13 Jan 2022

Where have all the jandals gone?

From Summer Times, 10:15 am on 13 January 2022

"Everything ugly is cool now, except jandals," writes Madeleine Chapman in the recent Spinoff piece Are Jandals Dead?

When the journalist returned home to Samoa for Christmas - "the most reliable place to see a lot of jandals" - she didn't see even one pair.


Photo: Guillaume de Germain / Unsplash

Madeleine Chapman, editor of The Spinoff

Madeleine Chapman, editor of The Spinoff Photo: The Spinoff

"Having once held a monopoly on the open-toed summer shoe market here, jandals have been overrun by competitors seemingly overnight."

In 2022, the "sturdy original jandal" has become an endangered species, Chapman tells Jesse Mulligan.

She wears jandals more than anyone else she knows and at work is a very rare breed.

"There a lot of Birkenstocks in our office and a few slides. I've never seen another jandal in our office."

"When I leave the house - usually in my slides - I don't see them out on the street. I see buckles and straps and foam and leather."

Now the fashion industry has co-opted summer footwear, there are many options, yet most "don't look that great", she says.

And jandals have an integrity that's beyond aesthetics, anyway.

"Jandals are fine, they do a job. They don't need to look good, they're not supposed to look good."