After testing the Teva Terra Fi 5 sandal on several trails in Europe, such as the Mont Ventoux in France and the Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, I can confidently say that it is a reliable choice.
I have long been a fan of the Teva brand, having used many of their other shoes in the past for various activities.
The high-performance Vibram outsole gives you confidence in wet terrain, enabling you to navigate the path ahead effortlessly without the risk of slips and falls.
These Teva sandals offer a comfortable, spongy footbed for conformability and cushioning as well as dependable traction via Teva’s unique Spider Rubber sole.
While it takes a few days to fully get accustomed to the strap design, the cushioning from the neoprene material protects the foot, making these shoes a good choice for long distances.
Overall, the Terra Fi 5 scored well across all my testing metrics, so let’s dive in and see the full Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal review.
- REPREVE® recycled polyester webbing
- Hook-and-loop closure
- Molded polyurethane midsole
Things We Tested When We Reviewed Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal
The Terra Fi 5 offers excellent traction on various surfaces with its Spider Rubber outsole, which is designed to be extra grippy and provide great traction on challenging terrain.
The tread is made to bite on rough, angular rocks with impressive force.
The sole is supportive and substantial in design, while the cushioned footbed has a non-slip surface that helps keep your foot stable during rugged outings, even when wet-land conditions are present.
I have taken these sandals on sweat-inducing hikes over steep inclines and variable terrain, and the Terra Fi did not let me down.
Except for some extra slippery areas where even hiking boots might have had problems maintaining the grip, these sandals’ soles and straps were up to par.
This product is built from high-quality materials, with traditional straps made from quick-drying and wide neoprene material. It’s bulky, however, and the uneven surfaces can rub and chafe your toes and ankles if you’re not careful.
Thankfully, it is durable enough to withstand long-term trail wear, but I would strongly suggest wearing hiking socks or breaking in the sandals before long journeys.
I’ve worn this Teva sandal day in and day out for two weeks with no sign of wear except for some minor scratches on the sides of the sole.
I’m pleased to report that the Terra Fi Universal is one of the most stable and flexible hiking sandals I’ve ever trail tested.
The comfortable footbed is quite spongy, conforming perfectly to the shape of your foot.
It provides a good amount of cushioning from hard impacts, which comes in handy if you plan on tackling rocky and rough trails.
The straps are also highly adjustable, allowing you to tighten and loosen them as needed.
However, while I appreciated the soft midsole and lightweight design, during my tests for this review, it became clear that hikers with pronation issues would need better heel support on the trail than what this Teva sandal offers.
The Terra Fi sandal features perforations on the neoprene and webbing straps, making for an extremely breathable shoe. The upper is made of lightweight materials that allow air to easily flow through, keeping your feet cool and comfortable during your hike.
The perforation style also speeds up the drying process, making them more suitable in wet conditions. I found that the Terra Fi 5 offered excellent air flow while also providing protection and stability.
They also dry fast when exposed to water compared to leather models, so, overall, I wasn’t disappointed when wearing them in the summer.
5. Fit and Sizing
When it comes to fit and sizing, the Terra Fi 5 sandal has some room to spare. I tested it in my regular size and found it to be just right for me.
The adjustable velcro straps on the upper provide a secure and snug fit, while the traditional straps hug the foot from the midsole up.
Since it has a one-strap design, this sandal worked well for my high-volume feet, and although I had to break it in, I quickly found the right adjustment for me.
I wore the sandals with tightened straps during the summer, and this helped me feel more secure, especially when navigating steep inclines and variable terrain.
This Teva sandal is light and comfortable on your ankle and heel areas. It weighs just 8.9 ounces per sandal, making it one of the lightest sandals in its class. Despite its low weight, it still provides good stability and grip, making it suitable for hikes of various lengths.
I was impressed by how light and comfortable the Terra Fi Universal felt, and I could easily wear them all day and not feel any fatigue.
How It Evolved?
