Verdict from 6 experts and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Almost every user was happy about how comfortable the sandal was.
  • A large number of buyers admired the Teva Original Universal for the soft fabric used on its upper.
  • Many wearers lauded its minimalistic design. It was easy to wear, a user said.
  • The sandals’ versatility allowed most people to use it on a multitude of activities—from everyday use to hiking on the trails.
  • Numerous purchasers, including a few fashionistas, fell in love with the looks. An individual mentioned that the sandal went well with every outfit.
  • It has a spacious and breezy design. Several adventure-lovers wore the footgear during explorations, especially in hot desert climates.
  • Some individuals pointed out that the sandal fits perfectly on their wide feet.
  • Experts were more than impressed with the sandal’s lightness.

2 reasons not to buy

  • According to a few disgruntled users, the sandals came apart after only a few weeks of use.
  • Some owners found the ankle strap too short. The Velcro pulled away when they started to walk.

Bottom line

With its stylish looks, soft fabric and a spacious build, the Teva Original Universal proves to be a wise choice for most individuals looking for a versatile footgear. This lightweight sandal features a minimalist design. While the pair is best suited to light activities such as walking, it may be worn on not-so-challenging trails in hot climates. A few wearers, however, were dissatisfied with the durability and the design of the sandal. 

Tip: see the best hiking sandals.

Good to know

  • The Teva Original Universal is a hiking sandal that renders comfort and versatility. Its Durabrasion rubber and triangular tread pattern make the outsole wear-resistant and relatively grippy.
  • The ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole is both cushiony and responsive. It is also resilient to abrasions. The open-toe construction with polyester webbing and Universal Strapping System of the upper allows a secure, breathable and comfortable stride. Fine tuning the fit is made easier by the hook-and-loop closure.

The Original Universal is a hiking sandal for men and women. It uses a hook-and-loop closure for easy on and off. The straps have multiple points of adjustment for a customized fit.

This multi-sport sandal from Teva features the Durabrasion rubber outsole. It creates a balance between performance and durability. The triangular-shaped pattern on the underfoot contributes to the traction and maintains a stable footing on various ground conditions. Moreover, this rubber outsole is flexible and lightweight.

The Teva Original Universal midsole is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. This material is elastic, eco-friendly and resistant to hardening. Likewise, it provides cushioning which absorbs stress from impacts for a comfortable ride. EVA does not absorb water hence, allowing the sandals to dry quickly after getting soaked.

The breathable, open-toe construction of the Teva Original Universal features polyester webbing for its upper. This material is known for its high tensile strength and resistance to abrasion. It also has a soft feel to it despite its strong resilience. This water-ready webbing allows the pair to dry quickly and does not promote the development of mildew.

The patented Universal Strapping System, which includes a toe strap, heel strap and a lateral strap, is also featured in this multi-sport sandal. It aims to retain the feet while engaging in activities without compromising comfort. The lateral strap prevents a significant change in tension during flexion.

  • The Teva Original Universal is vegan-friendly.
  • Teva recommends hand washing the sandals using warm water and mild soap. Use a soft bristled brush to remove dirt build up on the grooves. For a deeper clean, carefully bend the sandals to expose the grooves. Do not machine wash.
  • To remove persistent odor, try Teva's recommendations:
  1. Mix one cup of antimicrobial mouthwash with two cups of water. Allow the sandals to soak for 15 minutes then scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Air dry.
  2. Immerse the sandals in a hot or chlorinated tub for 15 to 20 minutes. Scrub, rinse and air dry.
  3. Put the clean and dry sandals in a plastic sealing bag and freeze overnight.
  4. Apply a layer of baking soda on the footbed and allow to sit for 8 to 24 hours. Strengthen the odor-neutralizing effect by putting them in a plastic bag after sprinkling baking soda.
  • Depending on how often the sandals are used, Teva recommends washing them every two to four weeks.
  • The Universal Strapping System was patented in the year 1988.
  • It is a classic silhouette.


How Teva Original Universal ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 24% hiking sandals
All hiking sandals
Top 18% Teva hiking sandals
All Teva hiking sandals
Top 27% multi-sport hiking sandals
All multi-sport hiking sandals


The current trend of Teva Original Universal.
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Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.