The Zalika is a great concept, and I wanted to love these. Alas, they do not quite work, and I am afraid that I will be returning mine. First off, the Zalika is unlike any athletic shoes
has ever made. The Zalika is a hybrid shoe/mule marketed as a lightweight travel shoe, kind of like their old Kipimo model. With the Kipimo, you converted the clog to a mule by flipping up the back strap into a decorative strap that went across the top. With the Zalika, the back heel portion actually folds down and that is where I ran into the first of two problems. If you look at the back heel area, you see a kind of elastic banding that goes around the heel? That banding does not go up very high. So what winds up happening, is that the banding goes across the part of the heel that sticks out the most and because it has got a bit of elastic, it naturally wants to pull down. What you really need is for that banding to be higher, so it is closer to your Achilles heel. I do not think that that would have rubbed funny, due to the give of the elastic. Instead, the banding just naturally tugs downward. As it does, the material below the banding gets pushed downward as well, and winds up getting folded up at the very end
of your heel. Trust me, this is not comfortable. The second problem is the lacing system. It looks really slick. Instead of regular shoelaces, they are using a very thin cord that is as thin as a cable. It looks really futuristic and interesting. Now, take a look at a close-up view. You do not actually tie a knot; the laces are bound together at the ends with a pull tab, and you adjust it with a cinch tab. And that cinch tab? When you push the lever button in place, it really holds the laces in place. The problem with that? The lever button is very difficult to loosen once you have cinched it down. To make matters worse, you likely will not really be able to see what you are doing (the button will be right under your thumb), and you cannot really get a lot of leverage unless you can contort your foot this way or that. There are some really good things about this shoe. I really love the breathable material. You can see how it is like netting near the front. That provides a lot of breathability, so it makes for a great summer shoe. And the soles use their newer lower profile style, so it does not look nearly so clunky. I hope they update this model, because I love the concept. Unfortunately, they missed on the execution, and what should have been my go-to travel shoes
for flopping around a resort in or wearing on a walk/treadmill, instead I am sending this one back. Too bad. It had such promise.