|Walk for Miles
The Sanuk Store is now open in
Downtown Disney, 1550 S. Disneyland
Dr. Ste. 102, Anaheim.
714.635.8400 :: sanuk.com
Sanuk doesn’t make shoes. Those closed-toe loafer looking numbers they call Sidewalk Surfers are actually sandals. And local businessman Wayne Heck can prove it.
“You can’t do this with a shoe,” Heck says, as he slips off his footwear and curls it into a loose roll. “The base for all Sanuk footwear is a sandal. They’re really a sandal with an upper [part] on them.”
“When you walk in them your foot is reacting with the earth as if you’re barefoot,” says Sanuk founder Jeff Kelley. A part of the surf industry since the mid-1980s, Kelley’s company makes sandals with comfort in mind. Which is why Heck, a friend of Kelley’s, wears his all the time.
In fact, Heck, who owns and operates the Häagen-Dazs franchise in Downtown Disney, among others, was wearing Sidewalk Surfers when he showed up for Disney’s regular business meetings. “They said, ‘Boy, would we like to get that company.’ And I said, ‘Well today is your lucky day. I know one of the owners.’’”
They experimented with a pop-up shop at Downtown Disney in 2010 and the reception was phenomenal.
“We had somebody buy 15 pairs one day,” says Jessica Franks, who manages Heck’s Häagen-Dazs shop, worked the pop-up store and will also manage the new Sanuk store. “Once you get people to try them on, that’s it.”
So when the space next to Heck’s ice cream shop became available in January 2011, Disney offered them a permanent store. The new store features various terrains in which to test out Sanuk sandals. The store also uses recycled flooring and the seating is made from materials salvaged from the previous retail store.
You’ll also find a working waterfall and a kiosk that scans your receipt, takes your photo and 60 seconds later, produces a postcard with your photo on it.
So come try on a pair for yourself. Just don’t call it a shoe.