As mountaineers, we sometimes overlook the market for Hiking and Trekking Sandals. We’re usually climbing up into colder climates and need boots suited to the purpose. However, companies like Teva, Chacos, Keen, Salomon, Merrell and others have a range of Hiking and Trekking Sandals designed for wet and warmer climates.
We recently had the opportunity to further research the Hiking Sandals market. An Australian friend, who conducts tours all across Southeast Asia and Japan, came to visit recently and asked our help to find a suitable shoe. She spends 9 months of the year walking and hiking in tropical or sub-tropical weather, where exposure to sweat, humidity and water are her primary concerns.
We settled on the Teva Tirra Women’s Hiking Sandal. We had developed six key criteria – quick drying, open toed for breathability, an outsole with exceptional grip in the wet, an anti-slip footbed, an anatomical fit, and a comfortable, yet secure strapping system. The Teva Tirra had all six, as well as shock absorption in the heel and Microban zinc-based antimicrobial protection. While other Teva sandals have similar technology, it was the strapping configuration on the Tirra that won out in the end.
Some of these are personal choices, of course. Closed versus open toed or the strapping configuration, for example. The criteria also depends on the activity. The first Teva was invented in the 1970s by Mark Thatcher, a river guide through the Grand Canyon, using a Velcro watchstrap for ankle support on a flip flop. Tennis shoes got wet and never dried, and flip flops slipped off. Eventually perfected and patented, Teva now has a full range covering everything from rafting to water aerobics.
Teva is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by True Alliance. The Teva Tirra is readily available at various outlets across both countries. Our friend’s was purchased at Kathmandu and normally retails for A$129.95, though look for sales.
Featured Photos: Teva Media Images