Tevas are some of the most popular sandals for outdoor adventure. These super comfy sandals are surprisingly rugged and they provide decent traction as you walk over rocky and slippery terrain.
But are Tevas good for hiking? Unfortunately, Tevas aren’t a great footwear choice for hiking because they don’t provide the ankle and foot support and protection that many people need on the trail. Although some people enjoy hiking in their Tevas, doing so isn’t a great idea for most outdoor adventurers.
With that in mind, whether or not you can hike in Tevas is a matter of some debate in the outdoor community. In this article, we’re going to investigate the pros and cons of hiking in Tevas so you can decide if they’re right for your needs.
Are Tevas Good For Hiking?
As a general rule, no, Tevas are not good for hiking.
Tevas are a super-popular brand of sports sandals that have garnered an avid following over the years. Outdoor enthusiasts love Tevas because they’re comfortable, lightweight, durable, and relatively affordable. Tevas also provide solid traction on wet ground.
However, even though Tevas are a great option for kayaking trips or walking around on the beach, they don’t quite have all of the features that most people expect from their hiking shoes.
There are a few key areas where Tevas don’t quite impress on the trail. These include:
- Lack of Foot and Ankle Support – Tevas are, well, sandals, so they’re not really designed to wrap around your foot and ankle to provide your body with support as you walk. If you’re used to hiking in sandals, this might not be a problem. But for the majority of people who prefer trekking in rugged hiking boots, the lack of foot and ankle support you get with Tevas is simply a non-starter.
- Minimal Foot and Ankle Protection – The other major downside to using Tevas as hiking shoes is that they don’t provide you with much foot and ankle protection as you hike. Most people don’t even realize how cut up and bruised their feet would get on the trail if they didn’t have proper hiking boots or shoes on because your boots silently protect you from dirt and debris as you walk. Some people are okay with a few cuts and bruises on their feet, but the majority of hikers find that wearing sandals on the trail is a bit more painful than they signed up for.
As you can see, there are a couple of major drawbacks to wearing Tevas as you hike. Of course, you’ll likely find folks in the outdoors that don’t hike in anything but Tevas. But, most people will find that Tevas don’t provide the support and protection they need for a long day out on the trail.
Walking Long Distances in Tevas
You can walk long distances in Tevas, but only if you acclimate your feet to them slowly over time.
Unlike the classic flip flop, Tevas provide you with a decent amount of padding underfoot. They also have secure Velcro straps that latch to the top of your foot to reduce foot fatigue as you move. As a result, Tevas can be comfortable enough to wear on long walks.
However, if you’re new to Tevas, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend strapping on a brand new pair right out of the box and then heading out on a super long walk. Many people aren’t used to wearing sandals and quickly ditching your sneakers for Tevas can lead to some sore feet.
Therefore, always acclimate yourself slowly to your new Tevas by going out on short walks that get increasingly longer with time. Eventually, if your feet agree, you’ll probably be able to handle longer walks in your Tevas.
Are Tevas Good for the Beach?
Tevas are an excellent choice for the beach. In fact, Tevas were originally designed for use by rafting guides on the Grand Canyon in the 1980s, so they’re the perfect sandal to have with you both onshore and in the water.
Tevas are particularly great sandals to have on the beach because they have Velcro straps that help to secure them to your feet. These Velcro straps on Tevas help them stay snug on your feet, which reduces the risk of them falling off if you go for a swim. That makes Tevas a solid choice for a wide range of beach-based activities.
Chacos vs Tevas for Hiking
Both Chacos and Tevas are popular sports sandals and each company has its own crowd of dedicated followers.
As we’ve mentioned, hiking in sandals isn’t right for everybody. But if we had to choose just one of these sandals to take with us on a hike, we’d likely opt for Chacos.
We prefer Chacos over Tevas for hiking because the footbed of Chacos is approved by the APMA as being supportive of foot health. In other words, Chacos’ sandals provide more support underfoot than nearly all other sports sandal brands on the market.
Additionally, the outsoles on Chacos tend to be more rugged and durable than the outsoles on Tevas. This gives them an advantage in particularly challenging terrain.
That said, hiking in Chacos isn’t for everyone. Chacos might have an edge over Tevas when it comes to foot support and traction, but most people will find that they prefer a standard pair of hiking boots instead.
Tevas: The Ultimate Hiking Sandal?
Tevas are excellent sports sandals because they’re comfortable and durable. But while we love them for use around town and on the beach, they’re not the greatest choice for hiking, especially on rugged or steep trails.
Of course, if you spend enough time on the trail, you’ll likely encounter people that hike in nothing but Tevas. While it’s great that these people have found footwear that works for them, the reality is that hiking sandals like Tevas aren’t the right choice for everyone. At the end of the day, most people will be better off with a pair of hiking boots or shoes than a pair of Tevas.
Up Next In Hiking:
David is an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.