Split-toed, suction cup shoes designed to provide octopus-like grip


April 2, 2012

The distinct outsoles use tentacle-like suction to give you better grip

The distinct outsoles use tentacle-like suction to give you better grip

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Apparently, OluKai Maliko is Hawaiian for funky, hoof-like shoes. The name also carries a hint of innovation. Not only do these shoes split your toes, they give you extra grip. Forget sticky rubber and aggressive traction patterns, the Maliko brings a sole that's lined with suction cups.

The first thing that you'll notice when looking at the Maliko is its double toe. It doesn't give you quite as much freedom as five-toed shoes, but the double toe separates your big toe from the rest of the pack. This is designed to give you more balance and dexterity.

The uppers of the Maliko are a cool, lightweight mesh that dries quickly. Instead of regular laces, it has a one-pull quick-lacing system that gives you quick, secure fit. Inside, a removable, water-resistant insole adds a little support and cushioning.

The real magic of the Maliko is located on the underside. A series of purposely placed suction cups are designed to give you more traction on both slick, wet terrain and dry terrain. They won't exactly propel you up the side of a building or branch-less tree, but they should make each step a little surer on sketchy, slippery ground. OluKai says that the traction soles were inspired by octopus tentacles.

As you can probably tell from the feature set, the Maliko is designed for both land and water. It's a go-to "minimalist all-island adventure" shoe if your day includes any combination of hiking, walking the beach, paddle boarding or boating. The shoes will hit the market in the coming weeks in both men's and women's versions. Retail price is US$100.

Source: OluKai via The GearCaster

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

OluKai makes high quality gear. You get what you pay for with these guys.

Hoss Cartwright

Yes I can really see the suction cups making a heap of difference - even when brand new and on glass they would work a treat - I am sure. Truly.

50K of walking on a gravel road and they would be just like new as well....

Poor choice of marketing ploys.

Mr Stiffy

How do you think this would do with parkour/free running?

Zachary Cochran

Suction cups for walking in mud? On slimy river rocks? On an icy sidewalk? That's where you really need a grip and those little cups won't help a bit.

Richard Chesher
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