Product Review: Sandugo Tootega

One of the newest products from Sandugo, a local company known for its sandals, is the Tootega—a footwear somewhere in between sandals and shoes.  It offers the lightness of sandals and the protection offered by shoes.

First Glance

The Tootega comes is available in three colors: black, brown, and blue.  While it isn’t really as eye-catching as similar products on the market, its price makes it a very practical choice for those on a budget.  The craftsmanship of the product is good but could be much better, especially in the choice of materials.

The Test

My Tootega got the ultimate test during the recent TNF100 Philippines held in Sacobia, Clark.  I got a pair to complement my trail running shoes, specifically for the numerous river-crossings along the trails.  While it was not my intention, the Tootega performed surprisingly well that I used it for the entirety of the 100K trail route.  Here are my thoughts on the product:


  • Excellent traction.  Tootegas have excellent traction on soil, mud, and surprisingly even on pavement.
  • Easy lacing.  Tootegas use a lacing system that is easy to tighten or loosen, like a crude version of TNF’s BOA.
  • Price.  Similar products are easily double the price of a pair of Tootega making this a very cheap alternative.


  • Design.  Not as eye-catching as similar products but not really an eye-sore.


  • Comfort.  Sandugo have been known for their comfortable sandals so it was a big disappointment that this wasn’t brought to the Tootega.  Tootegas are very rough—it’s not comfortable which was probably the biggest fault of this product. It also feels hot which could probably be attributed to the materials used.

Survival Tips

So how did I survive 100 kilometers on an uncomfortable pair of footwear?  An excellent pair of socks.  The soles of Tootegas are hard—any cheap sandals on the market could be softer, so a good pair of socks helps a lot in making this product “bearable.”  For the first 60K I was wearing a pair of Nike Run Fast socks which dries fast and was excellent for river-crossings.  This pair protected my feet for that duration but due to some unforeseen circumstances I was running without any socks for the next 30K.  This resulted in record-breaking number of blisters for my feet (which swelled after the race).  I had an opportunity to put on my Nike Pro Cushioning socks for the remaining 10K of the route and that made running with a Tootega more manageable.

Better Than Sandals

Trails present many hazards to your feet that sandals can’t protect you against.  My Tootega took the damage that the trails brought, instead of my feet.  While trail or trail running shoes can also offer the same level of protection (with much better comfort) Tootegas are much cheaper so the collateral damage is less.

Sandugo Tootega in action
My brown Sandugo Tootega in action


Sandugo Tootega are excellent if you’re looking for an affordable pair of trail shoes/sandals with excellent traction on most surfaces.  It’s for those that you could say are “hard-core” or those who like it “rough.”  If you’re looking for a comfortable ride then better look elsewhere.

Product Rating: Good

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Pare, you used this for your 100km trail run? Wow! How is it now OK pren? How much this cost? I’m intrigued a local manufacturer can develop a nice trail shoes going by your description. How much uli? Heheheh

    The Running Ninja

    > Yes I used it the entire 100K. Sandugo Tootega has an SRP of P1,995.


  2. bobun says:

    do you think this shoe can survive a mountain trek? let us say mt. apo? what u think?

    > Well it survived 100K trek of Sacobia, Clark, maybe it can but I haven’t gone to Mt. Apo so I can’t be sure.


  3. tagabukidph says:

    surprisingly, my tootega survived the punishment when we conquered the trails of the mt. ugo traverse under sunny-then-rainy weather… no chipped portions whatsoever…

    i intentionally bought my black tootega to put into this test and what can i say? it passed with flying colors… even my companions found it hard to believe that my tootega made it with hardly any scratch and they were definitely impressed because of this…

    thanks for such cheap but nonetheless above-okay product, sandugo!


  4. Tom D' Biker says:

    I just bought a pair (colored black), which I shall be used mainly for biking. I immediately used it and it’s good, so far.


  5. Tims says:

    hi, do you think the artificial rubber solepads can help to cushion my soles?


    1. dhenztm says:

      I think it may provided that it fits your feet well and also your shoe.


  6. Ark Andrada says:

    wished i brought a pair or two with me when i left Pinas… haven’t time to buy… just have my sandugo backpack, sandals and slippers with me…


  7. trot says:

    tootegas are being called shandals according to their website (way way better than their old website). i heard it can be worn in 2 ways, like regular shoes, where you just put your foot inside and lace it up or you could step the back side of the shandal like a ‘slip on’. how convenient is that..


    1. dhenztm says:

      I haven’t tried wearing it as a sandals so I can’t comment on that. I’m not sure if it’s safe for them to use the word “shandals” as adidas was already using the word (which may also hold trademark) before Sandugo did.


  8. fernando pre of Baguio says:

    i prefer the storm slippers/flip flops as it is open and easier to use and they are real tough as it has no cloth for straps plastics but all tough rubber, these twister tends to make your feet warm which makes your feet sweat, those holes doesnt help much, i know you dont want walking on sweaty feet, squishy!Sandugo i think is phasing out their tootegas, im currently using my second set, first pair i bought in Marquee Mall Pampanga, didnt have no warranty, the cloth lining on the left side of my right shoe ripped itself a hole,
    went to mr.quikie to have it patched and didnt like the way it look so it got tossed out its still somewhere around our bodega, the tootega (brown )im using right now (purchased around november)
    has cuts on it arounfd the cloth linings at the back, a hole thats becoming bigger on the side , the strap at the back wont stay tight , it just looses itself a after 4-5 steps (you can try tying it but its not supposed to be, ) but im still happy i have it, proud that im wearing something thats says Philippine brand all over it, hope they could improve on that tootega though, like a philippine style Merrell, im sure we could shave more for something that offers more.


  9. Rah says:

    I have the same shoes. I use climbing mountains and boy it is tough. I have to agree with you that it is not that comfortable, but for the price you pay for it, it’s a bang for your buck. Mine is still working din. Great traction. Highly recommended.


  10. nice….will check that item, already planning to buy one to replace my old shoes used for mountain climbing ^_^ sayang wlang color green lolz


  11. edwinnaruto says:

    aside from hiking & mountain climbing. is it ok to use sadugo sandals in sports like table tennis for non-skid?


    1. dhenztm says:

      I think it’s still best to use sports-appropriate shoes. If you’re having your game on dirt it’s probably okay. 🙂


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