I’ve been impressed by Patagonia’s trail running shoes, so I was very anxious to give some of their more casual shoes a whirl. So, the low-profile Patagonia Olulu shoes have been my everyday office shoes for a few weeks. My summary? Superlight and comfortable.
Patagonia Olulu features:
- Hemp and suede leather upper provides breathability and durability; pigskin leather lining provides comfort and durability
- Dri-Lex merino wool footbed lining provides temperature and moisture control
- 20% recycled EVA midsole provides cushioning and comfort
- Big Honeycomb 70% natural hevea-milk Skywalk latex outsole
- Opanka stitched outsole construction provides durability while minimizing the use of solvents and adhesives
- Medium width, full toe box, medium arch/instep
- 325 g (11 oz)
- Colors: Sable Brown (tested), Dark Burlap
- MSRP: $120
Patagonia Olulu Shoes Review
I’m always on the lookout for a good casual shoe with an outdoorsy spin. The Patagonia Olulu shoes are a great example of what Patagonia is doing right for the outdoor industry. The construction of the Olulu’s focuses on minimizing solvents and maximizing the use of recycled or sustainable materials. The uppers feature a combination of hemp and suede leather and the bathtub-style honeycomb outsole simplifies the design while providing a slipper-like feel.
So what do I really like about these? Lets start with the overall comfort. These are definitely a low profile design with minimal to no ramping, so you get a very natural feel. As I mentioned before, it’s quite slipper-like with no hard edges, just a natural roll with every step. That natural roll is matched with a well-cushioned, but supportive midsole and a soft insole. Many times I need to wear SOLE or Superfeet insoles in my shoes, but not with these. My flat feet are well-cradled and the minimalist style of these never feels unnatural or uncomfortable.
I’ve walked miles per day in these shoes and have not once felt uncomfortable. With so many clunky and overbuilt shoes on the market, the Olulu’s are refreshing in their simple comfort. I also dig the wide toebox, which allows my toes to wiggle in comfort.
The suede and hemp uppers breathe very well and keep my feet comfortable — this is no small thing as my feet are typically too warm in most leather shoes. I have noticed a little wear in the toes where the suede is getting scuffed, but other than that I’m seeing little signs of use on both the uppers and outsoles.
As far as traction goes, I’m not about to go hiking in these, but traction is solid for around town and normal activities. Their comfort lends themselves to walks with the kids and general mayhem.
- Wide toebox allows for plenty of wiggle room
- The tub-like outsole makes for smooth walking
- Low-profile comfort
- Lightweight design never feels bulky
- No break-in period
- Surprisingly supportive and comfortable for my flat feet right out of the box
- Highly breathable
- Low profile doesn’t provide much wet or snow protection
- I’d rather see full-grain leather/hemp combo, but that’s more of a personal preference
- My right shoe has some sort of clicking going on in the midsole that comes and goes, but seems to be fading over time
Bottom Line: Patagonia Olulu Shoes
I dig the lightweight comfort of the Patagonia Olulu’s. Some may not appreciate the low-profile and rolling-friendly lowers, but my feet feel cradled and my stride uninhibited in the office and around town. Think of these as office-friendly slippers. Not just any slippers… the most comfortable slippers you own — yeah, that’s about right.
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