Gear Review: Tootega Shoes by Sandugo

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gear review

Tootega by Sandugo May 28, 2009

Tootega

Overall Rating: star star star star star (2.5 out of 5 as of Jan 2010 - this is my final rating as the product is now retired)
Maker: Sandugo - Hardcore equipment for hardcore outdoorsmen
MSRP: P1,995.00
Outlets: Chris Sports, Hahn Manila, Olympic Village, SM, Toby's, Habagat, Kamikaze
Date Acquired: April 18, 2009
Frequency of Use: almost daily

Disclosure
This unit was personally given to me by the owner of Sandugo. He's also a friend. I told him I can start off this Gear Review Section on his latest product offering, the Tootega. But I'll say it like it is...if it's bad, I'll say it's bad...no hard feelings. But if it's good, I'll also say it's good...and why it's good. He said "no problem".

    Features (company claim)
  • ultra light all-weather sandals
  • integrated with AeroVent uppers, EVA midsoles, Suregrip sticky rubber outsoles with water drainage system
  • Quicklock retention cord
    Intended Use (company claim)
  • kayaking, trail-running or trekking
  • can be used either as regular sandals or as slip-ons
    thumbs upPros
  • compliant sole (like a flip-flop)
  • open mesh body (great ventilation)
  • no-fuzz lacing system
  • glove-like comfort
    thumbs downCons
  • none so far
    wish listWish List
  • perhaps it needs an anti-bacterial inner sole since most users won't use socks with it

Verdict
With its light, open-mesh and adjustable heal strap with no-fuzz lacing system, I use it almost everyday. I like it's removable inner sole - washable! It's very comfortable and it would be great for kayaking, given it's water flow-through design. But I wouldn't use it for trail-running or trekking. It's not built to withstand such rigorous demand and it doesn't have enough cushioning property to withstand the high impact of running. Yes, I would recommend it as a substitute for outdoor flip-flops or utility scandals. So far, I've had no problems with it. I like this pair and I'll continue to rate this on a long term basis.

UPDATE: (Jan, 2010) The glue holding the shoe together failed. The glued parts came apart in less than a year of mild use. The shoe is now retired. While the Tootega shines in just about every aspect of what it's designed for, it fails in Product Construction and Reliability. From an initial 5 stars, I now give it 2.5 stars.

--- TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

Job 'Dodoy' FaminialagaoJob 'Dodoy' Faminialagao (Sandugo founder and president)
(Aug 2, 2010) We will make review on the glue we used in Tootega and will improve on our next shipment.


Manman DejetoManman Dejeto
(June 9, 2009) I feel bad that Sandugo is selling a product that's a "photocopy" of Salomon's TechAmphibian shoes. I admire local firms helping out outdoor enthusiasts by offering gear at affordable costs, but this time nababahala ako with them selling 'pirate' copies. Naiintindihan ko that the shoe is a good performer though, my pair from Salomon lasted for almost four years. At times I was wearing it almost daily. Rain or shine, I wouldn't care a bit since I knew my pair could survive the torture.

Had to retire my pair in 2006 after climbing Mt. Pulag. The mesh sides were already too torn to look decent, I brought it out of retirement though for a week in 2007 when I visited Sagada.

Pretty good shoe, I would say. I just hope Sandugo's copy is as robust as the original ones.

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