With fall making itself known, it’s time to think about how you’ll be covering your toes once cold wet things start falling out of the sky. But, unless you’re out on the trail, it’s probably good if you don’t look like you’re out on the trail. You need a combination of form and function that will pass muster at the office, but keep your feet dry on the commute as well. Part of their latest Waterproof Series, the OluKai Na’i WP fits the bill.
OluKai WaterProof Series
It might not make sense at first that OluKai would make a series of shoes with waterproof membranes – after all, they’re from Hawai’i, aren’t they? Well, yes. But, it does snow in Hawai’i. It also gets wet, a lot. Regardless, they were obviously thinking beyond the islands when they decided to expand their line to bring some comfort and security to the mainland where we don’t walk around in slippahs all the time.
The Waterproof Series includes three shoes – the Na’i slip-on I tested, the Kualono boot, and the Makoa shoe. Each has OluKai’s Wet Grip Rubber outsole wrapped in TecTuff synthetic leather. Each also has a crazy-soft, dual-density foam insole with a gel insert to keep your feet low-stress all day. The Na’i is unique in that it features OluKai’s Drop-In Heel design, letting you fold the heels down to use the shoes as slides.
Full grain leather and a tough textile protect the inner, waterproof membrane on the outside and look good at the same time. Unlike some of OluKai’s other shoes, the Na’i has a pretty narrow last and is somewhat low-volume. Something to be aware of when buying online.
OluKai Na’i WP Review
The Na’i look good and keep your feet dry. So, goal accomplished, OluKai. Despite some pretty thick leather and a waterproof membrane, my feet do not overheat inside the shoes. Those same details serve to keep out all sorts of precipitation. We’ve experienced heavy rains and eight inches of snow in the past two weeks. The Na’i handled it all without a peep.
Despite looks, the outsoles on the Na’i have plenty of traction. Even in slush, I did not slip, slide, or otherwise boogy. And the shoes have taken all of the weather in stride without looking any worse for wear. The leather brushes off liquids and does not appear to stain, though we’ll see how it handles the mag chloride Colorado sprays when the snow really starts falling.
I mentioned the narrow last, above, because my feet do not fit well in the Na’i yet. OluKai’s footbed and construction provide a lot of support on the outer edge of the foot which isn’t compatible with my foot shape. They’ve gotten better over time as my feet have broken in the shoes, but I still look forward to taking them off at the end of the day. The last feels very similar to a Salomon Speedcross – same dimensions, though obviously very different shoes. But, where my feet can push over the edge of the Speedcross midsoles, the Na’i offer too much support and structure. I’m hoping they stretch a bit more.
If you have to wear leather shoes to work, but want something that will protect your feet from Ullr’s blessings at the same time, take a look at the OluKai Na’i. For the right foot shape, they’re a durable, functional, comfortable choice. They’re available from OluKai direct, or at the links above. You can also grab them from Amazon.