3 Best Teva Hiking Sandals

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
3 Best Teva Hiking Sandals
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In the realm of hiking sandals, Teva is among the top brands that never fail to impress. On the other hand, the meticulous process through which we were able to handpick Teva’s cream of the crop is equally flooring. We invested a lengthy period of time puzzling out which pairs are deserving of our vote to be on the top.

We have tested Teva hiking sandals while outside hiking and while inside, in our lab. We have selected the best ones in different categories. So, whether you need a super-affordable sandal or an agile hiker that can also be used in a variety of outdoor pursuits, we got you covered.

How we test hiking sandals

Have you ever come across gear reviews that seemed too biased? At RunRepeat, we swim in the opposite direction and toward objectivity. The points that follow detail our approach:

  • We use our own funds to purchase Teva hiking sandals.
  • We put every Teva hiker through a series of tests both on and off the trail. We gauge each sandal’s comfort level, durability, and performance—from cushioning and shock absorption to surface traction.
  • We take everything to the next level by splitting the shoes in half and checking even the littlest details. We also whip our tools out to measure, weigh, and score the various parameters of the shoes.

Best Teva hiking sandals overall

What makes it the best?

Rock-solid stability, a durable, sticky outsole, and ample, plush cushioning make this sandal stand out from the crowd. After extensive testing in the lab and out on the trail, we can confirm that the Teva Hurricane XLT2 is the best overall Teva hiking sandal.

Sandals by nature have a wider platform for added stability in lieu of ankle support, and the Teva Hurricane XLT2 is no exception. In fact, it measures 2.1 mm wider than average at the forefoot and 1.9 mm at the heel. The raised arch and contoured footbed are like a hug for our feet, and keep our feet feeling supported and stable all day long.

The grippy outsole is a real treat, biting on loose gravel and both wet and dry rock and loose gravel. Our measurements show the lugs are far more substantial than the average hiking sandal, coming in at 3.5 mm compared to the average 2.5 mm. We applied a Dremel to one of these chunky lugs at a pressure of 3.2N at 10k RPM. After 22 seconds, our tread gauge showed there was only 1.4 mm of damage, so we expect we will be getting a lot of use out of these sandals for a long time to come!

The plush midsole is ultra-comfortable, cushioning our footsteps and keeping our feet happy all day. We pressed a durometer to the midsole and found it to measure 21.6 HA – an incredible 63% softer than the Teva Original Universal! 

With a high stack height and a heel-to-toe drop of 11.9 mm, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 feels more like a hiking shoe than a sandal. We don’t recommend this sandal to hikers who prefer a more grounded, barefoot-like experience.

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • Well-cushioned
  • Supportive footbed
  • Durable for the price
  • Grippy outsole
  • Customizable fit
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No toe protection
  • Runs a little large
Full review of Teva Hurricane XLT2

Best lightweight Teva hiking sandals

What makes it the best?

With a classic, no-nonsense design, this sandal fits in everywhere, from the city to the beach and trails. This featherweight sandal is well-cushioned and durable, making the ultra-versatile Teva Original Universal the best lightweight Teva hiking sandal.

When it comes to weight, the Teva Original Universal is literally without compare. Tipping the scales at just 6.3 oz (179g), it’s 3.7 oz (109g) lighter than the average sandal. It’s so light that we could almost forget that we had anything on our feet! The low stack height and 2.1 mm drop contribute to the almost-barefoot feel.

We found the cushioning on this shoe is plenty for short, light hikes on well-maintained trails. In the lab, we measured the stack height at 15.9 mm at the heel. Compared to the average of 25.4 mm, we feel much closer to the ground. The firmer-than-average midsole offsets the minimalist sole by being a bit firmer - and therefore protective - than average. Our durometer measured 35.1 HA as opposed to 28.4 HA for our other lab-tested sandals. We felt supported and didn’t worry about stepping on sharp rocks.

Despite its thinner sole, this sandal still surprised us with its durability. We pressed a durometer to the outsole and measured 84.8 HC, which is around the average for sandals. The 3.6 mm outsole is thicker than average by 0.7 mm. Altogether, this sandal has a decent shelf-life and won’t wear out too quickly.

In our stability tests, the Teval Original Universal proved itself lacking in support. Our force gauge measured a minimal 7.0N required to push the sandal to 90°, 64% more flexible than average! There is very little to stop our feet from twisting or rolling on uneven terrain, so we don’t recommend it to hikers looking for a supportive all-terrain hiking sandal. 

Pros

  • Featherweight
  • Versatile in use
  • Comfortable strap system
  • Affordable
  • Cushioned for short hikes
  • Durable
  • Over 20 colorways and designs

Cons

  • Lacks traction
  • Texture is felt underfoot
  • Back strap is not adjustable
Full review of Teva Original Universal

Best floatable Teva hiking sandals

What makes it the best?

