Rainbow Sandals, San Clemente

#9 of 21 in Things to do in San Clemente
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Originally contemplated in 1972, Jay “Sparky” Longley experimented making sandals in his Laguna Beach garage. With $200, Sparky bought a sewing machine and some rubber and started his conquest: To make the world’s best sandal. Sparky first started selling sandals to Dick Metz of Hobie where he could make 6 pairs and put them on consignment—they sold and Sparky made enough money to make 12 pairs. While this Hobie consignment operation went on, Sparky also tried selling sandals in the parking lot of the Sawdust Festival. From possibly angering Sawdust operators and other paying Sawdust vendors, Sparky was suggested to move down to San Clemente where he officially started Rainbow® Sandals, Inc. in 1974.

After years of hard work, trial and error, and tenacity, Sparky was able to develop a sandal that looked good, felt great, and didn’t wear out. Sparky spent years selling this sandal and after a while the word about Rainbow® Sandals started to catch on. In 2000 Rainbow® Sandals started to experience a faster-than-ever growth in sales. In 2002, Rainbow® Sandals had to open a corporate facility on 900 Calle Negocio in order to keep up with business. Today, Rainbow® Sandals makes 2,000,000 pairs of sandals a year.

Rainbow® Sandals are created by hand, using specially formulated glue to keep the layers together and the straps in place (no more broken sandals littering our beaches). Sparky personally formulated the various densities of sponge rubber with "memory" to mold to individuals' feet (very comfortable). The reputation of making quality and comfortable sandals being passed from customer to customer is how Rainbow® has grown to be the popular sandal they are today.

"We love hearing the stories people write us about the countless miles they have walked in our sandals. All our customers say, 'I love my Rainbow® Sandals,' and I hope you will too."

• Jay R Longley, Jr
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Rainbow Sandals reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
59 reviews
  • A friend from University of Hawaii told us about the outlet and we're so happy she did. The selections are the widest you will see anywhere and Rainbow makes some of the best and most sturdy sandals.....  more »
  • High quality sandals that are durable and long lasting. A favorite of the teens in town. Nice variety of colors and styles.  more »
  • Rainbow 🌈 Sandals in San Clemente, California is one of the most popular stores in the United States. They are the manufacturer of cool 😎 California footwear. Wear Rainbows for casual occasions, to the beach 🏖 having a good time under the sun, to your friends parties and to a casual chic restaurant downtown. Popular in white for weddings or studded with sparkling ✨ crystals for a glow on dressy occasions, Rainbow Sandals are wonderful. I love ❤️ these shoes owning several pair. It takes time to break them in, but once you do you’ll never want to part with your Rainbow Sandals. Not inexpensive but well worth the price, Rainbows are completely handmade from start to finish. You’ll love the excellent customer service with friendly staff. All shoes vary from one to the other due to their handmade nature. Rainbows are fabulous I love these ❤️ awesome 😎 sandals. Note: After a chat with Rainbow, I’ve learned that water stains void the warranty and the plain styles are the most comfortable to wear. 
  • These guys are awesome. Been a customer for a long time. Just sent in a pair of flops that pulled out from the sole. I asked them to repair instead of replace because it takes a while to wear them in nice...and they did it. Got my flops back, ready to go, and really quick. Thank you!!

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