Brands Part Two

Piper Sandals:

Been ten years, maybe more, and even longer that I was thinking about them… They used to be only available from Dave Piper himself, all handmade, in San Antonio, in Dave’s garage. Truly, a garage business.

Last I heard, the business was still run from that garage, and it was still a family business. The sandals aren’t available in any normal retail setting, no storefront. Can’t go to Shoes R Us and try on a pair. However, they do sell in various outdoor, typically weekend, festivals, through the countryside.

Ask me about what kind of grind that is.

The sandals themselves, I’ve written about this elsewhere.

They sandals are tough, durable, and reusable. Anything breaks, including straps chewed up by the dog? Free replacement.

For years, I’d send the one pair off to get reworked, and when they came back with the new soles, there would be a handwritten note from Dave, signed with “walk well.”

Last time I sent them in for a broken strap, the sandals were reloaded, too. With the note, as well.

I loved my first pair of Teva sandals. Made by hand, basically a flip-flop with a velcro ankle-strap. Engineered by river guides in Colorado who cranked out the stock in off-season. Lasted a while. However, these days, the brand name is all that is left, and the product feels cheaper. Besides, I’d wear through a pair in less than a year.

I broke down, caved to marketing pressure, and bought that first pair of Piper’s. Been more than ten years, now. I own two pair, even. Old school and updated slip-on model. The regular is for every day wear and the slip-on is perfect for travel, like air travel.

The over-all image is one I’m familiar with, no storefront, web page and weekend festival circuit. Basically, a single product, various shades, but just one item for sale. Expend the effort to do one thing well.

Yeah, another brand that I’m loyal to, but the product speaks for itself. I’ve walked on them for more than a decade now.