Today’s summer footwear seems to come in two extremes: the closed-in but comfortable running shoe and the casual, cheap but hard on the feet flip-flop. Enter another option: the yoga-world inspired’and Australian-produced’Swamisz.
These lightweight sandals are based on the designs of traditional Indian shoes called ‘paduka,’ which date back more than 5,000 years and are considered one of the earliest forms of footwear. They are said to be the chosen sandals of India’s ‘enlighted masters of self-realization”hence the name Swamisz.
While the ancient versions were made of wood, the contemporary versions are created from more forgiving materials. Swamisz are made in India from natural rubber, produced from the sap of rubber trees sustainably farmed in southern India.
With a similar open design as a flip-flop, the shoe’s unique toe plug and support strap mean you don’t need to hold on with your toes, resulting in walking as close to barefoot as it gets. I wore a sample pair over the long weekend and found them comfortable (and, of course, my feet were just happy finally being free of the constraint of winter shoes), although my left foot still hasn’t fully adapted to the idea that the toes don’t need to hold on.
The toe plug is also said to stimulate a pressure point between the toes, which relieves fatigue and enhances concentration (I didn’t notice being any more focused, but maybe it takes time).
Although Swamisz come in only one style, I love the range of 11 colour options’from the all black or saffron to the black and hot pink option I’ve been trying out. Now if only some of my yoga poses would go so smoothly’