- READER REVIEWS
Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, noon-6pm
Nearby Subway Stops
F at Second Ave.; B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Since 1974, this modest sandal company has stuck by its original productódurable, inconspicuous flip-flopsóearning it a devoted West Coast following. Founded in San Clemente by a surfer named Sparky (actually, Jay R. Longley Jr., but store clerks struggle to recall his real name), the brand has since been expanding steadily eastward, opening its first New York outpost in 2007. The shop retains a kitschy California vibe, with surfboards and ocean vistas adorning the walls, reed-draped lampshades, hula-girl knickknacks, and bamboo shelves piled with sandals in an array of colors. The simple, unisex flip-flop comes in three different materialsóleather, hemp, and rubberówith a choice of single- or double-layered soles for varying arch support. The store also carries children’s sizes and limited-edition styles for women, featuring chunky heels and Swarovski-studded straps, but the best seller by far is the classic Sierra leather sandal. The shoe forms to the wearer’s foot for a customized fit, and although a pair is expected to last at least two years with constant use, printed-out testimonials lining the walls (mounted beside each loyal customer’s pair of worn, foot-imprinted sandals) suggest that they last far longer.