Teva Hurricane XLT2 review
I am fortunate to live in a part of the United States where the coast is right nearby, and beach-access trails abound. I was looking for a shoe that could get wet and at the same time, be used for serious outdoor activity like hiking or kayaking.
If you are looking for a water-friendly shoe that can take on just about any outdoor challenge, look no further!
I had purchased another pair of hiking sandals, the Keen CNX, which didn’t quite measure up in this department. After trying the Teva Hurricane XLT2, I retired the Keen CNX to beach-only status.
The Teva Hurricanes were just that much better for actual hiking and other outdoor activity.
I have tested the Teva Hurricane XLT2 on plenty of trails as well as tidepool areas by the beach. I have walked in them for miles.
My impression of this shoe is solidly positive. I was surprised by how well this model supported my feet across multiple types of terrain.
These sandals have been comfortable for me despite my being flat-footed with recurring plantar fasciitis issues. Below you will see the details as to why I recommend this shoe so highly!
What should you look for in a water-friendly hiking sandal?
As one who enjoys outdoor activities that take me in and out of the water as well as hiking-friendly terrain, there are some particular features that I look for in a water-friendly hiking sandal to ensure that I am as safe as possible from injuries.
1. A rugged outsole: The outsole must offer some grip on the terrain to minimize slips and falls. I also like to make sure that the outsole works on wet rocks. This requires some lugging or raised bumps that offer traction across multiple surfaces.
2. A supportive footbed: A sandal doesn’t need to be as rigid as a hiking boot since I am not going to use it as my regular day-hiker, but some support around the midsole is helpful.
I always buy water-friendly hiking sandals that have some contoured footbed with a cupped heel and raised arch. The ones that are completely flat (and that’s many of them!) tend to hurt my feet after only minimal wear.
3. A protective, adjustable, water-friendly upper: It’s easy to scrape a foot when crossing wet rocks or hiking on loose dirt or gravel. The upper should be made of a rugged material that will offer excellent protection from the elements.
I like to pick a model with a toe bumper to minimize the all-too-frequent toe injuries that come from trekking near the water. I also want to make sure that the upper dries quickly to keep the shoe from becoming too waterlogged throughout a day by the shore.
Finally, the upper must be adjustable for a proper fit.
4. A sufficiently roomy toebox: Pinched toes are no good! I always make sure that my outdoor footwear (of any kind) offers ample room for my toes to flex and bend.
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a water-friendly hiking sandal, it’s time to see how the Teva Hurricane XLT2 measures up.
Minimalist look of the Teva Hurricane XLT2
The Teva Hurricane XLT2 has a minimalistic look that hadn’t changed much since the 1990s when I bought my very first pair of Teva sandals.
The sandals are comprised of a set of adjustable synthetic straps, which are connected to a rubber footbed, and that’s all. The straps typically carry some design or pattern on Teva sandals.
The Hurricane XLT2 model possesses a rugged, beefed-up sole with lugged traction and added arch support. Back in the 1990s, I would see Teva sandals like the Hurricane worn often in the beach communities along the San Diego coastal area near where I live.
Nowadays, I see them worn less often (flip-flops have long since taken over with the beach-going crowd), but Tevas are still timeless as far as I am concerned.
Size runs large
The fit is the one aspect of the Teva Hurricane XLT2, which could use some improvement.
I have a size 9 standard-width foot, but the size 9 in this model was very long and loose. I had to exchange for an 8 to achieve a proper, snug fit with the arch support located under the correct part of the foot. Once I found the correct size, the fit of these sandals is pretty much perfect.
I like that each strap can be adjusted to ensure that the foot is held in place. This feature ensures that these sandals will fit pretty much any person with an average width foot.
Also, as you can see from this picture, my feet are pretty flat. The support falls right where it needs to, and for me, it’s essential for comfort!
The Teva Hurricane XLT2 is lightweight
The Teva XLT2 is a lightweight shoe. The sole is beefed-up and supportive, but it does not make the shoes feel heavy or bulky. I can walk for miles in the Teva Hurricane XLT2 without feeling weighed down at all.
Admirable upper design and material
The upper straps are made of synthetic material with Velcro under each adjustable strap. This material is water-friendly and fairly minimalistic. The straps are held together by plastic pieces.
I do not find that the straps or plastic strap-connectors dig into my feet at all. The straps are well-cushioned without adding any bulk to the shoe.
The heel strap is particularly comfortable, with an extra pad that adds cushioning and helps keep the heel of the foot in place. You can see this feature in the picture.
Amazing arch support
The footbed is where the Teva XLT2 really shines, and what makes this shoe my favorite-ever hiking sandal. The arch support on these sandals is nothing short of amazing.
As a decades-long plantar fasciitis sufferer with flat feet, this feature makes all the difference for me. The contoured footbeds on these sandals function like an orthotic, holding up the arch and keeping the heel centered in the shoe.
As a result, I can hike in these sandals pain-free. Finding a sandal with this kind of support is often an expensive proposition (for example, the Chaco brand).
But, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 somehow manages to be packed with support at a very reasonable price. This is why the Teva Hurricane XLT2 is one of my top picks among budget hiking footwear for performance in actual challenging terrain.
The outsole is where the rubber hits the road for any adventure shoe. The outsole of the Teva XLT2 is made for gripping rocks and loose terrain.
The triangular lugging in the middle of the outsole was particularly useful when climbing over rocks. At no point, while wearing these shoes, did I ever feel like I might slip off of anything I encountered, from wet rocks to loose gravel.
That’s really something, especially in a sandal. The textured rubber on the outsole of the shoes does not cover the toe area at all but does extend forwards to prevent toe stubs.
Budget-friendly hiking sandal
Lastly, a word on price. Although prices for this model vary depending upon where you find them, I have found that you can get a great deal on these sandals.
I would say that the Teva Hurricane XLT2 model is affordable for most active people, even those on a budget. Given all the excellent features that these sandals possess, they are a true bargain and good value.
If you plan to do light hiking regularly in a warm climate (or during a warm time of year), these might just be the only pair of hiking shoes you need!