The Aurora is a cute shoe, with excellent arch support as I would expect from Orthaheel. The size 9 was a very good fit on me, all the way around. (For reference, I am a size 9-9.5, Medium. My toes are somewhat wider than my heels.)
The Aurora appears to be well-made. The synthetic strap has a lovely, rich, antique pewter finish to it. The sole
feels as supportive as any Orthaheel sandal I have tried.
The Aurora looks good on my feet. The strap flatters my flat feet with its design and color. The shoe works well with most jeans, shorts and skirts in my closet.
I really liked the Aurora, and I wore it around my apartment for several hours. I was ready to commit.
Then I tried on the Orthaheel Dhyana I had ordered the previous week. (Leather straps. Nubuck footbed. Ahh...)
I realize that it would not be helpful for me to make a direct comparison of the two shoes
, given the difference in materials. I am not going to bash the Aurora just because it is not a leather shoe. I already knew that going in.
That being said...after comparing the two sandals side-by-side, the Aurora's synthetic upper, particularly the strap, felt hot and stiff to me.
Proper support is critical to the comfort a shoe provides; however, the comfort of the ENTIRE shoe must also be considered. This includes the feel and fit of the shoe's
uppers as well as the shoe's
support. This is why I gave a comfort rating of 4 stars instead of 5. (Mind you, I only wore the Aurora while puttering around my living room and surfing Zappos. I really don't know how the uppers would feel after a day out in the real world.)
I hope the Orthaheel folk continue to introduce more leather into their line of sandals. This is not about being a leather snob. Give me a well-made vegan purse any day. I am all for the performance-quality materials in sports shoes
including Orthaheel's sports sandals. Even the classic Tide flip-flop works because the fabric upper keeps it comfortable. However, for COMFORT in most styles of shoes
, including sandals, leather is the material of choice. We just want happy feet!