Throughout my life, I’ve been drawn to the Hawaiian island chain. Born on the Island of Oahu to an Army Lieutenant and his wife, my roots were set early and deep in this island paradise. Over time, I’ve returned to Hawaii more than I can count. With each visit came a new adventure. Whether it’s diving below the water, paddling on the water or watching the sunrise ten thousand feet above the water, the tranquility of the Pacific Ocean is everywhere. Inspired by the Hawaiians ocean lifestyle, Olukai has created a line of footwear durable enough for the waterman yet stylish and functional for everyone. From flip-flops to casual shoes and boots, every product possesses a native Hawaiian name. Recently, I was able to take a closer look at the Waterproof Makoa from Olukai.

Makoa (mah-koh-ah) translates to Fearless or Courageous. Although this shoe appears casual, it is, in fact, fearless when it comes to shedding water. Clad in 100% waterproof leather and backed up with a waterproof breathable liner, wet conditions are no match for the Makoa. Engineered and tested in the wettest places on Earth, to withstand the wettest places on Earth. All without sacrificing function or style. The Makoa is perfectly suitable with a pair of khakis or jeans for a night on the town. As it is busting through brush and hiking around a rocky river bed. Featuring ‘Wet Grip Rubber’ these shoes act more like a hiking boot than a casual shoe. While I haven’t hiked the mountains of Hawaii in the Makoa yet, they are headed to Maui with me shortly. So we’ll see.

Olukai Makoa
100% waterproof leather

Wearing a size 11, the Makoa seems to run true to size. One nice feature is a wider toe box. Allowing a more comfortable fit for my forefoot and toes. Additionally, Olukai spares no expense on the insoles. Removable and washable, the substantial footbed is on par with a premium aftermarket insole. Several compounds of squishy stuff make this one of the best footbeds I’ve found in any shoe. Further enhancing all-day comfort are features like a supportive shank and contoured heel cup. Minimizing side-to-side movement and providing stability as well as natural shock absorption.

Designed to be 100% waterproof, Olukai utilizes non-wicking thread in the stitching of the Makoa. Additionally, seam sealing technology, similar to that found on GoreTex jackets, is an added step to prevent water intrusion. What impresses me about the Olukai line of footwear is the attention to detail. Details like the “Big Island” embroidered on the footbed along with corresponding topographical lines. Premium materials, meticulous stitching and high-quality hardware and laces. These are what sets Olukai apart from the competition.

Olukai Makoa WP
Image courtesy of

Makoa WP features courtesy of

  • Breathable waterproof membrane provides protection around the foot
  • ‘Wet Grip Rubber’, a specially formulated rubber engineered to offer exceptional grip in a wet environment
  • Supportive shank provides built-in comfort for all-day
  • TecTuff leather wrapping creates a rugged barrier enhancing durability
  • Non-wicking thread and sealing tape avoids pulling moisture in
  • Removable and washable, our anatomically contoured footbeds provide premium arch support
  • Our generous toe box allows your toes to spread and move naturally
  • Anatomical contoured arch support system delivering top rated comfort and support
  • Soft jersey knit footbed cover featuring an Island-inspired topographical artwork
  • To minimize side-to-side movement, our heel cup cradles the foot, providing stability and natural shock absorption
  • Polyurethane gel insert providing all day cushioning
  • Removable and washable footbed
  • Durable, lightweight non-marking rubber that will not leave marks or scuffs on surfaces of any type
  • OluKai hook logo emblem
  • MSRP $150

Olukai Makoa WP
Image courtesy of

Can a pair of shoes or flip-flops take you to your happy place? Absolutely. One of Olukais mottos is “Anywhere Aloha“. #anywherealoha is a state of mind that embodies generosity, respect, and creativity. They believe you can live Aloha wherever you are. From the desert to the mountains, from sandy beach paths to bustling sidewalks. Let Olukai take you wherever your heart desires. Stay tuned for my upcoming Maui review of the Olukai Waimea Sandal

About the Makau – Fish Hood PendantHawaiians have a deep connection and understanding of the ocean. The Makau is a fishhook pendant, which was used in ancient times to find food. During the early eras, locals would create fishhooks out of various materials – bones, wood, coral and stone. Today, the fish-hook necklaces sold represent everything good: strength, prosperity and good luck. Pendants are often made in bone, wood or jade materials. ~Olukai website