Photo of leg wearing a pair of white barefoot shoes feet hanging above water

My love story with Lono

So, it finally happened! I fell in love … With shoes. I know, I know. Before you judge me for being a totally hypocritical, utterly superficial, and terribly vain human being, hear me out. After all, Carrie in one of the episodes of my all-time fave Sex and the City got even married because of her shoes. Her exclusive Manolo Blahniks got stolen at a house party and the host didn’t think it important to refund her, claiming that as a married woman with kids she had more important things to take care of. Carrie, cruising through life more or less single, or occasionally entangled in it’s-complicated relationships, after careful consideration announced that she was getting married too … to herself. This was a convincing enough argument for the host to send a brand-new pair of the exact same shoes Carrie lost. Now, do you see how important shoes can be? If you read Travel Mishmash, you know that I don’t sell anything, am against both consumerism and materialism and try to avoid the omnipresent noise of the hustle culture. As an aspiring minimalist and philosopher, I certainly do not wish to get attached to things. But I have come across an exception that’s worth it and all I really want to do is share my Lono love story with you. Let’s go!

And if you fall in love too, I have a promo code below for you!

Love comes when you least expect it

You know what they say about love, right? It comes when you least expect it.

And that’s precisely what happened with Lono.

It’s a textbook example. On one uneventful afternoon I was reading something online when suddenly I stumbled across a photo of an unusually looking shoe. I can’t pinpoint the precise moment. It was probably a consequence of a momentary scrolling mindlessness (which I normally avoid). I can’t even remember if I was looking for the shoes or if they found me. So far, however, everything indicates that it’s the latter. The next thing I knew I was on the Lono website and in awe.

Beautifully shaped barefoot shoes in bright colours for a very reasonable price were luring me like crazy.

Instantly and, for the record, totally out of nowhere, I became a die-hard fan of Lono barefoot shoes. This may sound crazy because at that point I had never tried a barefoot shoe in my whole life. I knew something like this existed but that’s all. And yet, I was so attracted to Lono’s design that it made me feel like an old barefoot shoes aficionado. I quickly looked information up, just to reinforce the feeling of a self-proclaimed expert, and there I was –

totally, hopelessly, eternally hooked.

In love with grey barefoot Lono shoe from Lono shop
Isn’t this amazing?

The right one will know what to do.

Lono seems to be the one

I can’t explain the feeling I got but it just all seemed so right. The right one will know what to do, rang in my head. And indeed, Lono knew. After this unexpected outpour of passion for a product I let it be for a couple of days – I had to cool down after all – and it almost seemed that I had forgotten about Lono.

But Lono didn’t forget about me.

On a Friday morning when I seemed to have a longer window in my schedule Lono popped up in my head and suggested that I make a beeline to the shop. Logically, it was time for a date face-à-face. The shop is tucked in one of the mercilessly steep up-hill streets of the eclectic Sheung Wan neighbourhood, so getting your pair feels like a reward right from the start. This means that you will probably enter the shop in an already elevated state after the mandatory step climbing work-out. Add the Hong Kong heat and you are done for.

Lono makes me laugh too

Upon opening the door, sweaty and breathless, I dropped my bag and tried to look as unfazed as possible by the unforgiving steep hike. But it didn’t seem to work. As I turned around to start the process of trying my size of Lono I noticed this nice guy nonchalantly standing at the counter, propping against the wall, making a comment about the heat – at least I think that’s what he said, I wasn’t fully conscious yet as I was still only catching my breath. But working on autopilot I managed to crack a joke – that’s just me! – that I was hoping to buy my shoes at once so that I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs again. He responded that the brutal hike was Lono’s smart marketing strategy. Now we both laughed and the first thing I thought was A Hongkonger with a lovely sense of humour, quite unusual in these waters, if you ask me, and I was beginning to lose control.

 A foot dressed in a white barefoot Lono shoe shot from a higher ground with the red Hong Kong taxis as a background
It matches with everything, even Hong Kong taxis!

I still don’t get it, Lono!

From that point on I got great service from trying different colours to valuable insights on the ideal size. He also showed a great deal of patience when explaining the availability and delivery. I came for the grey-&-white combo, but it wasn’t in stock. Grey was to be preordered but white was available and could be delivered immediately. ‘Sorry, come again?’ I heard myself saying. My brain was producing lots of chemicals but very few grey cells, so I needed to hear it a couple of times. This slowness of thinking , totally involuntary of course, didn’t throw the guy off. Nice touch! Once I was able to fully grasp the suggested course of action, we quickly dealt with placing my order. It seemed all so seamless that I had a deep longing to find out his name, but my remnants of logic stopped me, thinking how weird it would be if I asked a shoe seller for their name. That’s not what we typically do, right? To my defence, these are not your typical shoes either and for me this certainly wasn’t a typical shoe-buying experience. But I listened to my inner voice whispering that

if it’s meant to be, my relationship with Lono I mean, I’d find out sooner or later anyway

Within 15 minutes I left the shop full of positive impressions. Not only the shoes but also the staff are lovely! I raved inwardly as I was enjoying the downward walk for a change.

At this point one thing was clear to me, I was sinking deeper into my desperate gimmicky infatuation.

