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History of Rainbow Sandals: An American Story

History of Rainbow Sandals: An American Story
History of Rainbow Sandals

The functional fashion icon that is worn by millions around the world, Rainbow Sandals, was created in 1974. Jay “Sparky” Longley started testing his sandal ideas in Laguna Beach, California in his garage. The idea came from a desire to create a sandal that would last. Sparky took product we know today from concept to completion through trial and error. In 1972 he put his idea to the test. He purchased high quality leather, using a sewing machine to make the stitching he wanted to prevent the leather from tearing, and experimented with different glues to find one with optimal strength that would keep the leather and foam layers together.

After honing in on a final product he started selling sandals in the parking lot of the Saw Dust festival. He would sell his sandals and use the money to buy more leather and glue. One of the first stores to sell the sandal was Hobie. Sparky established a consignment deal with Dick Metz. In 1974 Sparky moved to San Clemente where he officially established Rainbow Sandals. In San Clemente, he opened the original store and factory where Rainbow Sandals are produced to this day.

Mostly, Rainbow Sandals have stayed the same from 1974 through today. The single layer and double layer sandals have become staple products for Rainbow. The essential colors Dark Brown and Sierra have been around for decades and continue to be best sellers. In the late 2000s the Flirty Braidy was added to the lineup and was an instant success. Additional colors Expresso and Mocha were also also added to both Men’s and Women’s Rainbow Sandals. In 2015 the newest addition to lineup, the T-Street Rainbow Sandals , was created. It’s the trendiest Rainbow yet with its unique design yet retaining the classic Rainbow arch.

The future of Rainbow Sandals is bright with new styles set to release in 2017. This iconic brand isn't fading out as some trends do. It is the American Birkenstock that has and will be the staple sandal from California to Florida for years to come.

To find more information about Rainbow Sandals sizing and authenticity read our article here.

About IslandSurf

IslandSurf is the online store of Islanders Coastal Outfitter. Known for its world famous Pig Shirts, Islanders Coastal Outfitter was co-founded in September 1980 by high school classmates John Hambleton and Bill Neil. Islanders Coastal Outfitter now has two store locations at Portofino Boardwalk on Pensacola Beach and our flagship location at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. Since 1980 millions have experienced our laid back island style while shopping online or in store. For more information about IslandSurf and Islanders visit www.IslandSurf.com or follow us at https://Twitter.com/Islandsurfcom, https://www.Facebook.com/Islanders.IslandSurf, https://www.Instagram.com/Islanderscoastaloutfitters/ or at https://www.Pinterest.com/Islandsurf/.

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  • Jessica K.
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