Cold Spell

Back at the end of November, I metioned putting on a long sleeve shirt on a cold 62 °F (16.5 °C) morning. It turns out we had a warm and dry December, but the rainy weather of the past two weeks has kept temperatures low again.

How low? Well, I’ve been wearing long sleeves again, not just at sunrise, but most of the day. And then I’ve been wearing socks in and around the house, much more than I ever did last year. But I have to admit that socks look and feel funny with slippahs (slippers, flip-flops) :

Andys white socks in good Scott brand flip-flops [no click-to-enlarge]

I’m not sure if the locals ever wear socks with their slippahs. I walked around the neighborhood like this and talked to some of the kama ‘aina (island born) neighbors, but they were too polite to mention my fashion faux-pas. One solution to the funny feeling between my toes is to wear Tevas (sports sandals):

Andys white socks in Teva brand sports sandals [no click-to-enlarge]

However, I am sure that I’ve never seen a local or a resident wear Tevas, with or without socks. Only the tourists wear them—locals prefer their slippahs or just tennis shoes.

If you take a close look at the first picture, I am actually modeling two lowly, yet critical, pieces of gear:

  • Scott brand slippahs. If you’re a mainlander like me and you try to wear the cheap $3 flip-flops, your feet will hurt sooner or later. First, the foam sole compresses over time and you feel every sharp pebble, and then the lack of support will flatten the arch of your shoe-trained feet. Locals who grew up in these are immune, tourists can get away with wearing them for a week or two, but if you want to wear slippahs for more than a month, get something bettah.

    Scotts cost $18 at K-mart, but they have a real rubber sole and arch support. My pair has lasted through a year of constant usage and long walks without hurting my feet or ankles. You could probably hike in them if you wanted to imitate the locals. However, if you just want camp slippahs in Kalalau (or in the Sierra in the summer), take the $3 kind because they are much, much lighter.

    And no, I don’t play the guitar or the ukulele, I just liked that design better than plain black.

  • White tube socks. Kauai’s red dirt is famous for it’s ability to stain or color your clothes. Since most hikes on Kauai are either muddy or dusty, your shoes and socks will get dirty. This is why the local hike in slippahs, but my feet need trail shoes or hiking boots, which means I need socks.

    You can see that mine have some local color, but sometimes they’re just so muddy you don’t want to wash them with anything else. And some of the less traveled trails are overgrown with invasive plants full of burrs that are near impossible to remove. So, after a good adventure, you sometimes just want to throw your socks in the trash. Instead of tossing expensive hiking socks, I just buy a 12-pack of the cotton tube socks every year, white being cheap and easy to find.

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1 Comment   »

  1. billynair says:

    I never saw Tevas until I moved to the mainland. I got some from a friend when I was in Yosemite. I was a Japanese tour guide at PCC and would walk backwards to talk to the tourists so it was hard in regular slippers. I wore my Tevas a few times because of the back strap, but eventually just went barefoot, so much easier. So yeah, very few Tevas in Hawaii…

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