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The Backstory: Rainbow Sandals

Outstanding Surf Sandals Since 1974

Full video 5:05


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A Good Feeling That's Made to Last

The Spark

In 1974, a California surfer named Jay “Sparky” Longley set out to make a better sandal. With $200 he bought a sewing machine and some rubber and began experimenting. He’d sell a few pairs at a time on the beach and in parking lots. After years of effort, Sparky had a sandal that felt good, looked good, and didn’t wear out. The Rainbow Sandal was what the surf community needed, and word began to spread.

A Better Sandal

In the early days, the materials and techniques that make Rainbow Sandals possible didn’t exist, so Sparky had to develop his own. His Rainbow innovations include new densities of closed-cell memory foam that form to the foot for custom comfort, military-grade webbing for straps, and the "Box X" stitch borrowed from parachute design to give the toe strap durability.

Repair, Reuse, Recycle

Keeping sandals on your feet and out of the landfill has been central to Sparky’s vision from the beginning. If your Rainbows are past warranty but still have some life left, Sparky invites you to send them back in. They’ll make repairs and donate the sandals to the homeless and victims of natural disasters, and they’ll give you 10% off your next pair.

Giving Back

After 40 years of working to build Rainbow Sandals day in and day out, Sparky’s thrilled to now be able to give back. Rainbow Sandals contributes to more than 30 charitable organizations, most of which are focused on helping kids.

Rainbow Today

Today, Rainbow puts sandals on the feet of two million happy customers every year. The company is still based in San Clemente, California, and the offices are powered by the second-largest solar panel installation in the city. For custom comfort, long-lasting durability, and authentic California style—there’s only one Rainbow.