Thursday, 26 April 2012

Kate McVaugh brought Jambu Waterbug-Barefoot on an adventure to the Golden Gate Bridge. Read below to see how the Jambu Waterbug-Barefoot contributed to her journey!

"Jambu Waterbug-Barefoot - The Golden Gate Bridge"

I grew up directly across the bay from the Golden Gate Bridge. On most days I could look out and see its vibrant orange towers spanning the entrance to the bay, yet I had never stepped foot on its hallowed concrete and metal. May 27th will mark the 75th anniversary of that glorious feat of engineering. Not wanting to fight the massive crowds that are sure to be there for the celebration, I decided that now would be a good time to visit, especially since I had just received my sexy, black, Jambu Waterbug’s.

The weather was un-San Franciscanly hot; I knew that temps would hit close to 80 degrees. It rarely gets that warm in the middle of the summer, let alone in the first few weeks of spring. Accordingly, I set out in my lightest summer clothing.

Getting to San Francisco is a quick trip under the bay on BART, (our subway), but finding the right bus to get from downtown to the bridge was quite the walking experience. As I trekked up and down Market Street and over to the very crowded Ferry Building in hopes of finding the correct bus stop, I had forgotten that I was supposed to be road testing my Waterbug “barefoot sneakers…for women on the move.” I paused to reflect on this and realized that my feet were as comfortable as they could possibly be. I gave the Waterbug’s an A+ rating for the first part of my adventure.

Eventually I did find the proper bus stop and by that time it was hot enough that I was actually getting a bit sweaty; rather unheard of in San Francisco. But my Jambu-shod feet were another story; they had remained cool and dry. More points on the Waterbug scorecard.

It took forever for the bus to get to the bridge but I quickly forgot the arduous journey as soon as I gazed onto that magnificent structure. It truly is breathtaking.

Then I stepped off the bus and nearly swore; bummer, it was freezing! It doesn’t matter how many weather reports one checks, it will always be cold on the bridge with that wind blowing in from the ocean. Then again, that meant that there was no cloud cover and I had picture perfect views of the bridge.

Stepping onto the walkway, trying to avoid bicycles flying by, I shivered and knew I had keep my head down, battle the chill and  get to the first tower of the bridge before stopping. Wind whipped through my thin cotton shirt and I gave up on trying to wear the hat I had brought. Once at the first bridge tower, I moved into a protected section and again felt the glorious heat of the day. Time to rate the Waterbug’s and that’s when I realized that although I was freezing, my feet were not. How strange; no socks, breezy shoes, and warm feet. What an unexpected find! My feet were the only part of my body that had not suffered the biting, cold wind.

It really was a magnificent day and I thought about the men who had built this structure when the weather was never this good and the winds were often much stronger. How did they do it? And that was back in 1937!

Once warmed up, I sought out a fellow tourist to take a picture of me and the Waterbug’s. I handed a willing lady my pocket camera and she took two pictures. Only when I got home did I realize that there were no photos of me on the bridge.

Although the bridge is only 1.7 miles, this was not the day I would walk the entire length, although I know that my Waterbug’s would have allowed me to do so. What I love most about the Barefoot designs is that they allow your feet to move the way they are supposed to, unlike those “sturdy” encumbrances which leave me with aching toes and throbbing soles.

Maybe one day I will get back out to the Golden Gate and walk all the way to Sausalito. If I do, I know that my Jambu Waterbug’s will be on my feet.

Kate McVaugh

Thank you Kate for your great review on Jambu
Waterbug-Barefoot! To purchase this style of Jambu footwear please click here:

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Jambu Coastline

Kate McVaugh brought Jambu Coastline sandals on an adventure to the Northern California Coast. She is also ready to take on the Golden Gate Bridge for her next journey with Jambu shoes. Read below to see how the Jambu Coastline contributed to her experience!

"Jambu Coastline"

Spring has arrived, trees and flowers are in bloom, the weather is warming up and I have a new pair of Jambu Coastline sandals. Where better to test-drive them than on the Northern California Coast?
Point Reyes National Seashore, a beautiful chunk of protected land, stretches out just north of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Hiking trails, bike paths, farms, and a myriad of wildlife lie within its boundaries.

