From playing year-round sports in school to semesters spent hiking in college, I’ve always been an athletic person. These days, my athleticism manifests itself most often on the elliptical machine at the gym–the curse of working 9-to-5 is that working out often is relegated to something more like a daily chore and less like a… View Article

The Cutest Walking Sandals + A Discount Code!

Season: Resort

sandals JSport (use code JOULES10 to receive 10% off a full price purchase!)
dress Athleta (similar)
jacket Eddie Bauer (similar)
bracelet street vendor (similar)
sunglasses Old Navy
earrings Charming Charlie (similar)
nails Vinylux (Gotcha)
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From playing year-round sports in school to semesters spent hiking in college, I’ve always been an athletic person. These days, my athleticism manifests itself most often on the elliptical machine at the gym–the curse of working 9-to-5 is that working out often is relegated to something more like a daily chore and less like a game or adventure. Luckily, being on vacation is an opportunity to escape from that grind. Whether its hiking miles across a city in Europe or miles through a national park, I love being adventurously active when I’m traveling.

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For a footwear enthusiast such as myself, this presents an interesting problem. What shoe is both cute enough to wear all day and comfortable enough to actually keep me on my feet, blister free? I absolutely despise wearing sneakers with anything but gym clothes. My hatred of it might be a bit extreme, but something about sneakers and regular apparel makes my skin crawl. I was considering this conundrum when Jambu, a company that specializes in footwear that is both stylish and functional, got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested in testing out a pair of shoes from their spring collection. When I saw their Jetty athletic sandals I was sold. It’s the perfect crossover from stylish to functional–especially given the hot, humid conditions I’d be hiking in during our trip to Hawaii.

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About halfway through our trip to Hawaii we made the 2 hour drive down to Volcanoes National Park. I chose this lightweight athletic-inspired dress from Athleta. While I generally find Athleta to be overpriced, I found this particular dress at Elliott Consignment, my favorite consignment shop in Chicago, and I knew it would be perfect for travel. It’s dressy enough to wear to lunch but athletic enough to wear on a hike. Plus, it pairs perfectly with these sporty sandals from JSport–Jambu’s sporty line. Check out more of their collection of vegan shoes for women.

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Knowing that temperatures can shift wildly at Volcanoes, I also brought along my trusty anorak windbreaker from Eddie Bauer. Its been a constant travel companion of mine since I bought it for our trip to Italy years ago.

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On our way to the park we made a quick pit stop at the putative best black sand beach on the island–Punalu-u Beach. It’s a unique place. The sand is rather rough and rocky compared to what I’d call normal sand, which made it a bit rough to walk on. But it was quite pretty.

After snapping a few photos of waves lapping black granules around our ankles we were off.

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I’d done some reading on the park and I knew I absolutely had to do the Kilauea Iki Trail, which is a several mile hike that takes you around the lip and right down into a cooled lava crater. We couldn’t stop snapping photos throughout hike.

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My new Jetty sandals from JSport worked wonderfully for our hike. Not only did they keep my feet nice and cool, the soles are malleable and springy in a way that really allowed me to feel the trail beneath my feet. They enhanced my experience of the hike in a way I would have totally missed had I been wearing bulky hiking boots.

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I have a confession to make. I, stupidly, didn’t break my sandals in before my first hike in them several days prior to this, and due to that I had developed a blister on my heel. It was entirely my fault–you should always break in shoes before walking miles in them. Due to that, I had to wear socks with them for this hike.

I know. I know. Is there a fashion faux pas bigger than this?

I voiced this concern to my husband, who, to my surprise, told me that the socks not only looked fine, but they actually looked appropriate with these sandals due to their athletic nature. I’m curious–what do you think? Are socks with sandals always a no-no, or do they work if worn with the right sandals?

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Anyway, enough about sandals, check out this dreamscape. I’ve never hiked in a place quite like this. It was amazingly desolate, and yet oddly beautiful.

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As you can imagine, many references to Mordor were made. I expected Gollum to leap out from behind a rock at any moment, especially as I warmed my hands at one of the steaming cracks in the hardened lava. I’ll have more details on this hike in part 2 of my Hawaii travel diary. Stay tuned!

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Thank you to Jambu for partnering on this post. Use the code JOULES10 for a discount of 10% off your full-priced purchase on jambu.com.

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