Vionic Tropic Hayden Review

8.1
8.1 score
[Editors rating (8.1)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.1)/10


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Editor rating: 8.1 / 10
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“Less is more”—it’s a cliche saying, but it’s true. When it comes to fashion, some people like to go for the bold, the shiny, and the bedazzled. But the truth is, sometimes a minimalist style is better. It’s more versatile, more suitable for different occasions, and has a more refreshing look. As the weather warms up, why not choose the Tropic Hayden sandal by Vionic as your footwear for the upcoming summer? This pair captures the elegance in simplicity. What’s more, it is comfortable, supportive, and provides stability. Though it has its flaws, it’s still got plenty of great aspects. Without further ado, here are some of their features explained in more detail.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Simple and refreshing
  • Slip-on design
  • Hugs arches and heels
  • 1.5 inch platform
  • Grippy outsole pattern
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not adjustable
  • Casual wear only
Color

Color

Starting with their appearance, the Tropic Hayden sandals come in four different colors. Each color gives a distinct vibe that makes it suitable for different styles. First, we’ve got cherry, which is bright and eye-catching. It’s a cheerful color that’s perfect for warm summer days. Next, we’ve got natural snake, which fans of animal print are sure to love. This is the only option that’s not a solid color, but a pattern, and though also eye-catching, it is of a much darker style than the previous one. The last two color options are toffee and black, both of which pretty neutral compared to the first two and would look great with both bubbly and fierce outfits. As for the color of the platform outsoles, cherry and toffee have beige outsoles while black and natural snake have black outsoles.
Comfort

Comfort

Because of their simple straps and platform design, these sandals are very comfortable. Many women’s sandals, especially sporty ones, tend to have a lot of straps running across the vamp and around the ankles. Though they may make the sandals adjustable and keep the foot securely strapped down, they may also rub against the foot and create uncomfortable friction that can cause blisters. The dual crossing straps on this model are flat and smooth, minimizing the likelihood of uncomfortable friction. What’s more, the boost in height is provided not by augmenting the heel height, but by adding a thick platform. As a result, your foot stays relatively flat rather than being strained so that you are essentially walking on your tiptoes. This helps you stay comfortable when walking and standing, and in the long run, it also reduces the likelihood of foot, ankle, and knee problems.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Like we just mentioned, these sandals don’t have any straps beside their dual crossing straps across the camp. Not only does this make them more comfortable, but it also makes them slip-on. It takes about half a second to get them on your feet before heading out the door, and zero time is wasted on tying laces or adjusting metal buckles. This convenience may not be as much as an advantage as it may seem, however. Because of their informal open-toe style and their platform soles that aren’t the most walking-friendly, they can’t exactly be used as go-to shoes for every occasion. If you’re running late for work, for example, you can’t exactly wear them just because they’re convenient. They seem more suitable for the summer time or for vacations, in which case you’ll likely be able to spare half a minute to sit down and put your shoes on, anyway.
Materials

Materials

Two different upper materials are offered. The toffee option has a suede upper while the other three color options have leather uppers. Both are flexible and comfortable against the foot, though suede tends to be softer and has a fuzzy texture. The footbed is made of microfiber, which is a very fine synthetic yarn. In fact, its diameter is less than ten micrometers and less than that of a strand of silk, and as a result, the fabric it weaves into is incredibly soft yet tough. When used in the footbed, it gives the wearer a soft and slightly cushioning underfoot feel that keeps the foot comfortable. Finally, the platform outsoles are made of lightweight rubber.
Size

Size

“We work very hard to keep our sizing consistent across our collection, and most of our styles fit true to size.” This is what Vionic has to say with regards to the sizing of their products. However, if you want to double-check, they recommend that you take a look at the fit tips on their website. They also offer shoe conversion guides that let you match the measurements of your foot to its corresponding shoe size. Though not all of their sandals come in half sizes, these ones thankfully do. However, keep in mind that because their straps are not adjustable, you may end up with straps that are too loose or too tight, both of which will result in discomfort. Again, this goes back to the disadvantages of not having adjustable straps.

