The Feelgrounds Seaside is a unique and attractive sandal for everyday wear. It features a cork topper with antibacterial qualities, uses quality canvas in its construction, and is light and flexible for all kinds of ocean, and non-ocean, adventures. If you are looking for a comfortable everyday sandal that stands out, read on for my review of the Feelgrounds Seaside!
From the Manufacturer
Feelgrounds Seaside is the ideal minimalist unisex barefoot sandal for everyday wear. When creating this model, we have focused on natural and breathable materials. The cotton used for the straps is soft yet durable, and the cork used for the insole provides a very comfortable feel against the skin of your feet. Just like all our other models, Seaside is 100% vegan.
Seaside’s sole is made of durable rubber material with a flat profile. The sole is very flexible and, of course, completely zero-drop. The sole thickness of 7 mm / 0.27 inches allows you to feel the ground beneath your feet, yet it is thick enough for a comfortable walking experience on asphalt and other hard surfaces.
With its anatomical fit and flexible zero-drop sole, Seaside is the perfect unisex barefoot sandal for your summer. Natural materials like cork and cotton let your feet breathe while looking casual and stylish. Seaside has an adjustable heel strap with velcro closure and an elastic band on the instep to provide an excellent fit for various foot shapes.
The Feelgrounds Seaside uses a brand new rubber outsole that seems to be exclusive to this model. Prior soles from Feelgrounds were a very flexible and tacky rubber that while were comfortable to wear, they were not the most durable against scuffing (a new sole material is out, so wait for an updated review of the new sole rubber for their shoes!)
This new sole is denser and much more scuff-resistant. After wearing the Seaside almost exclusively for an entire summer, there is minimal wear and I found the sole to be reliable, durable, and provides adequate protection from rocks, pebbles, and roots.
This sole is a bit denser than Vibram Gumlite and Newflex. The closest analogue I can think of is the FeelTrue sole from Xeroshoes. This sole is pretty thin at roughly 3mm or less (the added layer of cork brings the total stack height to about 7mm), but is a bit heavy for that level of thinness. What you get in terms of benefits is good flexibility and protection. However, the sole is also a bit slappier than softer rubbers, so running will be loud for most users. This is not necessarily designed to be a running, sandal, but I believe that all good minimalist sandals should have some running chops. If I am extra careful about my form, I can be silent, but quick dashes in a parking lot to catch a frisbee or leisurely jogging with my dog will yield some sandal slap. I suppose you can say that this would be a good form trainer; if you are silent, you have a correct, quick, and snappy running form.
The bottoms of the sandal feature an organic dimple pattern that reminds me of river stone. This texture is a nice touch and while it does not really provide an extreme amount of traction, it does make for a very nice-looking sole that can handle more than your standard nearly-bald Morflex sole.
Keep in mind, I am a huge fan of Morflex soles and wil climb trees, jump around dry rocks and other activities quite happily with them. This Feelgrounds Seaside sole is more capable and will provide more protection from sharp objects, thanks to its denser construction.
I found the sole to be dexterous enough to do tree poses on everything I could stand on and was able to run up rocky areas in Gloucester and Marblehead, MA with zero issues whatsoever; I was actually faster getting up a cliff than all of my friends with their converse, nike, or other foot coffins.
Overall, this sole is excellent for most activities, including trails, hiking, and parkour with the sole caveat being that running will be louder than other sandals, so being keen on running form is key.
This is a new company, but they are quick to innovate with new designs and models. They also seem to be good at responding to feedback with fast updates to models, including the new sole for some of their shoes and better waterproofing in their boots.
This is a lovely sandal! I was very happy to see a new, contemporary design coming from Feelgrounds. There is such an easygoing, casual look to them and the many colorways really allow to show off your personality and have some pop with outfits. These are not basic black nylon sandals, they are—dare I say—attractive and fun!
I really enjoy the look of the Seaside. It has a decidedly unisex look that ventures a bit on the fancy side of things, but everyone should be able to pull of these sandals, especially in their favorite color. Naturally, I chose the standout red and got many compliments on them in my travels.
