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Wearing Rubber Slippers is Just One of Hawaii's Simple Pleasures – Hawaiian Footwear and Happy Feet

Hawaii’s people love happy feet. One of the things I have learned about living in Hawaii is that I treasure comfortable feet. That’s right. My wardrobe sports many plain to frilly embellished pairs of “rubbah slippahs” (rubber slipper, zori, thong, geta, or whatever you like to call them).

This is my grandson, Makani, just weeks after learning to walk, cruising at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park

Arriving in Hawaii when I was sixteen, I easily moved into the island lifestyle as if born to it. My feet show this free and easy state we are in here—no crimped toes for me, more like spread wide and happy. Just as sweet as Liliko’i butter on hot toast. Happy feet are an island pleasure for all to enjoy!

Getting closer to home (or work), I love the fact that Realtors in Hawaii are not expected to wear business attire! In Hawaii, we are blessed! My dear friend and fellow Realtor with Hawaii Life, Erik Hinshaw, arrived in Hawaii and fell in love with the island stride and way of life. He sports a pair of slippahs from the Island Slipper Co. located and manufactured in Pearl City, Oahu, which are the only locally manufactured slippahs available. They even make custom pairs for special-order large sizes and unique demands too.

Erik has other friends in the shoe manufacturing business and mentions the minimalist footwear movement where the controversy is on how modern running shoes could have negative affects on health conditions in amateur and professional athletes. I find it interesting to see runners moving toward the barefoot run.

Japan leads the world in mass producing cheap rubber slippers, or as islanders say, “rubbah slippahs. The Japanese also find our products from Island Slipper Co. a favorite “high fashion” item. So, they do not mind plunking down $170 to $350 for a pair of Olukai slippers. I too support our local product! Why not?

Last year, a local surfer used his daughter’s small worn rubber slipper as a hand board to win the Da Hui Waimea Bay Shorebreak Slam. Although they may be worn as footwear at an island wedding, slippers are also used to swat cockroaches, whack a mango out of a tree, or smack a mosquito.

The slipper epitomizes the fundamental values of Hawaii’s multicultural history and lifestyle. Whether visiting your local island doctor or attorney, I bet I could guess what footwear each would be wearing! Sure, I love the look of high fashion shoes, but it’s not for me anymore. More often than not, at work or play, you will find me in island slippahs!

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Erik Hinshaw

July 20, 2011

Heidi, All so true.I hate the idea of going back to the mainland and trying to jam my feet back into shoes. I’ve got the slippah thing down. Seeing the picture of Makani makes me realize I need to get out of those slippers and get my feet in the sand. Thats what its all about. Beautiful Blog.

Erik Hinshaw

July 20, 2011

Heidi, All so true.I hate the idea of going back to the mainland and trying to jam my feet back into shoes. I’ve got the slippah thing down. Seeing the picture of Makani makes me realize I need to get out of those slippers and get my feet in the sand. Thats what its all about. Beautiful Blog.

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

July 20, 2011

Aloha Heidi… Although I do love to travel the world, I must say the thing I always dread the most leaving our island home is having to jam my feet into closed-toed shoes! It seems… well… unnatural!! That’s why even in very cold weather (for me – anything below 50 degrees is very cold) you will still find me still wearing my rubber slippahs. Blue and freezing cold, my feet prefer the freedom of the slippah over the constriction of the shoe. What’s so incredibly crazy about this is that I used to be the absolute QUEEN of designer shoes when I lived “in America.” My friends will tell you about my walk-in closet full of shoes – and gorgeous amazing boots – in California. Now? I couldn’t be bothered. Who cares?? Yes, I still drool over a pair of Jimmy Choos or Manolos, but when it comes right down to it, my favorite thing is finding a “designer” pair of slippahs at Ross for under $20. I love my Hawaii Life. Thanks for reminding me about one of the top ten reasons why…

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

July 20, 2011

Aloha Heidi… Although I do love to travel the world, I must say the thing I always dread the most leaving our island home is having to jam my feet into closed-toed shoes! It seems… well… unnatural!! That’s why even in very cold weather (for me – anything below 50 degrees is very cold) you will still find me still wearing my rubber slippahs. Blue and freezing cold, my feet prefer the freedom of the slippah over the constriction of the shoe. What’s so incredibly crazy about this is that I used to be the absolute QUEEN of designer shoes when I lived “in America.” My friends will tell you about my walk-in closet full of shoes – and gorgeous amazing boots – in California. Now? I couldn’t be bothered. Who cares?? Yes, I still drool over a pair of Jimmy Choos or Manolos, but when it comes right down to it, my favorite thing is finding a “designer” pair of slippahs at Ross for under $20. I love my Hawaii Life. Thanks for reminding me about one of the top ten reasons why…

Ken

July 21, 2011

You own part of the slippah company? I like those slippers but this is a cheesy shameless plug.

Ken

July 21, 2011

You own part of the slippah company? I like those slippers but this is a cheesy shameless plug.

Heidi White

July 21, 2011

Thanks Erik and Katie, You “get it”.
Ken, well my life must be cheesy & shameless then…Ha ha! I don’t own part of Island slipper Co. but I am proud of our local business’s still hanging and doing well thru a tough economy. Hawaii Life, No Ka Oe!

Heidi White

July 21, 2011

Thanks Erik and Katie, You “get it”.
Ken, well my life must be cheesy & shameless then…Ha ha! I don’t own part of Island slipper Co. but I am proud of our local business’s still hanging and doing well thru a tough economy. Hawaii Life, No Ka Oe!

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

July 21, 2011

You hit the nail on the head, Heidi. As a kid on the mainland, I was always barefoot. Guess it’s one of the reasons I have fit into the island lifestyle so well. I love having just one wardrobe (no winter clothes here) with nothing but slippahs.

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

July 21, 2011

You hit the nail on the head, Heidi. As a kid on the mainland, I was always barefoot. Guess it’s one of the reasons I have fit into the island lifestyle so well. I love having just one wardrobe (no winter clothes here) with nothing but slippahs.

ken

July 22, 2011

Yes, cheesy and shameless. This isnt the only local slippah company. Shameless for sure.

ken

July 22, 2011

Yes, cheesy and shameless. This isnt the only local slippah company. Shameless for sure.

Heidi White, R(S)

August 11, 2011

Thanks Martha, you too know the secrets for a great life!

Heidi White, R(S)

August 11, 2011

Thanks Martha, you too know the secrets for a great life!

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