Durability: The Target sandals are synthetic materials with rubber soles, and the Gap ones have real leather uppers with rubber soles. I know most of us will be quick to assume leather = higher quality, however there’s certain perks to a lower-maintenance material like faux leather. The more delicate leather on my Gap pair seems to scuff and even unravel fairly easily, as shown below. I’m also careful not to wear them out in the rain, in case the leather will show water stains or spots. My Target pair from years ago, however, have survived splattering around in puddles and clumsy stumbles with nearly no visible wear…
Fit: As mentioned before, the sole and straps of the Lakitia run a bit wider. I also don’t get why they made every whole size except sz 5, and decided to shortcut that one with a combined “5 – 6.” I usually wear 5-5.5 and this size does fit, as my feet tend to swell in the summer heat. If you have very narrow feet, one thing I’ve tried in the past is to line the inside of the front strap with the same foam tape used to make rings fit smaller, and that should keep your feet from slippin and sliding around. The Gap style fits a little narrower throughout and the sz 5 is fitted on me. I think the thinner ankle straps and narrower cut on the Gap look more refined, so always pick those for slightly dressier outfits.
Comfort: Both styles were very comfy for me right off the bat, with no chafing or discomfort at the ankle straps (usually a big concern). However both are flat styles with little support, so although these are great for strolling I wouldn’t recommend them for heavy duty tourism or long journeys. The Gap pair has a little cushioning plus a slightly higher stacked heel, so they feel better on the arches in my opinion. Although the Target pair has less support, its thinner soles are more pliable and feel light as air when running around.
In other news, a reader shared that J.Crew now carries 000 regular (not petite) in select styles. I haven’t tried so I don’t know whether it actually fits differently than before, or if it’s a historical 00 re-labeled a number smaller like they’ve done before. The new size does sounds a bit nutty, especially considering ~15 years ago those measurements were probably tagged a 4 – 6! My friend offloaded a pile of “vintage” J.Crew into my willing arms (I must say, most were spectacular quality, not to mention made of all silk, wool, cotton composition back in the day…) and the women S’s fit nearly like kids clothes.