The Terra Fi 5 takes its already great predecessor and improves it. The Terra Fi 4 impresses with its comfortable and spongy footbed that conforms to the foot but the Terra Fi 5 goes even further by adding a proprietary Spider Rubber outsole for extra gripping and friction on tricky terrains.
This outsole also provides protection and allows the tread to clasp better on rocks and other challenging trail terrains.
The comfortable footbed also has a grippy surface to keep your foot secure. Additionally, the soft straps are better, and the quick-drying neoprene material that protects the skin is not as bulky.
As a result, the Terra Fi 5 is a great choice for dusty trails, slick rocks, and wading in the water. Overall, this model is on par with the stylish Terra Fi 4, while still making some great improvements.
How Does it Compare with Other Products?
Teva Katavi 2
The Teva Terra Fi 5 features Spider Original rubber outsoles, providing excellent traction on various terrains.
Its cushioned Shoc Pad™ in the heel ensures enhanced shock absorption and comfort.
In comparison, the $70 Teva Katavi 2 has Durabrasion Rubber™ outsoles, offering good traction but potentially less grip than the Terra Fi.
The Katavi 2 also lacks the Shoc Pad™, making it less ideal for extensive walking or hiking. However, the Katavi 2 does have a soft suede and mesh upper, providing more breathability and style than the Terra Fi’s water-ready polyester webbing.
Learn more by reading the full Teva Katavi 2 review.
Teva Hurricane XLT 2
The Teva Terra Fi boasts a PU midsole, adding stability and heel protection for outdoor activities.
It also features a hook-and-loop closure system, allowing for easy adjustment and an optimal fit.
On the other hand, the $75 Teva Hurricane XLT 2 has an EVA foam midsole, which is lighter but may not provide the same level of protection as the Terra Fi’s PU midsole.
Additionally, the Hurricane XLT 2 uses a padded heel strap instead of the Shoc Pad™ found in the Terra Fi, possibly resulting in less shock absorption. Both sandals utilize a similar style for the outsoles, with the Terra Fi 5 having a slight edge in terms of traction.
With its quick-drying and durable upper, the Teva Fi 5 sandal is more than suitable for water-based activities.
Its multiple adjustment points ensure a secure and comfortable fit with no rubbing in humid environments.
In contrast, the ECCO Yucatan is a more expensive model retailing at $130 that features a Nubuck leather upper, giving it a more premium look and feel but potentially compromising on quick-drying capabilities.
The Yucatan also uses RECEPTOR® technology in its sole, enhancing stability and providing dynamic heel protection. However, the Terra Fi 5’s Spider Original rubber sole may offer better traction than Yucatan’s rubber outsoles.
Where Does Terra 5 Perform Better?
The Terra Fi 5 sandals are the perfect choice for all your outdoor adventures.
Whether you are tackling a challenging hike in the woods or strolling along the beach, they are designed to provide reliable comfort and protection.
Their cushioned EVA midsoles and aggressive soles provide superior traction on wet and dry surfaces, while the adjustable straps ensure a higher level of comfort.
Along with the high-traction feature, the sandals also offer superior breathability for long days in the sun, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable.
Where Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal Falls Short in Performance?
When it comes to the Terra Fi 5 Universal sandals, there are a few areas where their performance could be improved. The sandals are not designed to provide extra arch support, which could be an issue for those with flat feet.
Additionally, due to their bulky design, they can be relatively heavy and clunky when compared to other trail shoes.
Do We Recommend It?
In my experience, the Terra Fi 5 sandals more than live up to their reputation. I have used them on various terrains, and they have proved comfortable, supportive, and reliable.
With an adjustable strap system, cushioned EVA footbed, and durable Spider 365 rubber sole, they offer superior protection and traction in wet and dry conditions. The cushion is good, and no rubbing is to be expected.
A word of caution though: if you have flat feet, you may want to look for a different sandal, as the Terra Fi 5s do not provide high arch support.
But if you’re looking for a reliable everyday sandal or something to take you through your outdoor adventures, this comfortable model, which is currently priced at $130, is an excellent choice.