Teva Original Universal
I am definitely a trend-follower, not a trend-setter. I'm never ahead of the game, especially when it comes to things I wear. In college I was desperate to have a pair of Chaco's solely because everyone else had them (and, truth be told, they served me well), but after moving to Colorado I found something I loved even more: Tevas. Again, I got these because I started seeing other people wearing them, but it's definitely been a game changer for me. I'm gonna start about by talking about Teva as a brand, then I'll go into why I like them so much.
This company comes from humble beginnings; it was created in 1984 when a river guide rigged two velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops. Teva says, "If you’re up for anything and love the thrill of spontaneity, then we are your people. This adventurous spirit—the one that pioneered the very first pair of Teva sandals—takes form in everything we create." Talk about a company motto I can get behind!
Their Original Universal is my favorite (I own a pair of the Original Sandal's too). It's made with EVA foam footbed cushions, rubber outsoles, and my personal favorite: polyester webbing velcro straps. For one thing, they dry super quickly. I have no problems walking through water (or snow) and then having my feet rub because the strap stays damp forever. These guys dry so quickly! I am also O B S E S S E D with the velcro straps. One of my biggest issues with Chaco's is that I can never get the fit quite right, and once I do I am constantly worried I'm going to mess it up. Velcro is the PERFECT solution - I can easily adjust it for whatever I need (I like them a little looser when I'm around camp and I can quickly make it bigger to wear with socks when it's chilly!).
So here's the embarrassing real life reason I made the switch: I got a foot tattoo and I wanted a pair of sandals that you could see it with. Let me just quickly hide my face in shame while you let that sink in: totally superficial, egotistical reasons for buying a new pair of shoes. I wore them on our trip to Monument Valley and was immediately sold on them as a new pair of adventure shoes, though.
For one thing, they only irritated my feet for an hour or so - the triangle plastic piece you can see in the picture above takes a little bit of getting used to. I was expecting it to rub me raw for the whole weekend, and then some. But the irritation was gone in just a few hours. What a relief! I've had Chaco's for years and still get massive blisters on the arches of my feet when I wear them! That in and of itself would have been a good enough reason to make the switch, but it just kept getting better. They're so comfortable and totally versatile. I can wear them hiking one day and then give them a quick rinse and wear them to work the next morning - I always felt like my Chaco's looked a little too "outdoorsy" to get away with wearing, so I was stoked when I realized that when worn with jeans, Teva's look the same as my other black sandals.
Here's the honesty time: I still love my Chaco's, I'm just really selective about when I wear them. The toe strap and the extra traction that Chaco has definitely makes them better for certain adventures (though, the toe strap is pretty useless, as I've had mine just totally come off my toe when I've gone rafting). Also, Logan is definitely a Chaco guy (even though he's prone to injury when wearing them), so it's not like I'm cutting that brand totally out of my life.
It's just that after wearing both shoes for similar activities, the Tevas are much more comfortable for my feet. And ultimately, that's what it boils down to - making an educated purchase instead of one based solely on trends. Try both sets of shoes, figure out what works best for you, and hopefully you'll join the Teva tribe.
Also, it's pronounced "teh-vah" not "tee-vah" so that you don't make the same mistake I did and mispronounce it for months.
NOTE: the views and opinions in this post are mine alone, and I did not receive any compensation to make this post.
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