An ancient proverb says, “There is nothing new under the sun,” but the innovative company Sazzi has perhaps created something new for under your feet. Their new Digit sport sandal is definitely something different.
Sandals have been done before—since ancient times actually, and more recently by older men wearing black socks—and while a few companies have managed to stay hip and cool and even create a hard-core following in the outdoor world, Sazzi is looking to break in with something new. The Digit is definitely innovative, with four toe posts for stability, and an articulated platform with separate surfaces for your toes. Five finger sandals anyone?
Our immediate impressions of the Digit were mixed—some of the molding seemed to have missed quality control standards, and we wasn’t sure what to make of the polyurethane coated strap. On the sole, Sazzi’s InfinitiWeave non-marking, triple density outsole seemed overdone and busy. The first time I put on my testers, after short period a joining in the ankle strap began to chafe. We were not off to a good start.
Last year we tested Teva’s Zilch, a super-minimalist sandal I desperately wanted to love. It was heartbreak when the ankle strap—hmmm—chaffed me into giving them away. Oh, but for some polyurethane cushioning! Would the Digit suffer the same fate???
The short answer: no! The more we wore the Digits, the more we liked them. A Band-Aid in place—I was out of moleskin—to tame the chaffing problem, our other tester and I started tackling daily life, amphibious usage, walks, and then light hiking…and suddenly my affections for the Digit were growing!
The footbed material perhaps is what first won me—I simply love it. It offers great grip between foot and sandal, wet or dry. It just feels good under foot, staying cool in hot weather and drying with admirable speed. While many sport sandals get clammy under your foot and stay moist, the Digit dried quickly—and never lost its great feeling.
The polyurethane coated microfiber straps also looked dubious to Becki, our other tester, at first, but she noted the purpose whenever the Digits got wet—which was often. The busy InfinityWeave outsole performed well, wet or dry, but we speculate from the wear our testers show that the little mini cleats might show wear pretty quickly.
I think the troubles we saw with our Digit testers are teething pains—signs of a new company with a new product getting the bugs out. The wear from the ankle strap I now chalk up to break-in period, and the wear of the outsole seems acceptable. The compression molding that lacked a bit of fine detail/quality control hasn’t proven to be an Achilles Heel—the sandals held up well to testing and didn’t split apart or anything.
At $100 on their website, Sazzi’s Digit is squarely targeting premium sandals from companies like Chaco. We’d like it if they were undercutting an established giant of a player in the sport sandal world, but you can make the argument that Sazzi’s technology is every bit the equal of the big boys—they just don’t yet have the experience. Yet. If you love sport sandals, you must check out Sazzi’s Digit, but the real test will be with their next product evolution, when I expect them to match up squarely with the very best in the world—with an expectation of taking home a class win!