I wear a size 12 shoe, which makes packing multiple pairs for a long trip particularly difficult. They’re bulky, heavy, and take up a lot of space in a duffel, so I try to bring a pair that serves multiple purposes when possible.
Not having enough space in a bag for your shoes falls far down the list of problems one could have these days, to be sure, but it does make packing for a road trip somewhat more of a chore. My wife Sarah’s do-it-all shoe? The OluKai Pehuea, which has become one of her all-time favorite pairs. It’s her go-to for any type of summer travel, especially if the trip involves a beach.
The beauty of the Pehuea, according to Sarah, is its arch support. This is a comfy slip-on, yes, but it also features OluKai’s removable, dual-density anatomical PU footbed, which means you can spend all day walking around in them without feet or back pain. They even stand up to some light hiking. Sarah suffers from back pain regularly, due to an old injury, so shoes have to meet a high bar to keep her from hurting, and these pass with flying colors.
The men’s version, the Lae’ahi, is just as comfortable, but the thing we love most about these shoes is their versatility. They’re the ideal car-to-beach shoe, because they’re cozy on a long ride with that drop in the heel yet still incredibly breathable once you hit the sand, thanks to their mesh upper. The heel is synthetic and water-resistant, but the shoes also drain well if you get them wet. The non-marking sole provides plenty of traction. As a bonus, the removable footbed has a washable cover, so they’re easy to clean after a week at the beach or lake.
All of those features are great, but they don’t mean anything if a shoe doesn’t look good. My wife wore the Pehuea around Europe while kayaking, exploring towns, and out to dinner. They’re the perfect do-anything summer shoe.