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Where Are Olukai Shoes Made? (With Pictures!)

Finding information about where Olukai shoes, sandals, slip-on, and other footwear are made is not an easy job because there’s nothing on olukai.com (there is some minuscule data, but I rely more on real user findings and less on what the company says), not any presented hint on any of their social media account. So, what to do? It was challenging to find facts, but after a few hours of researching I come up with the actual answer of where your loved Hawaiian Olukai shoes are made.

I managed to contact with Olukai Experience Team and they deserve our applause because of such an in-depth explanation that you can read in this article under the heading ‘My Chat With Olukai About Manufacturing’.

Manufacturing Countries Of Olukai Shoes/Footwear

Olukai shoes and other footwear are designed and developed in their headquarters located in Irwin, California but manufactured in China and Vietnam. There may be some pairs made in the United States but after reviewing many people – all say that all the Olukai shoes that they have received are made in China or Vietnam.

Olukai shoes are made in China
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None find a Made in USA tag which is not so good because takes such a high price. I think Olukai can manufacture their shoes in these Asian countries for around $15-$20, indeed they are making filling big pockets. However, as the branch of shoes is very large, that’s why you can find Made in USA shoes, but that would be a nickel and I doubt that you’ll find them so don’t waste your energy. Positively, even though they are made in China and Vietnam, the majority of Olukai shoes are of good quality.

On a good note, Everyone who orders Olukai from the US gets their shoe shipped by the distribution centers located in Chino, California. Whereas, all EU orders get shipped from Wateringen, Netherlands.

My Chat With Olukai About Manufacturing

I contacted Olukai via mail but I won’t waste your time discussing what I’ve asked, so here’s the needed detailed response from Jay. Enjoy Reading!

Aloha,

Thank you for contacting OluKai and we appreciate you reaching out to us! At this time, we are temporarily suspending international orders. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Currently, we manufacture in China and Vietnam. We have extremely open and transparent relationships with all of our factories (only 3 currently) which is not the case with all companies, but it is something that we take a lot of pride in.

A livable wage and GOOD working conditions are only a couple of the expectations we place on our factories when we audit them. We go through audits with each and every factory prior to our consideration of working with them. We check factory technician pay, we check their living spaces/dorms, the cantina, ensure that those who live away from their home towns are receiving 3 meals a day, are given amazing recreational and social opportunities, are given bus passes to work if needed and ensure that medical care is always available if needed. No one works over the legal overtime limit. We also adhere to the mandatory annual pay increases imposed by the government (similar to our own minimum wage increases) which we do pay for in the cost of our shoes and sandals without passing it along to our consumers.

In addition to that, we try to use water-based adhesives where possible, but factories always must have employee protection like appropriate air circulation, eye protection, face masks, and appropriate ventilation and waste management.

It is a top priority for OluKai to partner with factories that put their employees first and it is something that we take seriously. We not only do this at the factory level. We do this at the material supplier level as well.
It is in our best interest to support the entire supply chain in this way as it does not make sense to have this expectation on the back end if we aren’t buttoned up on the front end also.

We are always looking to improve the support of our partners abroad as well as the hundreds of employees we have here in the U.S. We really do appreciate the feedback of our customers as without them we would not be here today. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and wish you the very best.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions and have a great day!

Mahalo!

Jay M
Aloha Experience Team

A Short History Of Olukai

Olukai was founded in 2005 by Bill Worthington and Matt Till (source) to create footwear that stores durability for ocean lifestyle, and waterman, and is rooted in Island culture, style, comfort, and craftsmanship. Since then, the brand practices the idea of giving back to the community and sustainability.

Fast forward to 2014, Olukai became a Certified B-Corporation to formalize its business practices. In the same year 2014, the Ama OluKai Foundation. is founded as a private and non-profit 501 (c)(3) in the state of Hawaii. The motive of this foundation is to work towards the well-being of the ocean and land, serving communities, and maintaining Hawaiian culture and tradition. We fill a niche by providing premium leather sandals that can be worn in place of dress shoes, to support a laid-back island lifestyle,” says Worthington (source).

Market Served By Olukai Shoes:

Currently, Olukai shoes are sold all over the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. You can also order from a few other countries (if available) from global shopping platforms like Amazon by paying import duties.

There are many ways to buy your Olukai shoes, slip-on, or sandals like Department stores listed in the Olukai store locator, online stores like Amazon, Zappos, Nordstrom, Dick Sporting Goods, Rei, Moose Jaw, Walmart, and eBay, etc.

Why Are Olukai Shoes Made in China?

They made Olukai shoes in china because china offers varied opportunities for the shoe industry, which include – low labor costs, different quality standards by cost, a potentially larger workforce, great infrastructures, and much more. China takes about 50% of total footwear manufacturing worldwide.

We can elaborate on dozen things but the only reason Olukai along with other brands like HOKA, Brooks, and Merrell have some manufacturing in China is their ability to produce high-quality shoes while keeping the cost low despite having shipping charges, import duties, and quality control.

Why Are Olukai Shoes Made In Vietnam?

I think that there are more Olukai shoes made in Vietnam than in China (I could be wrong). I don’t think they believe in the squandering of opportunities that lie in Vietnam. The country is one of the largest footwear manufacturers in the world. Not only that, it accounts for over 10% of total footwear export worldwide. And, it is just a start, due to the availability of good quality raw materials, convenient shipping logistics, value towards sustainability and craftsmanship, and above all these there are little to no duty restrictions when exporting from Vietnam I think Vietnam has a good potential of manufacturing high-quality shoes.

You can mimic the idea of the rise of Vietnamese shoes by the fact that it is the third largest footwear manufacturer, producing an average of 920 million pairs, 800 million on average get exported to other countries. Thus, there should be no doubt why Olukai shoes are made in Vietnam.

What is Unique About Olukai Footwear?

Olukai stands for three words: style, durability, and comfort from heel to toe. Frankly, I don’t think it is a unique motto as every shoe company is trying to provide the right blend of these three to some extent, at least. Though there is a handful of distinctive traits that the shoes of this brand have.

The most crucial part of all Olukai footwear is to present and honor the island or Hawaiian culture with handcrafted details and authentic artwork. The functional feature that I want to admire is the barefoot design of their sandals which are made in such a way that when you walk on the beach, you’d feel like walking barefoot. Anatomically crafted footbeds provide the right mixture of instant comfort and lasting support.

When it comes to their shoes, they work on three main things – which other companies also do: The heel, arch, and toe. Olukai footwear they have Heel cups to provide shock absorption and minimize side-to-side movement. Anatomically crafted arch for comfort and stability. And, the toe box allows your toes to spread and move naturally.

Is Olukai Certain That Chinese & Vietnamese Shoes Good Quality?

See, I don’t want to push my ethics here as how a company selects a manufacturer varies depending on their goals, sustainability approach, and budget. For this matter, directed the olukai.com and found some interesting quotes about their manufacturing quality which I think are worth mentioning.

  • They scrupulously selected materials for quality, durability, and softness.
  • Committed towards quality, that’s why who crafts them matters.
  • Olukai seems to be clear in how durable the footwear is that they provide a 1-year guarantee. However, deterioration from water exposure is not covered for the brand that is geared towards the beach, mind it, readers.
  • Materials are selected based on three qualities: tactile, high character, and durability.
  • While premium leathers are selected based on smooth finishes, organic textures, and warm tones.
  • Olukai also abides by sustainability by using only recycled rubbers in the outsoles and sourcing leathers only from iso-14001-certified tanneries.