Ready for some summer lounging shoes that keep you cool while still looking cool?
These Advocate Weave shoes from Patagonia make me want to pull out the seersucker shorts and cut some limes for gin and tonics. Besides looking good while letting the heat escape, however, they also pack down flat for travel.
The upper is basically a series of straps that cover the whole foot, made from breathable woven webbing and elastic so there’s lots of give. There’s one buckle for adjustment and a rear-pull loop that is good for grabbing and could attach to a pack or clothesline.
As with many Patagonia products, plenty of thought went into the impact of the manufacturing, with a recycled EVA footbed and insole, plus a recycled rubber sole that grips well. (On your rich friend’s yacht, for example.)
I could have done without the billboards attesting to their good deeds though: the bright orange insole with the 1% for the Planet logo is no big deal since you don’t see it when covered by your feet. But it’s joined by an equally bright orange logo pull tab on the back that cheapens the overall look of the shoes—unbecoming of their $75 list price. Kind of like pairing a Live Strong wristband with a Brooks Brothers dress shirt.
Also understand that all this light weight and packability results in some natural trade-offs. The bottom is basically the rubber sole with a thin insole on top. So this is a shoe for watching the sunset at cocktail hour, not for museum hopping or hours of sightseeing. The Patagonia Advocate is as comfortable as a pair of soled slippers, but you probably don’t want to wear your slippers for a 10-block walk on sidewalks.
I like the design of these comfy, lightweight summer shoes and they make a nice step up from my Sanuks or Keens on the fashion scale, but I’m hoping next year’s model gets more subtle with the pull strap.
Check out this gear blog’s other travel shoes reviews.