Quick Take: Rottua Sandals Creates Unique Sandals From Old Bike Tires


We like recyclers and we have a particular appreciation for bike product recyclers. Tires is an area that needs attention because if we all combined our pile of used bike tires together, we may have a pretty good sized mountain. It’s so cool to try new bike tires since they’re affordable and can significantly impact the way our bikes climb and descend. But what do we do with our old tires? We think we are going to use them again, especially the ones with good tread but most probably, we’re not.

And is there a worse feeling that stacking a bunch of tires and tubes in the garbage can? It feels so wrong as they’re useful products and they occupy so much space in the bin.

And what about these new wheel sizes? What are we going to do with the old tires as we move from one wheel size to another? Any guesses on how many ‘old wheel size’ tires are about to get thrown in the landfill?

So Rottua is here making handmade sandals in California from old tires and tubes. It’s a valiant cause worth supporting. They’re active in many events like Sea Otter, Downieville Classic and Tour of California as they collect old tires from any of the event participants.

They’re also taking the recycling and reuse mantra to heart in all their company materials. Shipping boxes, display stands, product tags and holders are creatively made from scrap materials. Through all this, they still maintain a clean and attractive branding image, punching holes instead of printing logos for example.

We’ve been using the MTB Headlands model for a month now and it has awesome build quality. The sole has nice grip and the straps are snug yet comfortable. And of course, the hallmark is it looks awesome and is a great conversation starter at the trail head. Each sandal is unique as they use whatever tire is available for materials. Riding buddies are envious and the bike nerds are able to quickly identify the brand/model of tires used in the sandal.

It is expensive at $80 but it is not far off from high quality sandals. The sizing is a hair small compared to the industry and there are no half sizes available. The MTB Headlands that we tried has a hard sole and we really wish for more cushioning as our sore and sensitive feet need all the TLC they can get.

So on your next sandal purchase, consider Rottua. At the very least, don’t dump your old tires and tubes in the trash bin.

MTB Headlands Product Details
  • Treads for sandal straps and print on toe bridges will vary per order***
  • Color scheme of sandal will match as shown**
  • Vegan friendly, performance Ultrasuede for upper lining and footbed
  • Arch support
  • “Snug Fit” design
  • Natural rubber in each sole for added flexibility and comfort
  • Dual density, foot molding, EVA footbed
  • 100% handmade in California
  • MSRP $79.95

What They Do

ROTTUA represents reusing, recycling, and repurposing. We created a network with local bike stores throughout the Bay Area and beyond who believe in the mission of keeping tubes and tires above ground.

We collect, sort, and grade each tire from local bike stores and donate reusable tires to local charities.
We recycle and extract rubber from old bicycle tires. Every ROTTUA Sandal sole is made in California using recycled rubber and a special blend to perform and endure longer mileage.
We repurpose and hand-select the best quality tires and tubes for sandal straps and toe bridges which makes each pair unique.

For more information visit www.rottua.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • goyo says:

    I think big picture and am quite aware of consumer power when buying something. I support local business, made in USA, and gravitate towards companies that have an awareness of our planets resources. That said when looking to replace a pair I looked at these sandals. I was really surprised by the cost. I have found high quality sandals for less than half of what these cost. The idea and practice of recycling is wonderful, but if it costs so much to produce a product is it worth it for the consumer? My last pair cost $30 and are going on two years, I can’t do $80 no matter how nice they feel on my feet or the impact on the environment.

  • azman says:

    if want buy..how..i am from malaysia.

  • James says:

    I’ll do the $80 price tag a bit reluctantly – but they would have to be made of the tires I request. I think that’s not too much of a weird request for the price.

  • Joules says:

    I agree that $80 is a bit steep, 1/4 that is about what I’d consider paying. These also don’t seem to have much recycled material other than a couple inches of tire in the worst possible place (a slick tire would make a lot more sense there, IMO). Why not, for example, make the tread out of a mtb tire?

    Seems like a cynical attempt to cash on norther cali eco-guilt more than an honest effort to reuse or recycle.

    • Evil E says:

      Because then it would create another thing for picky opinionated mountain bikers to argue about. “My Bronson tread sandals are better in hard packed walking conditions than your than your Racing Ralphs!” God…can you imagine?!?

  • Ben says:

    They gonna leave some fat tan lines. Would you make a slim line road bike tyre setup? Similar thickness to the trusty havaiana’s

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