Is it me, or did Rainbows fall out of favor about five (or so) years ago? I can count three pairs that I owned between 2001 and 2010, but didn’t re-up when that third pair needed to be retired. I moved on to Havaianas, and even bought a pair of Chacos. Sure, you still saw Rainbows around, but they just weren’t as prevalent as they once were. There was a short stint where ‘fancy’ sandals became a thing, which has thankfully backed off.
Anyway, the other day I saw a guy walking into High Country wearing a pair of Rainbows. They were the acceptable single layer Sienna Brown style, and they looked GREAT. They had just hit that good, broken-in look…the sole probably had about a year’s worth of wear and had darkened significantly, and the straps had a good case of fade out.
That got me thinking…why did Rainbows essentially disappear from the #menswear ethos? They hadn’t done anything wrong… My thought is that they were a little too much of the ‘frat’ culture, and hit too fast. And with most things in that cycle, once everyone has a pair, they move on to the next thing.
They are comfortable, they have a good value proposition, and they patina as good as anything out there. Some excellent examples:
And don’t forget: they start out like this:
Here’s the thing: I am back on board with Rainbow. Maybe I’ve come full circle, whatever, but I’m ready to pull the trigger again. I really dig the American made thing, especially the Birdwell-esque, old school California surf vibe. After doing a tidbit of research, I found out that they make 2,000,000 pairs of sandals a year. That is nuts. Here’s a little history and the back story on the Rainbow Sandals:
I don’t have any skin in the game with these guys, but I wanted to plant my stake in the ground. Consider my pair of Sierra Brown single-layers ordered.
Images: Google Image Search