The colonization of the Pacific Islands is among the greatest human adventure stories of all time, and the feat of Polynesian wayfinding that took place between 3,500 and 500 years ago was discounted by scholars until 1976, on the grounds that ancient Polynesians didn’t have the intelligence to be master navigators. It was that year that a wa’a kaulua (say it like: vah-ah), a double-hulled voyaging canoe named Hokule’a, journeyed to Tahiti with its crew to prove that the old ways were more than enough knowledge to carry people across the ocean.
A little more than 40 years after the Hokule’a maiden voyage: the canoe took a 3-year, 46,000-mile global voyage from 2014 to 2017. Her sister canoe, Hikianalia, recently completed a 2,800-mile journey from Hawaii to California. Both have been on a mission to educate and carry a message about caring for our Mother Earth.
Even though you didn’t voyage with them, you can live the message yourself with your actions, and perhaps even through wearing OluKai Hikianalia men’s sandals (or, slippas, if you prefer the official term).
The online-exclusive, limited-edition sandals have a compression-molded EVA midsole with original laser-etched artwork inspired by Hikianalia, wrapped in full-grain leather. The anatomically correct contour provides a personalized fit and sustained comfort over time as they mold to your feet. The premium full-grain leather straps have an embossed pattern that symbolizes the ancient navigation technique of using the stars reflected on the ocean surface as a guide. The full-grain leather wrapped outsole has non-marking rubber traction pods for great grip and flexibility.
The Hikianalia sandals serve three purposes: honoring the canoe’s mission of sustainability and culture, supporting the Ama OluKai Foundation (as a portion of the proceeds from each pair sold goes to honoring those who preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage and Aloha spirit of Hawaii), and feeling really great on your feet.
The Hikianalia men’s sandals come in a tan/dark Java color combination, and list for $150 on the OluKai site.