Are Tevas Good for Hiking? (Based on Our Experience)

Encouraged by the frequent queries from fellow hikers seeking advice on whether Teva sandals are suitable for hiking, I have taken it upon myself to create this informative guide.

Tevas are a brand of footwear that is known for its slim, minimalist, and flip-flop-like designs. As a result, their high performance is obvious in activities involving watersports due to their quick drying capabilities.

In fact, they’ve gained so much popularity that some hikers even prefer them over classic hiking boots and hiking shoes.

When wearing Teva hiking sandals, the length of your hike, the terrain, and the climate all play a role in how effective they’ll be, but with most sandals, it ultimately comes down to what footwear you think you’ll need.

So, are Tevas good for hiking? Let’s check out the pros and cons, some of Tevas bestsellers, and find out whether or not these sandals are truly hiking sandals.

Quick Summary 

  • Teva sandals are open-toe shoes that excel in hot, tropical, and sandy environments due to their ventilation.
  • The Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal and Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandals are popular products that have ideal features for light excursions.
  • Since Tevas don’t guard the feet as well as hiking boots or hiking shoes, they could be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the activity. 

What are Tevas Sandals?

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal Sport
Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal Sport

Tevas are sports sandals with an exposed design made to be worn for walking long distances on beaches, camping, and non-mountainous climbing. They’re commonly made with durable quick-drying polyester webbing and hook-loop Velcro straps.

These materials give them a significant lifespan, while also making them adjustable to your specific comfort level. The footbed of a Teva provides great arch support and has enough cushioning to prevent sore feet after hauling a heavy pack or traveling many miles.

Overall, Tevas hiking sandals are a great option for outdoor enthusiasts who want a convenient and lightweight piece of footwear but aren’t looking to buy hiking shoes or hiking boots.

Are Teva Sandals Good for Hiking?

a pair of Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal Sport, good sandals for hiking

Teva sandals are suitable for hiking if you plan on traveling on a moderate and well-kept path.

As sports sandals, Tevas are made with an in-house rubber outsole that has enough grip to hold up well on slippery terrain.

The EVA footbeds, TPU shanks, and midsoles reduce pressure on the heels and ankles enough to manage hikes up to at least 10-15 miles.

Tevas are great sandals to have during the hotter seasons because you don’t have to worry about sweating, and the quick-drying uppers make them perfect for trips with river and stream crossings.

Are Tevas Comfortable?

Tevas are comfortable enough to be worn for everyday use. Despite being built like flip-flops, Tevas are very soft on the feet, which is a sharp contrast to how durable and thick the rubber outsoles are.

The Velcro around the ankle is adjusted with two adjustable straps and one outside strap, allowing you to control how tight or loose the sandals are.

Combined with the recycled polyester webbing, which doesn’t rub or irritate the skin, Tevas can be worn for hours with consistent comfort [1].

Additionally, if you choose to wear Tevas in colder temperatures, like the fall season, you can wear socks without worrying about them sliding out of place.

What Are the Best Teva Sandals for Hiking?

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal
Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal

The Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal is a versatile hiking sandal that holds up well for casual activities and simple off-trail traveling.

Made with soft polyester, the Terra Fi 5 has a supportive footbed and great underfoot protection.

The uppers dry quickly when exposed to water and the rugged spider rubber outsole has excellent traction, even on some slippery terrain and uneven surfaces [2].

Fortunately, there’s little to no break-in period due to the foam material that lines these sandals. It naturally contours to the shape of your foot with every movement you make.

Teva Hurricane XLT2

Teva Hurricane XLT2
Teva Hurricane XLT2

The Teva Hurricane XLT2 hiking sandal, like the Teva Terra Fi 5, is made with an eco-friendly, waterproof, and durable polyester upper.

The Durabrasion outsole, which is improved from the previous model, gives more grip, especially on rocky terrain.

Also made with an EVA foam midsole, the foot is cushioned over long distances, giving easy access to the injection molded straps, which are very secure [3].

Even though this sandal can handle light all-terrain hikes and can be worn in place of a regular shoe, its features truly shine in watersports.

Advantages of Using Tevas for Hiking

1. Traction

Another advantage of originally being designed as a water sandal, is that the outsoles of Tevas are made to grip well on wet surfaces.

The rubber is very adhesive and reduces the likelihood of slipping. However, you should always continue to be mindful of the steps you’re taking.

2. Weight

Tevas are lightweight footwear and much less bulky than hiking boots. Other footwear tends to increase in weight with the more protection and padding they offer, but it also increases the strain on your feet.

Since Tevas are so light, you can hike for longer periods without fatigue.

3. Versatility

Tevas were originally designed to be used for water-based activities without floating away from the feet. As a result, Tevas have adapted to being used on both land and water, making a pair of them ideal for dry and wet conditions, even if those conditions are unexpected.

Disadvantages of Using Tevas for Hiking

1. Protection

The uppers of Teva sandals only consist of straps that wrap around the ankles, feet, and occasionally the toes.

Unlike a hiking boot, which usually has a tough leather upper and thick material surrounding the whole foot, Tevas don’t have any of that.

This means that your feet are more vulnerable to rocks, branches, and other trail hazards.

2. Ankle Padding

Tevas is different than a hiking boot or hiking shoe.

They have a very exposed design, having only ankle straps and no ankle collars.

This means that your ankles won’t have any extra padding or comfort when trying to haul heavy pack loads or making strenuous motions.

3. Trail Limitations

While Tevas can be used for everyday activities, they’re not as reliable on more demanding trails. Not only are Tevas not insulated against more extreme weather conditions, but the rubber outsoles aren’t made to be constantly exposed to rocky and jagged terrain.

Doing so could cause them to wear down very quickly.

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Do We Recommend Tevas for Hiking?

Overall, we highly recommend wearing Tevas for hiking. The lightweight design, combined with their versatility, makes Tevas some of the best hiking sandals and ideal for most outdoor adventures and conditions, whether that be a wet lake trip or a hot beach visit.

While the lack of protection and ankle support may be a significant drawback to some, you should always consider the conditions you’re wearing sandals. Even though they’re convenient options to have, there will always be trails that exceed the comfort they give.

So, always hike in the terrain they’re intended for.


Are Tevas Waterproof?

Tevas are waterproof. Due to the open toe design and polyester uppers, Tevas can handle being exposed to rivers and streams without absorbing a lot of water. The ventilation also allows them to dry faster when wet.

Are Tevas Good for Walking?

Tevas are good for walking. The contouring EVA foam that lines the footbed is very soft and cushy on the heels, arches, and toes. They provide comfort up to many miles and can even be worn in place of your regular footwear.

Can You Hike in Teva Sandals?

Yes, you can hike in Teva sandals. However, it’s recommended that they be used for light and moderate hikes. Hiking more intense trails can cause premature damage to the sandals and shorten their lifespan or cause injury to yourself.

Do Tevas Run Big or Small?

Tevas do run a little big to accommodate larger foot volumes. However, this is compensated for by offering sandals that are also made in half sizes, to get as close to an exact fit as possible.

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom has been a writer for over 20 years and an outdoor and hiking enthusiast for most of her life. After spending much of her career in the corporate world, she decided to freelance to spend more time with her family and explore new places. You will find her always looking forward to her next weekend adventure and writing guides that help others make the most of their own hikes and time outdoors.

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