My first stop was the tiny town of Point Reyes Station. Walking along the main street is like a lovely trip back in time. You pass by a bakery, a produce market, a feed store, quaint restaurants and art studios. It’s not exactly mountain trekking, but I was still happy to be wearing my lightweight, pliable Coastline’s as I strolled along in style, stopping off for a fresh scone and killer espresso. Then it was on to the beach.

Rolling green hills dotted with dairy farms spring up along the route headed towards the Pacific Ocean. I really wanted to get out of the car and walk among the grazing cows out in the pastures. Even on dew-dampened grass, I knew my Coastline’s superior grip would have kept me upright. I wondered if any of the cows were decedents of those from the1850’s when many of these farms were established out of a need for dairy products during the Gold Rush.

Coming over the last hill, I got my first glimpse of Drake’s Bay. In 1579, Sir Frances Drake sailed right by the opening to the San Francisco Bay, (as usual, the entrance had been obstructed by fog), and parked his ship in this smaller cove. Although tiny compared to its neighbor just 30 miles south, it is, nonetheless, a spectacularly beautiful place.

I took the Coastline’s for the real test; squishy sand and rivulets of sea water, kids dodging in and out of my path, and the chance that a stray surfboard might fly up out of the waves necessitating a quick exit. My feet held firmly to the uneven terrain, yet I never felt weighed down. Had there been an emergency, say a great white shark attack just off shore, I feel certain I could have easily dashed into the waves to make a valiant attempt at a rescue.

I am now completely confident that my Jambu Coastline’s really are All Terra functional, and will give me all day, comfortable support. I can’t wait to explore more of our endless, stunning coastline.
Kate McVaugh

Thank you Kate for your great review on Jambu's Bath Barefoot! To purchase this style of Jambu footwear please click here:

Monday, 2 April 2012

Jambu in Morocco!

In early March Chandra Baier brought Jambu Obysseys on an adventure throughout Sudan. She also gave us a sneak peak on what she had planned for her next journey throughout Morocco. Read below to see how the Jambu Stingray contributed to her experience!

"Stingrays in Morocco"
The Sudan framed                  
The Jambu Stingrays were game
To be worn again and again
Through the Moroccan sand and rain

Proximity to the snake charmers didn’t phase 
The shoes that comfortably wrapped my feet
And offered distance from the spilled tea,
Orange peels and carpet dye running beneath

Once again Jambu has pleased “mes pieds”
In the Stingrays I found comfort for long wear
Beating down the marketplace alleys,
Buying a carpet or crossing the square

They took more time to break into the grind
Of walking and walking, but the result is divine!

Chandra Baier

Thank you Chandra for your great review on Jambu's Stingrays! To purchase this style of Jambu footwear please click here:

Monday, 5 March 2012


As I packed for Sudan, I decided the best footwear was that which was tried and true. So packed in amongst my headscarves and long skirts were once again my Jambu Obysseys. These shoes had proven perfect for the desert heat a few months ago in Somalia, so why not Sudan?

Although my work would take me no further than 1 hour from Khartoum, the need for comfort was absolutely necessary and this time around my Odysseys were well broken in and accustomed to the sand and heat. When I evaluated the women’s and children’s literacy centers, my shoes had to come off at the entrance and their ease of slipping on and off really helped. An added advantage was how easy they were to locate when I returned to the pile of shoes! 

Now that I am back in Norway and packing up once again for a family vacation to Marrakech, Morocco, I am eager to try out the newest addition to my Jambu shoe collection - the Stingrays.... Alot of market exploration, camel riding, sand boarding and carpet shopping is going to take place in the next 2 weeks, so my feet need comfort and stability, not to mention the great backdrop they will offer to my Sudanese Henna painting that took three hours to draw and dry!  Stay tuned!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Jambus in Somalia

