What Are Fisherman Sandals?

Sandals are one of the most ideal footwear to wear on a warm day as their open design allows the feet to breathe, plus they are also easy to slip on and off your feet. When you think of fisherman sandals, you might picture an older person relaxing on a porch on a Sunday morning enjoying his coffee as they tend to have the same reputation as Birkenstocks. But did you ever consider that there could be more to this style of footwear? This article takes a look at this often-overlooked style of footwear.

What are fisherman sandals? A fisherman sandal is a type of footwear that features an open upper style with slightly interspaced straps that are not designed to be adjustable. This design allows water to drain out of the sandals as well as lets air into the footwear, keeping your feet fresh.

The sandal is secured to the foot by a loop that goes behind the ankle and is often adjustable. Many of them are made of leather, which is a great choice of material as it is breathable and comfortable. Traditionally, these sandals were predominantly black or brown, but today you will find a wide selection of colors. They are typically worn casually, with some designs specifically intended for walking and hiking. Fisherman sandal designs are available for women, men, and kids. Numerous footwear retailers carry this style of footwear, and you can also easily order a pair online. No matter where you choose to purchase your fisherman sandals, it is important that you ensure they fit you properly in order to have a pleasant wearing experience with them.

Fisherman sandals are distinguished by their strappy design, which is probably what earned them their unfortunate reputation of being a bit old-fashioned. However, there are many aspects to this footwear style other than its distinct look.

The basics of fisherman sandals

The current design of this style of casual footwear draws inspiration from ancient forms of footwear, with writings and illustrations indicating that variations of these sandals were worn in many cultures for centuries. The connection of fisherman sandals to fishing is still unclear, although it could be attributed to the open design of the upper that keeps water from pooling in the sandal and allows it to drain out instead. This sandal design most likely would have also been comfortable to wear around the home after an extended fishing trip.

The sole of a fisherman sandal is thick and comfortable. The upper features a center strap that runs from the toe up the upper part of the foot and is attached to the sole at intervals with several side straps. The straps that are featured on the upper are not designed to be adjustable. The sandal also features a loop that goes around the back of the ankle which secures the sandal to the foot and can sometimes be adjusted with the help of a buckle system or Velcro in some designs. The open upper allows for cool air to flow into the sandals, keeping the foot well-ventilated. At the same time, the foot is also well-protected as the straps are well-placed.

Many of the fisherman sandals you will find on sale today are made of leather, although it is also quite common to find designs that are made of synthetic materials. Fisherman sandals initially came in only black and brown, but today you will find a wide variety of colors. They are also available for men, women, and kids while in the past they were predominantly worn by men.

Fishermen sandals are usually worn in casual settings, and would generally be considered to be inappropriate for formal events. Some special designs of these sandals are intended for walking and hiking. These varieties tend to have sturdier straps and soles which makes them comfortable for excursions that involve a lot of walking.

Factors to consider when selecting this footwear style

Before selecting a pair of fisherman sandals, it is important to take several aspects into consideration to ensure that you will have a pleasant experience with them

1. Material

As previously mentioned, the most common material used in the construction of this style of footwear is leather, though synthetic materials are also quite prevalent. Leather is a great option as it is one of the more breathable materials. Additionally, leather fisherman sandals progressively get more comfortable as they mold to the shape of your feet.

Leather is also efficient at drawing away excess moisture from the skin, consequently preventing sweat from building up and resulting in odor that attracts bacteria. As a result, your feet remain fresh and dry all day long.

A majority of fisherman sandals feature a hook-and-loop closure system, also referred to as Velcro. This closure system consists of two strips of material that can be hooked onto each other. One side of Velcro has small hooks, while the other has loops which latch onto each other. This type of closure is easily manageable and makes it effortless to wear your fisherman sandals. Some varieties of fisherman sandals feature a heel strap that you can pull over your heel and does not have a closure system. The strap makes use of a hidden elastic that ensures the strap keeps your heel in place.

2. Versatility

Fisherman sandals are quite versatile, which makes them a great choice whether you plan to wear them to a summer party by the beach or for a trip to the grocery store. There are also varieties of this footwear style that are designed for specific activities, offering additional benefits as well as safety features that you won’t find in many other types of sandals. As a result, this sandal that was previously dismissed as mere lounge footwear has become so much more.

3. Comfort

Comfort plays a crucial role in determining your experience with any type of footwear, including fisherman sandals. You want your sandals to fit you snugly, without being too small or too big. If they are too tight, you will end up with all sorts of pains and aches, and if they turn out to be too big, they could affect your balance, potentially resulting in you tripping and even falling.

It is important that your fisherman sandal features a cushioned footbed that will ensure the delicate underside of your foot remains protected. If your sandal lack this crucial feature, it leaves your foot vulnerable to the impact of the terrain you are walking on. Cushioning serves as a pillow-like barrier that absorbs shock and maintains comfort. EVA is a great material for the footbed as it provides adequate cushioning.

The sole of the sandals should provide a firm structure that will ensure the arch of the foot is firmly supported. A lack of support could lead to the arch collapsing and a lot of pain as a result. Therefore, it is important for the outsole to provide a sturdy barrier from the ground beneath you and also provide weather resistance. Rubber is typically the best material for the outsole as it will keep you shielded from the elements and has the added benefit of being waterproof.

4. Style

While fisherman sandals are primarily made for casual wear, there are design variations that are available. Pairs that are made for outdoor activities have more supportive straps and are also sturdier than their counterparts. If you plan to use your sandals for such activities, you want a pair that has adjustable straps and a well-padded footbed. An outsole that features patterns in the shape of zigzags, hexagons, and other irregular shape are more efficient at providing grip on slippery and uneven outdoor trails and consequently preventing unnecessary injuries.

5. Features

  • Moisture control – If your feet tend to sweat excessively, it can cause a lot of discomfort and rubbing inside your footwear which will then lead to sore spots and blisters. Leather is efficient at controlling moisture and pushing the excess towards the outer material of the sandals.
  • Air flow – As previously mentioned, these sandals feature a strappy design and an open-concept upper. That being said, if the straps are made of, say heavy fabric, air flow into the sandals will be affected. This could cause your feet to overheat and sweat excessively. To avoid this, you want to stick to leather straps.
  • Straps – When it comes to the placement of the sandal straps, it is important that they do not rub against your skin uncomfortably or cause friction. Too much friction on the sides and upper part of the feet can cause painful blisters. If you wear the fisherman sandals frequently, the blisters can take up to a week to heal, or they can even end up bursting and forming open wounds that could become infected. To ensure that the straps of your fisherman sandal fits appropriately, try inserting your index finger between the strap and your skin when you have it on. If your finger fits in comfortably, you should be good to go.

Final thoughts

Fisherman sandals have a long and rich history, a testament of the convenience that they allow. To get the most out of this style of footwear, consider going for a sandal that has a leather upper, a rubber sole, an EVA footbed, and well-made straps that allow for adequate air flow.

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