In terms of breaking in your footwear, Vionic recommends that you wear their shoes for just a few hours a day for the first few days. This allows your foot to adjust to the feeling of the shoe, as well as for the shoe to adjust to your foot. By one to two weeks, you should be good to go.
Stability

Stability

Like we mentioned before, these sandals give you a little boost in height not by increasing heel height, but by increasing platform height. As a result, your entire foot is elevated, not just the heel. This keeps your foot relatively flat and stable when walking and standing. Evidently, the stability is still incomparable to sandals with no heel or platform at all, since those keep you more low-profile. But if it’s a race between heeled and platform sandals, these would undoubtedly win. In addition to that, the rubber outsole features a grip pattern to provide better traction, preventing slips and reinforcing stability.
Style

Style

“Simple and sweet” would be the best (albeit cliche) way to describe this pair. There isn’t a lot going on in their design. The main points that stand out are their 1.5-inch platform heel and their thick crisscrossing straps. There are no complex straps, no adornments, and no embellishments. As a result, they are nice and refreshing to look at, and also give an impression of maturity and modesty. At the same time, their open-toe and slip-on design let the onlooker know that you know how to have fun, too.

We recommend you wear this pair for casual occasions. They would look great for things like days at the beach and informal parties. Though semi-formal dress codes accept peep-toe shoe styles for women, this model shoes more than just a “peep,” so we would not recommend them.
Support

Support

Vionic is well-known for its orthotic product. According to MedicineNet, the word “orthotic” means “a support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of movable parts of the body.” Orthotic footwear is therefore meant to correct foot problems such as over-pronation. Though the Tropic Hayden sandals may not be considered orthotics, they are still made by this reputable manufacturer that always keeps support in mind. For instance, they’ve got a deep heel cup and an enhanced forefoot contour that hugs the curves of the foot to ensure full contact. This way, the weight applied from each part of the foot is evenly distributed. What’s more, it provides arch support for better foot alignment and walking comfort.
Care

Care

The disadvantage of leather and suede is that they are difficult to clean, at least when compared to synthetics. With synthetic footwear, you can clean them with water, paper towels, and even detergent. They tend not to change from getting wet and are known to be low-maintenance. Higher quality materials like leather and suede, however, also require higher levels of care. To clean the uppers, it is advised to use a dry cotton cloth to wipe away dirt or dust. Do not use cleaners with acid or detergents because this may cause premature aging of the leather. On a regular basis, make sure to keep the leather uppers away from direct heat such as sunlight, as they would dry out and potentially crack. Lastly, if they get wet, allow them to dry naturally.
Value

Value

When you see the price tag on this pair, you might be driven away. We admit—for a pair of slip-on sandals, they are pretty overpriced. The fact that they are so simple and plain makes them seem even less worth their high cost. It’s true that Vionic’s footwear tends to be slightly pricier than the typical lifestyle brand because they are orthotic and are made to be not only stylish but also biomechanical. But Vionic’s orthotic technologies are not featured in this pair. What’s more, this pair costs more than some of Vionic’s “more” orthotic sandals. We recommend you purchase this pair only if you’re sure you’ll love them, or by looking in different places on the internet to find yourself a better deal. We should all treat ourselves to nice shoes on occasions, but there’s no need to break the bank for it!
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Vionic’s Tropic Hayden sandals are great for a simple style. Their dual strap design and platform heel come together to create a clean, refreshing, and minimalist look. What’s more, they are also comfortable and supportive. The wide leather/suede straps are flexible and supple, and the footbed is biomechanically designed to hug the contours of the foot and provide maximum support. The platform heel keeps the foot flat and stable. As for practicality, their slip-on design renders them ultra-convenient.

Their main flaws are their lack of versatility and expensive price. Their open-toe design makes them too casual for formal and even semi-formal wear, so they should only be worn on casual occasions. They are also overpriced if you buy them at their original cost.

We recommend this pair for casual summer wear if you’ve got enough in your budget for them. They would look great paired with maxi skirts or with denim shorts, and their breathable design makes them ideal for hot sunny days.