are there durable sandals with thick soles out there?

I live at a northern latitude and typically wear out a pair of sandals in a single warm season. By contrast, sneakers with apparently much thicker soles last for much longer. This makes me wonder - are people living in southern latitudes where sandals might make sense for a longer segment of the year (essentially limited only by rain and not by temperature) able to buy more durable, thicker sole sandals nowadays? Or is everybody stuck with these fall-apart-in-6-month ones?

An alternate version of the same question would be, do I end up wearing low quality sandals because I shop in the wrong place, or because better sandals are not stocked in America, or because these better sandals are simply not produced at all and hence are unavailable to anybody, even though presumably there ought to be a lot of demand for them at least in some areas?

What brand have you been wearing?

Here in San Antonio, either Walmart or Target (I think the former, but I’m not 100%) sell a sandal brand called “Mossimo Supply Co.” They’re fairly inexpensive ($15), and my first pair lasted a year, but that’s because I wore them all the time, except at work. They have a nice thick sole, and they’re very comfy.

They may be just offered locally, or in southern latitudes, but you might be able to order them thru walmart.com and pick them up.

Here are some pics of them:
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I have had a pair of Chaco sandals for 7-8 years. I wear them at least 50-70 days every summer and even did a 45 mile 4 day backpack in them. Cannot recommend them highly enough. Nice arch and the tread/sole is only beginning to fade away (Vibram outsole). Unfortunately the straps are just about worn through in about 5 or six spots so I’m guessing this next summer is their last.

I spent ~$90 on them back in the day and I’ve heard rumors that Chaco (and also Keen sandals too) aren’t quite at their old level of quality since they went to more mass production but the still are heads and tails above anything else I’ve seen.

Take a look at Teva brand sandals. I stick with the men’s shoes, because the soles seem to be heavier duty.

I’ve got a pair of those, but they have a sporty look instead of the leathery look. I’ve always thought of them as a tennis shoe sole with straps on top because the bottom is about an inch thick.

I guess I’ve had better luck because I’ve had mine for a good 5-6 years. I wouldn’t say they were abused but I’ve slogged through mud, climbed rocks and crossed rivers in them a few times. It’ll be time for a new pair this year. I’m sure I’ve seen Mossimo in other places, but I know I got mine from Target. They’re surely not as good as more expensive hiking sandals, but they’ve sure been worth the price.

Keen makes a pretty good sandal, also.

What he said. :slight_smile:

Seconded. Dog chewed on mine a few years ago and I am still wearing them. River rat sandals.

I’ve had two pairs of Birkenstocks in my life. I got my first pair when I was 12. I wear them pretty much every time I leave the house when I’m not dressed for work for three seasons of the year. Today, I am 31. Do the math there.

I tend to find that no matter what I wear, something is going to wear out or not fit exactly right. If not the sole, then the part that my foot sits on. Actually, it’s very rare for the sole to be the problem - that’s made of rubber which wears off more evenly and has more buffer space, whereas the part rubbing against my foot tends to be made of less sturdy material, sometimes cloth! And tends to rub off much more unevenly, i.e. the shape of my foot. I inevitably end up with annoying things rubbing against my heel. So I just buy a relatively cheap pair that is comfortable at Target or Payless or whatever once a year. It really doesn’t pay to buy footwear for longevity. Focus on the other relevant qualities.

In my experience, people in southern climates generally wear cheap Chinese sandals that cost well under $1.00 each. We pay way too much for these things in America- those 7.99 flip-flops from Wal*Mart would be .25 anywhere else. If a place is poor enough, they will have shoe repair people that will use plastic lacing to sew up even the humblest of shoes- even the hideously clumsy neon colored one-piece Chinese slip-ons made of an approximation of the stuff they make Crocs out of. In a very poor African garbage pile you will find little more in the garbage pile than a few wisps of holey plastic bags, Chinese cooking pots with the bottoms burnt through, and flips-flops with holes worn through the soles, usually missing bits cut out by children to make wheels for improvised toys.

Keen Sandals. Pricey… worth it.

You’ll be happy to know that you can get them restrapped and/or resoled to prolong thei life. Chaco midsoles are made from polyurethane, as opposed to EVA, and doesn’t break down as quickly as EVA does. The outsole is Vibram rubber. Ergo, Chaco sandals last a lot longer and retain their support throughout their life. Don’t toss them yet!

Production on Chaco sandals was shifted from the US to China a few years ago, but IMHO, the quality has not changed.* Also, the company was sold to Wolverine World Wide, which also owns Merrell. Since then, they have significantly expanded product line. The Vibram sole has not changed as far as I can tell and the webbing also appears to be the same on the models I’ve seen, although some of the PU midsoles are noticeably lighter weight.

I’m a fan: I own three pair of Unaweeps. My husband has a pair and so does my daughter. :slight_smile:

Seconded. I’ve hiked many, many miles in Teva sandals.

I bought a pair of Birkenstocks about 5 years ago and wear them a fair amount for about 6 months of the year. They keep getting more comfortable every year. I should get at least another 5 years of service from them.

I must be hard on shoes. I can wear out a pair of Birks in 2-3 years, easily. There’s no tread left but the uppers are still fairly nice. They can be re-soled but it’s about half the cost of a new pair. Since the uppers aren’t perfect, I didn’t think that was a very good value so I’m in the market for new sandals this summer.

Ooh a homework problem! 19 years, assuming 9 months per year for those three seasons, non-work usage = 2 days per week plus holidays.
I am calculating that you wore them approximately 39 (weeks in 9 months) * 2 (number of weekend = non-work days per week) = 78 + 24 (approximate number of holidays / vacation days taken during those nine months) = 102 days per year for 19 years.
Total: 1938 days.
Now, on the days you wore them, you took them off to sleep and when inside the house, I assume, so I’ll guess they were worn from 6 to 8 hours per day. Let’s say seven.
The two pairs have lasted (so far) 1938 * 7 = 13566 hours = 813960 minutes = 48837600 seconds.

How’d I do?

Now we need to know how long the first pair lasted, and the estimated life expectancy of the second pair, to get an idea of how long a single pair would last.

I see, interesting. I certainly have had no such luck with my sandals as you guys - the sole literally ends up splitting in two for me perpendicular to the main axis of the shoe. It starts with a small crack, then it widens and the shoe becomes unusable. Maybe that’s all the heel-to-toe walking and so on, but I never had that happen to the sneakers.

I had never been a sandal guy, but last year I discovered cycling sandals. In the summer they are so much nicer than cycling shoes. They are much more comfortable and the fresh air on my feet is nice. They are also nicer to walk around in than cycling shoes.
The soles are thick and very stiff, so they works your calves a little when you walk, which could be considered a bonus I guess.