temperatures SOLE released the Exhale. This shoe hearkens back to the glory days of moon boots with it’s puffy upper without all the bulk and weird looks of Napoleon Dynamite. Once again, SOLE saw fit to put their moldable (mouldable for the folks across the pond) footbeds into these toasty kicks.
At the end of the day everything comes down to comfort and customization. Thanks to SOLE’s inclusion of the same moldable footbed in all it’s shoes, that custom feel and action is affordable unlike it’s been before. Basically, I feel like I’ve been wearing the same, made just for me pair of shoes for the past 7 months. You can see why they’ve made our Gear of the Year. Whether it’s après surf or après ski, SOLE has you covered.
Born and raised in the great state of Virginia, Brandon is a former opera singer (true story) who’s had the outdoors flowing through his veins since day one. Brandon now lives in Colorado with his daughter Sydney (AKA, Baby Gearist).