ZuZu did something that no other sandal company has successfully done. They perfected a sandal from an actual recycled tire that is both comfortable and functional for every day use. ZuZu sandals are sustainably made in Israel and feature some of the thinnest and softest sandal straps that exist on the market. Suitable for anything from hanging with your pup, chilling on the hammock or hitting the trails, they have a great ground feel and are virtually indestructible (think of all those old tire places you see sitting around). They recently opened up to international shipping and we were super excited to share our feedback on their sandal. Knowing that these are both sustainably made and supporting a local brand just makes us super keen to share these with the world!
Disclaimer: These shoes were given to us to review, however our opinion is our own. Thank you and enjoy the read!
Manufacturing and Sustainability:
- We're proudly crafting ZuZu Sandals in both Israel and Portugal. We ship all orders from Israel, where the final packaging and quality assurance takes place (handmade, handsewn).
- Small business run by 2 Adventurers Tal & Nadav
- The soles are all made from tires as part of a genuine desire to improve wherever possible. From an environmental point of view, using and reviving a highly durable material that is otherwise garbage, is the best way to minimize unnecessary pollution and energy waste.
- They are built for performance, but that doesn’t mean just running. Walk, hike, or just relax – ZuZu Sandals are comfy as well as durable, and you'll find yourself wearing them everywhere!
First Impressions: ZuZu Flow After a conversation with Tal and realizing right away what a kind and adventurous soul he was, they sent me a pair of sandals to try. Right at the pick up point with my loyal pup Charlie, I knew these were going to be very unique. The delicate leather straps were like no other sandal that I have tried (and I have tried quite a few) and it also came with extra nylon straps in case I wanted something a bit more firm. The tire was extremely light weight, extremely condensed and looked like it would survive the apocalypse or the next wave of corona if that happens. Just walking home with them, I was impressed by the ruggedness but still the great ground feel. The strap does have to be firmly secured to your foot to allow good foot function but that is very easily doable by just pulling the strap through the buckle and because it is so soft there is no chafing or discomfort.
Sizing and Fit: My foot measures 26cm (10.2 inch) long and 10.1cm (3.9 inch) wide. Following Tal's Advice I got a size 42, they fit me comfortably with a bumper of space in front meaning I potentially could have sized down and they still would have fit well. They also have a super handy sizing guide on their website which we highly recommend using. Regarding the fit, it was easily adjustable with zero break-in time. It felt so comfortable immediately and was a pleasure to walk in. It does not interfere with my foot's function at all and I enjoyed playing frisbee, walking around and doing light sport in them around the park as well.
I did notice that for more strenuous activities, like running or trail hiking, switching to the silicon laces are more effective and make sure they are firmly secured to the foot.
Performance: With a 7mm Stack height the ground feel is phenomenal on these for just about every activity but still made of indestructible tire, so no glass, thorns or even the heat of the ground will penetrate it. You can use them for just about anything especially if you switch the straps as needed as mentioned before.
- 100% Pliable nubuck leather or 100% performance Nylon straps.
- Coated Stainless Steel Buckles to hold the strap.
- The leather is one of the most comfortable lacing systems we have tried yet. It is soft and pliable and requires no break-in time. It's the most comfortable sandal when it comes to the way it sits between the toes.
- It is a one strap lacing system with the tightening and loosening being easy and hassle-free simply by pulling the lace through the buckle
- 100% recycled tire (that simple)
- It is mentioned on their Israeli website: for performance "the tire grip easily outperformed any other sole we tried, and it hardly wears out over time."
To summarize things up, although recycled tires are pricier than any other sole material we could use, we believe it is superior to other materials and makes a real difference!
Weight and Movement:
- Very flexible
- Allows for natural foot movement
- Good tread for light sport, hiking, and every day activity.
- Feels so seamless with your foot
Sole and footbed:
- 100% recycled tire sole
- Textile footbed built-in
- Upper: Textile footbed built-in
- Sole: 7mm 100% recycled tire sole
- Drop: Zero Drop
- Stack Height: 6.5/7mm
- Weight: Lightweight
- Price: 79$
- Sizes available: 36-47
Future Improvements: I attempted to do the famous sea-to-sea hike in this sandal and I did get a fair amount of kilometers in but, especially with the rain and the mud, I needed a more rugged sole. From what I understand they are working on making a different sole type.
The nylon straps could use a bit more security to really firmly attach it to the foot. but overall they are so so comfortable.
Where and How to Wear:
Everything! Hammock lounging, night out in town, its subtle and dark colors can go with anything, I have yet to test it out in the snowy mountains so here's to hoping I can give that an attempt some day.
Conclusion: This is the ultimate lightweight, indestructible sandal that can do just about anything. If you want a fashion change just give one of their colored straps ago. With amazing customer service and an extremely detailed website with just about every FAQ you may have, we are in love with this sandal and you should check it out too!
Sean & Sara & Charlie <3