Lono has me waiting

Now there was the waiting time. For the whole weekend I was anxiously expecting my Lono pair, replaying the whole experience in the shop, returning to the website constantly, devouring pictures and reviews of barefoot shoes and essentially growing more and more attached. The last time I felt a similar dose of excitement was probably when I was 10 years old and my parents allowed to me to go to a 3-week summer camp for the first time in my life. The guy promised delivery though SF Express, apparently the most reliable service in Hong Kong, by Tuesday. I had high hopes for receiving them on time, or even earlier. Honestly, three days seemed like an eternity to me! I spent my Monday practically unable to loosen the grip of my phone, dutifully expecting a call from a delivery man. But I waited in vain. When at 4pm on Tuesday I realised I was still completely Lonoless, I grew a bit anxious but also weirdly excited.

This was a solid reason to contact the shop!

Feet wearing white barefoot Lono shoes with legs stretched in front of my body with boats and sea as a background
Stay levelheaded, okay?

Smooth operation

Lono kept the bar high by replying almost instantly. After an email exchange, I found out that the guy’s name was Ben (yaaay!) and once I put a name on the face from the shop, I was getting even deeper into my Lono obsession. It turned out that there was an error in my phone number so the delivery was returned and had to be reattempted. I enjoy love stories with peripeties, don’t you?

I enjoy love stories with peripeties, don’t you?

Ben handled everything with ease. While my anxiety was rising not only because of the unexpected waiting time but also because of an upcoming trip home where I pictured myself hiking in the forests, walking, and driving with Lonos and the idea of not having them was too difficult to bear, he remained calm, professional, attentive, and responsive. Within the next couple of days, the sensation arrived, and

I could finally hug my white pair of Lonos in my arms!

No kidding, I really did that. I was ecstatic but it was nothing compared to the feeling I got when I first wore them. I was walking on cloud nine!

I was walking on cloud nine.

Reflecting on my Lono addiction

In hindsight when I reflected on the whole situation with the order hiccup I thought about my attitude, and

it occurred to me that I behaved slightly irrationally.

When we emailed with Ben, at some point I even dropped the word refund should my shoes not arrive on time. It seemed unnecessary I thought later on, especially because I would be totally lost on my trip without my pair of Lonos and couldn’t even fathom boarding the plane without them. But as they say, I couldn’t help it, it was stronger than me. I was screaming Where are my Lonos?! on the inside while Ben on the other side was probably thinking I was a complete lunatic. I guess my out-of-control infatuation is my only solid excuse for being so pathetic.

Ben, I hope you understand it’s all your fault!

Feet wearing white barefoot Lono shoes against the background of boats and a local transport boat arriving nearby
From any angle I look, I am hooked!

So, what’s the lure?

Falling into Ben’s smart Lono trap is very easy. Originally, I thought that Lono was an international brand and Ben was a locally appointed vendor. But I did my homework and it turned out that Benjamin Hui was not appointed by anybody. He is the inventor, creator, designer, owner and mastermind of the eco-friendly Lono shoe complot. What’s more, Lono is a pure Hong Kong brand. I am not a Hongkonger but it made me feel proud. In a crowded metropolis where waste management sucks one must simply say hats off to start-ups like these!

Benjamin Hui with his Lono shoes. Love this combo
Ben in his element

What’s not to love about Lono

As for me, aside from admiring Ben for designing such a great shoe, there are many reasons to love Lono Flow. Not only are they beautiful, elegant, and super comfy shoes but they tick plenty of other, to me very important boxes. They are

biodegradable,

sock-less,

odour-resistant,

washing machine washable (though I will still use hands as I wouldn’t put shoes into a washing machine. Thanks Ben anyway!)

In addition, Ben doesn’t overproduce, which means you will need to wait for your favourite pair. Another great strategy of his, I suppose?

Be happy with what you have

The white pair of Lonos that I managed to snatch while most colours were out of stock or completely sold out totally convinced me of the quality of the shoes. After a couple of days of proud wearing them, I am happy to announce that my slightly irrational and highly emotional attachment to them is truly justified. Aside from the fact that they are super chic and can be worn with all kinds of styles from casual to smart, each step feels like a blessing. Honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on a grey pair too! Could this, perhaps, be another urgent reason to contact Ben again? I am also super excited to see what other colours Lono has in store, secretly hoping though that the amazing Lono Flow Green will be back too!

‘Don’t let me down, Ben, okay?’

Love the Green barefoot Lono shoe
A colour to die for

So, here you go, guys. This is my most recent love story. I know that last time I expressed similar feelings here, the object of my infatuation was an island. It seems I am progressing in a strange direction with my love life, but the truth is I can totally picture myself walking in Lono on the unique Malaysian island, and basically anywhere. I also seem to have rediscovered my dormant penchant for hiking in Hong Kong and can’t wait to test these shoes in nature and on every possible surface. This love must go deeper, so bring it on!

Closing my Lono love story

I can’t really tell you if barefoot shoes are the right choice for you – though my feet and wardrobe are definitely thanking me!, but I know that Lono and I seem to be made for each other. It’s a match I wish to cherish for as long as possible, which makes me think that if Lono managed to impress me so much, it might do so with you too.

Lono can be yours too

If you think Lono speaks to you, and you want to, aside from looking fabulous, contribute to creating an

affordable and sustainable barefoot culture,

you can get a 10% discount if you purchase it using my promo code LONOTRAVELMISHMASH or you can get your Lonos with the 10% discount using this link.

And now if you excuse me, my dear friends, I gotta go. I’ve got some exquisite walking to do!

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