We cut open Teva hiking sandals in the lab, submerged them in our water excursions, and discovered Hurrican Drift to be the best floatable sandal. It’s super lightweight, super comfortable, and super supportive — satisfying the adventure-seeker’s drenched escapades.

We have no worries about this sandal drifting away as it floats right up. Made entirely of foam, it tips the scales to a mere 7.2 oz (240g). That’s 2.4 oz (63g) lighter than the average! Unlike the usual fabric straps of Tevas, Drift’s foam straps repel water easily. Goodbye, soggy sandals!

The platform feels buttery on foot, but not too soft that rocks can poke through. Our durometer confirms a 23.5 HA reading, 20.6% softer than average. Our caliper reading shows a thicker 28.9 mm heel for more impact protection, whereas the forefoot sits around the average for better ground feel.

Drift displays unquestionable grip on our wear tests through slippery smooth surfaces and unstable pebbles. The ride feels stable because of the wide platform that ensures our surefootedness. Our caliper shows 94.8 mm landing space in the heel and 105.6 mm width in the toebox area for our natural toe splay.

To our dismay, the wide platform is paired with a non-adjustable forefoot strap. Those of us with low-volume feet felt unsecured.

Pros

  • Well-cushioned sole
  • Floats on water
  • Very affordable
  • Among the lightest sandals
  • Wide and stable platform
  • Grippy outsole
  • Doesn't stay wet
  • Vivid colour options

Cons

  • Forefoot strap is not adjustable
  • Too loose for narrow feet
  • Not for serious hikes
Full review of Teva Hurricane Drift

Back in the day, it was generally understood that to venture into the great outdoors, you needed to don big and bulky boots to protect your feet from the elements. However, a lot has changed since the conception of that idea.

Specifically, hiking footwear has got increasingly more lightweight. For example, hiking shoes resemble trainers you can wear around town but have extra features for better hiking performance, like grippy outsoles and extra rock plates in the midsole for protection.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 review

Part of that transition to more lightweight footwear is hiking sandals. 

The Teva hiking sandal craze

Sandals as footwear is not a new idea by any means. Some of the first examples of footwear manufactured and worn by ancient cultures look like the sandals you wear today.

That’s because there is something timeless about the simple and versatile design that sandals have. And Teva understands that, perhaps more than anyone else.

Teva Original Universal lab test

Teva has long been a major contender in the hiking footwear industry. In particular, they’ve become well-known for their hiking sandals. At any given moment, during the correct seasons of the year, namely the summer, there is probably someone wearing sandals on the hiking trail you are enjoying.

That’s because Teva sandals refuse to disappoint. Teva hiking sandals continue to shine as examples of rugged, lightweight, and versatile footwear for almost any hiking adventure. Now, let's get into the details.

Essential pieces of Teva hiking sandals

Above, we mentioned that the design of hiking sandals is simple. That’s absolutely correct. However, hiking sandals’ simplicity does not denote poor quality.

We would argue that it’s the opposite– the simplicity of hiking sandals’ design, most notably Teva sandals, contributes to Teva’s ability to go above and beyond with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. 

For the most part, Teva hiking sandals have three core components. 

1. Secure closure system

Teva hiking sandals rely on a strap and buckle closure system to secure the sandals to your feet. Teva sandals’ closure systems are super easy to use and highly effective. For example, the Teva Hurricane XLT features two Velcro straps, one above your foot and the other behind your heel, to securely lock in your feet every time.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 straps

Strap Closure System (with buckles or Velcro)

Pros

Cons

  • Most cost-effective
  • Buckles can break
  • Easy to customise and lock your foot in place
  • Velcro can lose its stickiness over time 
  • Velcro is super quick and convenient 
 

2. Cushy midsole

The primary job of the midsole in a hiking sandal is to offer stability and support. The midsole also absorbs the impacts your feet feel when you’re hiking along rough trails.

The midsoles in Teva hiking sandals are constructed with EVA foam. EVA foam is super effective at dissipating the forces your feet feel as they make contact with the ground.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Heel stack

The amount of cushioning and its softness varies from one Teva sandal to another. For example, you can go for the more cushioned Hurricane XLT2 (31 mm) or the more minimal Original Universal (16 mm).

3. Grippy outsole

The foundation of any pair of high-quality Teva hiking sandals is the outsole. The outsole of a hiking sandal is responsible for providing traction on various surface types like dirt, sand, gravel, pavement, or grass.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 outsole

Outsoles in hiking sandals are made with special rubber compounds. The rubber is soft enough to provide grip yet durable enough to last a long time. In addition, hiking sandal outsoles are equipped with lugs with special sizes, shapes, and patterns that provide traction on loose and uneven off-pavement surfaces.

