Photo courtesy of Kino SandalsA comfortable pair of island sandals is a must when visiting Key West; with so much to see and so you’ll wear them in quickly. Kino Sandals is a historic part of Key West, with roots dating back to 1966 when Roberto "Kino" Lopez brought his talent with him when he fled Cuba after Castro's revolution.
All of the sandals sold at Kinos are made using natural leather uppers and rubber soles, and are then assembled by hand in the Fitzpatrick Street factory by master cobblers. This allows the sandals to absorb the shape of each individual's foot. Perhaps the most amazing part is the price: most women’s and men’s sandals are priced around $12-$15.
You can watch them being made in the factory by "sandaleros,” the old-world sandal maker, and pick out a pair (there is a vast selection) that is right for you. On the way out the door, feel free to toss those old flops and strap on your Kinos. The store has now included an online-ordering system in case you return home and decide that one pair just isn’t enough. Freespirited Kino Sandals
Photo courtesy of Kino Sandals
The shop can be a little difficult to find, but it is right down the street from Captain Tony’s Saloon. Call ahead to verify the hours - especially on Sunday. If you can, go early. The place gets mobbed when the cruise ships come into port.
Kinos Creates Handmade, Inexpensive Sandals
A forgotton craft is not lost in Key West
By Amber Nolan
About Amber Nolan
Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite places are Iceland for its remoteness; Panama for its parties; and Peru for its history. Her work can be found on MSNBC.com, Frommers, and Sherman’s Travel, where she served as the Cruise Editor and Senior Producer. She is currently working on a comic novel about her shoestring travels as she hitchhikes on airplanes across the country in an effort to visit all 50 states. See Jethiking.com.
Read more about Amber Nolan here.