• barefootshoereview

Episode 43: Belenka Promenade

Updated: Mar 17


The Promenade sandal by Belenka is one of the many stylish sandal options available from Belenka which caught my eye, when looking for a trendy and more dressy sandal option to have my in wardrobe. I couldn't wait to try these out and see if that fit the bill for wearing as both a daily shoe, as well as for semi-formal occasions. The Promenade sandal is a premium leather, handmade sandal, available in the two colour-ways pictured below, (red and sand) they're available from sizes 36 - 43, and are suited for most foot widths. Priced at 75 EU, they are an affordable option for any barefoot enthusiast looking for a fashionable daily sandal.


You can find their website here, and using the affiliate code "thebarefootshoereview" will get you 5% off any Belenka purchases. They currently have free shipping and 14-day returns for orders exceeding 80 EU, in specific countries in the EU.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own.

Company Overview:

"At Be Lenka, we develop and produce barefoot shoes, ergonomic baby carriers, for newborns to toddlers, as well as comfortable and beautiful babywearing clothes, nursing and maternity clothes. Be Lenka company was established in 2017.


Our products are designed and made in the Czech Republic and Slovakia right in the heart of Europe under strict European Union laws related to health, safety, and quality.

Our company was co-founded by an Ex-Paralympian Ms. Lenka Cenigova, an avid babywearing mother and barefoot shoe wearer. You can read about her inspiring story about representing Slovakia in Paralympic games, her success, and her motivation behind establishing Be Lenka brand. Juraj Fehervari is the co-founder of Be Lenka, whose vision and smart business acumen has led to a rapid awareness of Be Lenka products."

Manufacturing and Sustainability:

All Be Lenka shoes are hand made in Slovakia and Czech Republic following strict European regulation.


Shipping and Returns:

As of November, Be Lenka are offering free shipping around the EU until further notice, with the following conditions:

  • The minimum order value of EUR80

  • The Free shipping offer is valid within the European Union (except Germany, Austria, UK, Cyprus, Malta, Luxembourg & Ireland)

  • The 14 days Free Returns offer (You have 14 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it) offer is only valid for orders being delivered to the below countries: Czechia (Czech Republic), Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia.

Click here for more information on shipping and returns.

Initial Impressions:

  • Well made - you can see a lot of care was put into the production

  • The colour and style is very wearable, quite trendy and I can see this suiting most of my wardrobe

  • Looks similar to a Birkenstock slip on

  • Durable sole - you can feel that the rubber is tough and will be long lasting

  • Instantly a great fit on my foot - very minimal in regards to use of materials

  • Small section of elastic on the strap of the shoe is clever, as this means that any stress on the straps whilst walking will be put on the elastic, and not stretch or pull on the leather.

Sizing and Fit:

My foot is approximately 235 mm long, with a large big toe. Belenka recommend an additional 0.5-1.2cm in addition to your foot length and had opted for a 38eu (my usual size) for the Promenade sandal, which fit perfectly. I thought the shape of the sandal fit really well too, since I have a larger big toe, I like that the shaping of the toe box followed my natural foot shape. I often find some barefoot sandals are a lot wider than my foot which can result in tripping, however these fit the shape of my foot perfectly.


If in doubt about sizing Be Lenka have a helpful page which educates you on choosing the right size with plenty of information here. However, they also note that the size chart for their differ to their usual size chart.

Performance:

The Promenade is a classic casual sandal, and isn't intended for running/athletics. It has great breathability traits and ground feel, and seems to be made exceptionally well - meaning that it'll be quite durable in the long run.


1. Upper and lining:

  • The upper is a tough quality leather which feels stiff whilst first wearing them but is really smooth on the skin. I didn't feel that they were uncomfortable at all despite the leather being thick, and there was no wearing-in period, or any abrasion

  • The footbed is also leather with a natural cushioning feel, quite comfortable for daily wearing. It is also quite absorbent which I like for hot days, your foot doesn't slip around in them.

2. Sole:

  • The outsole in my opinion is a bit stiffer than other sandals I own because it's made of a durable rubber. I quite like this because it offers a good amount of protection, however it is still thin enough to feel the ground and gain all the benefits from having a barefoot shoe

  • The rubber also has a coarse texture which ensures that they have good grip whilst walking.

3. Additional features

  • The sandal has elastic which connects the strap that goes over the bridge of foot to the sole as well as where the buckle is connected. I thought these was a clever and functional addition, because it ensures that despite the tough nature of the leather, the straps don't limit the movement of your foot when walking. It doesn't strap your foot it like other tough leathers might. I think this counteracts the sole being a little stiffer and allows for a good range of movement.

3. Weight

  • Despite the sturdy outsole and cushion insole, durable upper, the sandal is rather light. I'm not sure of the exact weight but they're very easy to wear.

Technical Specifications:

Upper: Leather

Lining: Leather

Stack Height: 4mm

Sole: Rubber

Drop: 0mm

Weight: N/A

Available sizes: EU 36 - 43.

Price: 89 EU Future Improvements:

  • Additional colours

  • Sizes above 43 - for women with larger feet

Where and how to wear:

The Promenade is extremely versatile, and can be worn with anything in your wardrobe. However, I love wearing these with a dress, jump suit or wide leg pants.

Conclusion:

The Promenade is a barefoot sandal done right, and ultimately, there is nothing I can criticise... They're fashionable, practical, have typical barefoot properties, and can be worn in a variety of scenarios. In addition to this, they're competitively priced at 89 EU, and produced with such quality that i'm sure they'll last a long time (the leather still hasn't creased).


A must have!

Jade - TBSR