For example, the Teva Tirra Sandal features an outsole with a water-shedding tread pattern that prevents losing traction on wet surfaces. It also has multi-directional lugs that provide grip no matter the surface. And the outsole is non-marking, which is an extra bonus.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Lug depth

Lug depth ranges from 0 mm to 3.5 mm in Teva sandals.

Advantages of Teva hiking sandals

Lightweight design prevents foot fatigue 

Over the years, hiking shoe manufacturers have been obsessed with making light and lighter hiking footwear. If you are into lightweight footwear, well, there isn’t anything much lighter than sandals.

Hiking sandals weigh less because they are made with fewer materials. Therefore, you move over miles and miles of terrain without feeling like you’ve got two blocks of cement attached to your feet.

For example, the Teva Original Universal Sandal only weighs 6.7 ounces. On the other hand, the average weight of hiking boots is 18.5 ounces. That’s a big difference!

Teva Original Universal strap

Getting wet doesn't matter

We already mentioned this briefly, but Teva's hiking sandals dry extremely fast. That's partly because there isn't much material to hold moisture. But it’s also because Teva uses quick-drying materials.

Therefore, when it comes time to cross a river or hike along the ocean's shoreline, you can get your feet wet without thinking twice or trying to avoid the water.   

Hiking sandals are super versatile

One of our favourite characteristics of Teva hiking sandals is their versatility. You can practically wear them anywhere and do anything in them, assuming the weather is warm enough. But then again, if it’s cold, just add socks!

Disadvantages of Teva hiking sandals

Hopefully, at this point, the benefits of Teva hiking sandals have become clear. However, that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. There are a couple of disadvantages to wearing hiking sandals that we should mention.

Overall, hiking sandals simply do not offer the same level of protection to your feet as traditional hiking footwear does. In other words, when you wear hiking sandals, your feet are more exposed.

For example, in sandals, your feet are more at risk of abrasions, bruises, and cuts from rough hiking terrain.

Teva Original Universal top view

Your feet are also more exposed to the sun. Therefore, on hot and sunny days, we recommend applying sunscreens to the tops of your feet. Sunburns are not fun, but sunburns on your feet are even worse!

Lastly, your feet are more exposed to insect and animal bites. Therefore, some additional precautions may be necessary, like insect repellent and refraining from wearing sandals if you are concerned about biting animals like snakes. 

Ideal scenarios for Teva hiking sandals

We mentioned above that one of our favourite characteristics of Teva hiking sandals is their versatility. That’s because we think they are the ideal footwear for a wide array of scenarios.

Casual hikes

They wouldn’t be called “hiking sandals” if they couldn’t handle the trails. That’s because Teva sandals come equipped with attractive features ready for off-road travel.

For example, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 has a grippy outsole that mitigates slips and falls and offers more traction on wet surfaces. In addition, the Hurricane XLT2 has a very supportive and contoured footbed that stabilises your arch and keeps your heel centred in the heel cup.

However, if we were going on a technical hike with a rough trail or a backpacking trip with a heavy pack, we’d probably opt for something more robust, like hiking shoes or boots.    

Hiking sandals are fantastic for water-related activities. They can offer you a grip on wet and slippery surfaces and dry out water faster than hiking boots and shoes.

Furthermore, some hiking sandals have purpose-built features, such as drainage parts, protective toe guards, and flat outsoles, that allow them to specialise in water-related activities, like kayaking, fishing, rafting, and paddleboarding.

Around the campsite

Hiking sandals are our favourite footwear for around the campsite. For example, on backpacking trips, you can pack additional hiking sandals to function as camp shoes to switch into after a long day in boots or shoes.

Or if you are car camping, you can wear sandals around the camp and to and from the bathrooms instead of wearing hot and stuffy shoes.

Everyday Use

Teva sandals are purpose-built for hiking. However, that does not mean you can't use them for normal everyday usage. For example, Teva sandals are ideal for running errands around town and walking the dog. Especially during the hot summer months of the year!

Final thoughts: Hiking sandals are the footwear you didn’t know you needed

If you are a hiker, adding a pair of hiking sandals to your quiver of hiking footwear could be the upgrade you didn’t know you needed.

Sandals have many advantages in hiking contexts– they are lightweight, breathable, quick-drying, and provide great traction. Sandals can function as your everyday shoe, a piece of specialised footwear for water-related activities, or as your camp sandals when it’s time to relax around the campfire.

Overall, the versatility of a good pair of hiking sandals cannot be beaten by traditional types of hiking footwear like boots and shoes.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 heel cushioning

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run 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.