Monday, August 15, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Summer Sandal: Freewaters™ CRUZ CONTROL

After designing wetsuits and snowboard boots for over ten years, two longtime friends have set up shop in a small studio outside of Marin California.  There, nestled deep amongst the redwood trees, the Freewatersteam has set before themselves a two-fold mission:  First, improve the quality of life through superior product experience by creating quality and innovative footwear, and second through creative humanitarian initiatives.

As fans of companies with big bold visions, we were thrilled to have our first introduction to the Freewaters brand via the Cruz Control Flip, part of the Freewaters™ Bizness class line up:
Every brand of sandals, every pair of flips, has a different fit and personality.  More often than not, that personality begins with the fit and feel of the straps.  If the straps aren't comfortable then little else matters.  So when we first slipped our feet under the Cruz Control's "fitperfect" synthetic leather straps, it was a foreshadowing of great things to come.    

Water friendly performance leather straps with eco-smart lining crafted from recycled PET bottles are not only ready to rumble poolside, but provide tremendous next-to-skin comfort.  Moreover, they legitimately provided that break-in feel straight out of the box. The Cruz Controls' straps are the perfect marriage between the snug fit of a performance flip and the more relaxed  fit of a casual flip.  No bickering in this marriage, just zen-like bliss for the top of your foot.

The Cruz Control features an injection molded midsole that makes up the cornerstone of what Freewaters refers to as their Heelium Series.  This feather light midsole provides a sophisticated contoured footbed at half the price and weight of what's available elsewhere.  Better yet, this exclusive midsole technology doesn’t skimp out on the comfort and anatomical arch support you need to support your feet, knees and back when you’re wearing these flips all day -- and trust us -- you'll be rockin' these bad boys for days and weeks on end.
The drop in non-slip quick dry EVA foam footbed is perfect for water dwelling mammals while insulating the foot from the daily bumps and grinds encountered by our more urban centric friends. 

A 4-way flex outsole with a grooved tread keeps your feet stable, agile and slip free.  And when you need to shift gears, the Cruz Control's flexible outsole provides running-shoe-like spring and a rebound that you can actually feel with every stride. 

Together with the contoured footbed these features virtually eliminate toe drag as well as the strain and stress placed on feet, knees and back one would normally expect from wearing flips all day.

As an added bonus the Freewaters design team has thrown in a feature that we believe should be mandatory for all flips: a recycled eco-rubber patch stashed right where you need it most - the high wear heel area.  
While they may look like your traditional flip, a combination of patent pending design features, thoughtful craftsmanship and quality construction ensure that the Cruz Control flips are not only Gumption approved, but an absolute steal at $38. 

At a time when more than one company lays claim to an “out-of-the-box-no-break-in” fit, Freewaters seems to have actually accomplished that feat.  A noteworthy accomplishment that alone merits a special place in your closet for these flips. 

And considering that the purchase of one pair of Freewaters™ allows Project Freewaters to provide clean drinking water for an individual for one entire year, the Freewaters team may be well on their way to conquering the global clean water pandemic as well.  Check out this video that talks more about the Project Freewaters initiative.

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