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These sandals are made from yoga mats — and I wish I'd bought them sooner

Even the straps are comfortable!
Katie Jackson wearing Sanuk sandals
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Katie Jackson

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I used to have a love-hate relationship with sandals. I loved them because I didn't have to wear socks, and, well, they are the official shoe of summer. On the other hand, I hated them because they never had enough cushioning, and the cute straps usually resulted in not-so-cute blisters.

That toxic relationship recently ended when I slipped my feet into a pair of Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 sandals.

Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 Sandals

While I'd seen the Sanuk logo before, I'd never tried on the brand's shoes prior to ordering these sandals. (I'm pretty loyal to OluKai, which makes the amazing flip-flops I've been wearing for over five years). Still, I was willing to try these sandals because they have more than 5,000 verified five-star reviews on Amazon. It's a similar story over at Zappos where they have more than 3,400 reviews, 78% of which are five-star ratings.

I also liked the price tag. They retail for $40, but the price is often even lower on Amazon. They're available in 15 different colors and fun patterns, including Charcoal, White and a Zebra design. As much as I like animal prints, I ordered the classic black style so that I could pair them with more outfits.

In fact, this was the only pair of sandals I wore on my summer vacation last week. Since I was staying at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake — a Four Diamond award-winning hotel, which is as fancy as it gets in Montana — I needed sandals that were a step or two up from basic flip-flops.

living in my Sanuk Yoga Slings at the lake
Katie Jackson

That's exactly what these are — and they're surprisingly versatile. I can sport them with my favorite summer dress to a white tablecloth dinner at a luxury resort, yet I can also wear them for lake activities like boating, paddle-boarding and fishing.

Unlike flip-flops, these have straps that wrap around the lower ankle, so I don't have to worry about losing them mid-stride. You can even wear the strap that goes across the front of your foot behind your heel (which is how I like to wear mine).

Sanuk Yoga Slings in Black
Katie Jackson

Perhaps the best part about the Yoga Sling 2 is also what I love about Crocs: the comfort factor. When I think sandal straps, I think flimsy plastic or fake leather that isn't water friendly. These sandals, however, have straps made of a lightweight two-way stretch knit fabric.

The fabric doesn't dig into my feet, which tend to swell when they get hot. Plus, there aren't any buckles to fasten or straps to tighten. You just slide these on and pull the material up over your heel. It's like putting on socks!

The footbed is also clearly designed for comfort. It's made of the same material used to make yoga mats — the thick kind that are as soft and forgiving as they are supportive and firm. Unlike espadrilles, gladiators or wedges, these sandals can cover a lot of ground without inciting complaints. One highly satisfied Amazon shopper even titled her review "68 miles of comfort in Disney World." We all know Cinderella isn't even getting .68 miles of comfort in her glass slippers.

stepping outside in my Sanuk Yoga Slings
Katie Jackson

Personally, I know my love-hate relationship with sandals is over. As long as I'm wearing these shoes, cute and comfortable don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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This article was originally published on July 7, 2020.