Havaianas in Rio is like bagels for New York: A perfect match. It’s the ultimate footwear for the beach, and once a gringo gets his feet into these rubber sandals it’s very likely he will never want to take them off. Cheap, stylish and comfy.
In the 1960’s some Brazilian enterpricers saw how you could make a sandal out of rubber. Basing the model upon a Japanese traditional design they created the Havaiana. It quickly became the footwear of the masses since it was durable, cheap and comfortable. Many copied the concept and this type of sandal could soon be found all over the world.
In the 1990’s sales were going down and the company needed to do something. They then lanced the “Top” model together with some good advertising and soon it grew into fashion. From there it has exploded and today there is a multitude of models and colors in different price ranges. They are sold worldwide. The only real competitor to Havaianas in Rio is the Ipanema; Advertising with supermodel Gisele Bündchen and some cool designs has established that sandal well. The Havaiana is still clearly number one.
Where to buy Havaianas in Rio?
They are sold all over the city; In supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies and in fashion stores. Just keep your eye open, prices differ a lot depending on the model and also on the place where you buy them. The obvious place is to go to an official Havaianas store, click this link to get to their site . Here you can easily search for the store closest to you. In these you can design your own sandals with various decorations.
To get the best deal you will have to compare some stores and make sure you compare the exact same model. Below I have listed some places I think stand out as selling points with wider selections and lower prices.
Kikarnes, R. Visconde de Pirajá 224, Ipanema map, tel 2523-3625. A small supermarket with a big selection of Havaianas.
MG Bazar, R. Figueiredo de Magalhães 414, Copacabana map, tel 2548-1664. Probably the most well stocked Havaiana store in Rio de Janeiro.