Thatcher’s new sport sandal company, Sazzi Footwear, offers a sport sandal featuring six points of contact, including four “toe posts” similar to Vibram’s FiveFingers providing better connection with the ground. The company, which calls the design “Toe motion footwear,” maintains that each toe is able to move independently, rather than as one unit.
“It’s offers a very barefoot feeling to the ground and terrain,” says Sazzi CEO Brett Ritter.
The company has two models in its initial line-up, including the Decimal, a four-toe post flip-flop, and the Digit, which comes with a heel strap.
Thatcher, a former river guide on the Grand and elsewhere, was the brainchild behind the original Teva (note: does not rhyme with Steve-a), which featured a heel strap for navigating canyon and river country. In designing the Sazzi, he researched Anasazi sandals, which he noticed came with two toe posts for rocky terrain to stabilize their feet. This became the inspiration behind the new footwear…Sazzi…which have four posts. Thatcher, and his former Teva colleague Ritter, hatched the idea on a surfing trip.
The multiple toe posts, Thatcher said, “gives you a feeling of connectedness.”
“The footwear industry is more open to new innovative ideas and products than ever before,” he says. “We see an opportunity to bring some fresh new thinking to the playing field in technical footwear.”
Adds Ritter, who went on to become REEF’s Vice-President of Product with more than 20 years of experience in the footwear industry: “Mark and I had some longstanding aspirations and goals left unfulfilled from our past endeavors together in the footwear world that we wanted to bring to market and get on peoples feet. Sazzi is the vehicle for that innovation.”