By chance, I noticed a student of mine, wearing a pair of seemingly stylish deck shoes, without the laces, and in a material that resembled those of the dreaded Crocs. What luck! I thought. Exactly what I needed, so I asked him about them. It would seem they were a pair of Native Shoes, from a Canadian company. The concept of Native Shoes is to produce a selection of classic casual shoe silhouettes, such as deck shoes, sneakers or boots, but using a lightweight water-resistant material. Intrigued, I bought a pair of Native 'Howards' and was eager to try them on.
|Native Shoes - Regatta Blue Howards|
At first glance, there was a lot of holes around the shoe, which for some reason, conjured up images of someone shooting their own foot. However, I assumed this was for ventilation and for water drainage, in case I stepped into some deep puddles. I tried them on, and they were initially quite tight, and not particularly comfortable, to be honest. During this time I was quite skeptical about the comfort of the material and whether this was a decent alternative to Crocs.
However, after a few weeks, the material loosened up somewhat, as they finally broke in. Now, it is far more comfortable and funnily enough, the shoe I select the most during the day. For good reason, I suppose, since it has weathered a good deal of torrential rains, construction sites, beaches and tarmac, and I never have to worry about it getting dirty, wet or damaged. While it's not the most comfortable pair of shoes I own, it is certainly one of the most practical and cheapest. No wonder, more and more people are wearing them now. So, is it a great alternative to Crocs? Absolutely!