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Therese Iknoian

Traveler | Photographer at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business (www.ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
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Hi-Tec Sports, which began life as a squash shoe company in The Netherlands four decades ago, is now turning out superior, lightweight, outdoor sandals — the Laguna for men and the Galicia for women. And after our initial test of these HI-Tec outdoor sandals, we’re quite impressed.

Hi-Tec Laguna Sandal in Seoul

Michael wearing the Hi-Tec Laguna sandals in Seoul, testing a fitness machine on, of all places, a mountain trail far from the city.

And they are so good and so comfortable, they have been traveling the world with us. The Hi-Tec outdoor sandals have been to three continents, several countries, over untold numbers of streets and trails, traipsing through mud, dirt and rain on both hot and sunny and cool and cloudy days. And our feet could not be happier.

What we particularly liked about both the men’s Laguna and the women’s Galicia outdoor sandals ($49.99) was how lightweight they were while still offering great wrap-around straps and foot security. It didn’t hurt that they never felt sticky or sweaty even after being worn many, many hours on hot and humid days. And the soft backing on the straps provided no-blister, no-rub comfort for all-day wear and breathability.

Hi-Tec Outdoor Sandal Galicia

Therese looking very stylish in her Hi-Tec outdoor sandals outside a cathedral in Bamberg, Germany, comparing cameras with a friend.

She has more “sensitive” feet when it comes to wearing outdoor sandals for many hours and for many miles, but the Galicia stood up to the test very well. She especially liked the great adjustability both at the front strap and the ankle strap with their hook-and-loop closures; her feet are narrow and one foot tends to need more ankle space to accommodate an instep tendon. No problem with the Galicia!

Hi-Tec Outdoor Sandal Seoul

We’re still not sure if the sandals go with Michael’s traditional South Korean garb worn at the Cultural Museum in Seoul.

He lives in sandals as much as he can and has feet that are used to taking a beating. Despite being the sandal king, he found the Hi-Tec Laguna sandal very comfy and light. His only complaint was that after several days of very hot and humid temps and wearing the sandals all day on and off trains, his feet and the sandal’s began to smell … er … slightly stale. Nothing a wash with soap and water didn’t cure – feet and sandals – but he rarely has a stinky-foot experience in sandals with antimicrobial footbeds. Still, it was not enough of a negative for him to opt for not wearing them.

There is just enough padding in the thinner EVA sole to provide protection for your feet from rocks or gravel and stave off been-on-the-feet-all-day discomfort, even on hard city streets. And the sandals cruise along on easy to moderate trail romps just fine. Still, with the open toe, realize you may end up with sand or dirt underfoot which can become irritating if you have to keep stopping to empty out your sandals.

The weight is impressive at only 6 ounces for the women’s Galicia in size 8 and 8.8 ounces for the men’s Laguna outdoor sandal in size 10.

Note that while we’ve read some wearers think the sandals run a tad small, we both wore them true to size. However our feet are low volume and in her case, narrower.

The Hi-Tec Laguna men’s outdoor sandal and the Hi-Tec Galicia women’s outdoor sandal snuggled into our suitcases without hogging weight, hiked with us, toured the town with us, and then went out to dinner with us. What more could you ask? For that reason, we are happy to award both pairs of HI-Tec outdoor sandals with our HITT Seal of Approval for travel product excellence.

HITT Seal of Approval Hi-Tec Outdoor Sandals

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