        On a trip to Somalia I knew it would be hot and I would need to dress comfortably and have comfortable shoes on. I remembered I had a fantastic pair of J-41’s that I owned almost 7 years ago, I went on a search for something similar. What I found was my new pair of Jambu Odyssey’s in Grey – comfy, sturdy and versatile enough to use in meetings with officials or on the trail. Although I loved the brown and Oreo colors, I knew the dirt and mud I would encounter would blend a lot better with the Grey, especially if I needed to meet a Minister following a particularly “dirty” day! 
       With having only one paved road that runs the length of the country, south to north, Mogadishu to Hargeisa – our vehicle had to make many 4-wheel excursions into the dry, drought laden desert of Central Somalia. The furthest destination for our team was the village Eyl, located on the Indian Ocean. Here we experienced the fruit of our labors and funding!3 While visiting the school, women’s training center, income generating activity of selling fuel, water well and 4 water points we covered quite a lot of ground.The temperature outside was a soaring 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit and the sweat would run down my face and back with the multiple layers of clothing I had on, but my feet were always dry and comfortable! The small holes and semi open nature of the Jambu Odyssey’s allowed for sand to enter but it also allowed air and that same openness allowed me to shake the sand out quickly and easily without holding up our schedule!                    
             Following a particularly large crowd gathering, when I stopped to visit a water point, shake the sand from my shoes and hold a baby goat,4 I was informed that we needed to move quickly and drink our cokes in the car, because if not, we would be drinking them in the company of pirates, who had just entered the periphery of the village to see what was causing all the commotion! On a daily basis I knew I had made the right choice for footwear. From the moment I put the shoes on when leaving my home in Oslo, Norway to the moment I returned, these were the only shoes I wore and I was just as happy on the first day of the trip as I was on the last day! Thanks Jambu for making me presentable and comfortable all with one shoe!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Step By Step in My Jambus

October 1st, 2011

I am a commuter student so while during the week I am always running around New York, on the weekends I return to my home in New Jersey and relax from the busy and noisy environment of the city. Every Saturday morning my mom and I go to the gym for a yoga or pilates class and as both are usually practiced barefoot, I thought it would be interesting to go to class in my barefoot style shoes. I pulled on my Sport Siders and got a couple of amused looks from the people in the class, but I was determined to try out my theory so I set up my yoga mat and prepared for the class. As we began, the instructor asked me to take off my shoes, yet she seemed interested when I explained that the shoes had a barefeet concept, and let me keep my shoes on. I did every exercise smoothly and soon forgot that I was wearing shoes. They flexed with my feet and it almost felt like every move was effortless. My Sport Siders made my feet feel comfortable and light and saved me from exposing my chipped pedicure.


Monday, 3 October 2011

Kate McVaugh's Experience With the JBU-404's

Kate McVaugh is a wonderful writer who has agreed to be a ghost blogger for our JBU-404's. Not to be confused with our student blogger, Kate is a writer from San Francisco, California, who enjoys nature and has shared her experience in our JBU-404 Water Ready Barefeet style with us, so we can share it with you!

My red Jambu 404 Barefoot pair arrived at the end of September just in time for summer in San Francisco. We never have much of a summer here but are often allotted fantastic sunshine and heat in September and October. My new shoes were perfect for walk in nature, so I headed over to Inspiration Point in Tilden Park. There’s a wonderful trail that wends its way over a ridge affording spectacular views in all directions. 
This was only the second time I’d worn my JBU 404 Barefoot Style and this time I paid attention to my feet and how they were holding up on the footpath. I could feel the earth beneath me; almost as if walking barefoot but without rocks or thorns to encumber my journey.

The flexible rice rubber outsole, (don’t ask me how they make that), easily bent with my foot while maintaining traction down a steep slope and over gravel and eucalyptus acorns. Then I quit thinking about my feet and started to enjoy the aroma of the trees and plants and the songs of the birds.
Generally, there are enough people around so I don’t dwell on being out in the middle of nowhere with the possibility of muggers lurking behind a manzanita tree. Then I remembered that this was also mountain lion terrain and one does need to maintain vigilance. Or rather, be prepared to act if you should chance upon a critter. I ran the safety drill through my head; make yourself big, wave your arms around, and yell. And never, ever, crouch down, and never, ever run. I decided that this was a good enough excuse to not try jogging in my new shoes.
And did I mention the fashion aspect of bright red JBU 404’s? These have to be the cutest shoes I have ever owned. One must look good even when wearing old jeans and a faded t-shirt while trudging through the wilderness. My shoes added just the right bit of style.

The first fall storms are on their way so maybe our mini-summer will be even shorter than expected. And although my shoes are waterproof, when it rains here it is always freezing cold. I suppose I will have to head to some place like Costa Rica to road test their water capabilities. Meanwhile, I still have a few more days of style and comfort both out in the wild and at the local coffee shop.
Kate McVaugh

Thank you Kate McVaugh for the great review on our JBU-404 Barefoot-Water Ready shoes! Check out Kate's travel blog at