The uppers are a dense-weave cotton, and the top is quality cork. These natural materials are breathable, and cork is anti-microbial, so your feet will be less smelly this summer! After wearing cork sandals for much of the summer, I really enjoy the feeling of the material under my feet and have been looking for more cork top sandals for running and kayaking.
The stitching is excellent throughout the sandal and everything has a neat and tidy look to it. Straps flow naturally into each section, and this gives a polished look to the Seaside.
Fit and Materials
I am a huge fan of the Velcro straps on the Seaside. They are made a bit denser and plushier around the heel for better stability and security. This rear Velcro strap is excellent and is probably one of the better ones I have enjoyed in a sandal. It is comfortable and secure, but is also minimalist and clean-looking with no excess strap or fraying. I set the Velcro strap ONCE and never again. I simply insert my feet into the sandal, pull the heel section up, and I am good to go. It has never slipped or required adjustment after many weeks of walking, hiking, some running, climbing, paddle boarding and other activities.
The upper straps are fixed, so there is no additional Velcro to adjust here. For my feet, the fit is excellent, but if you have taller or shallower feet than mine, there might be an adjustment period in getting a proper fit.
Over time the cork top has darkened a bit from my feet, but I did find that following instructions on the Feelgrounds website did clean them up a bit. They will never look good as new, but that gives them character. Much like the leather tops of Shamma Sandals, I enjoy seeing the shape of my feet start to appear on the top of the sandal. This demonstrates that they are well enjoyed and used. I did notice that I catch the front lip from time to time and that part of the cork has lost some material, but I just ignore it. If I wanted to, I could probably take some sandpaper or sheers to it and clean it up a bit, but it does not bother me and is just part of the character of a sandal that is made for adventure.
My one personal issue is with the toepost. The toepost itself is fine and does its job as something that goes between your toes and keeps your feet in the sandal. My issue is with the cotton strap that leads down to the toepost. I found this section to be a bit too wide and long and it flaps on my toes each time I lift them. This is a minor issue and I eventually got used to it, but it did tickle my big and index toe a bit. I think that subconsciously, it affects how much I lift my toes because there is an obstruction to their maximum angle with this cotton strap resting on top of the toes. I think that the straps could fold into the button at the top of the toepost instead of having the toepost button stuck on top of the top strap with some overlap in front.
For sizing, Feelgrounds provides measurements for all sizes and a printable sizing PDF for finding the appropriate size in terms of foot length. However, I would like to see a full-on template that can give buyers an idea of the shape of the shoe along with the sizing. This would be helpful for different feet shapes and splays. Still, this is better than most shoes and sandals on the market, but just a tad behind the most informative minimalist sandals.
Sizing is pretty spot on for my wide feet. Zero overhang and toeflex is comfortable. Straps are comfortable and hug my feet nicely in all activities.
I enjoyed my time with the Seaside a lot! It would be great to see a more minimalist toepost area with less overhang, but I understand that that is part of the look. Tucking the cotton top strap into the toepost button would not interfere with the design language of the sandal, while allowing for more toe freedom.
I am not sure what can be done about the little bit of cork scuffing I experienced. Perhaps thicker cork, but that would make the sandal too thick. Perhaps I should be more careful, but it does not really bother me at the end of the day.
I am a big fan of the Seaside and it really surprised me how much I enjoyed them. I tend to look for more spartan-looking sandals for most activities because I like to be as minimalist as possible and do not care too much about how things look, but it is pleasant to have a sandal than can do many adventures, while giving a pop of color and a modern look. It is a huge plus that this is an entirely new sandal design that is totally unique.
I found myself grabbing the Seaside more and more throughout the summer and fall. I am a big fan of the red color, the stand-out looks, and the fun aspect of the sandal. It exudes chill vibes and I look forward to more models from Feelgrounds.
If you wanna check out Feelgrounds, use my affiliate link and maybe they will send me more shoes and sandals to review for the community!
Feelgrounds sent me this Seaside Sandal for free in exchange for an honest review.