For the last few years, since beginning to walk long distances more regularly, I have started thinking about sandals for the warmer days. Of course my barefoots are pretty cool, but the heat this year proved even too much for them. Teva sandals have been on my radar for some time, because they have a practical element to them. And they also look good enough to wear with a dress too (yes, I occasionally wear a dress – don’t faint!) I received this pair for review from Etrias, who have an excellent range of clothes and footwear – suitable for outdoosey folk with wider feet and bigger calf muscles!
Wide enough for my boat feet!
Possibly the biggest problem I have when looking for shoes or sandals is finding ones which are wide enough for my paddle feet. The ball of my foot is extremely wide, yet I have skinny ankles, which is an odd combo. I chose the Teva Men Terra Float 2 Universal Nica Black Olive partly for a number of reasons.
- They have a very good thick, yet flexible sole which would stand up to stones and glass.
- They are adjustable with velcro meaning that I can get a perfect fit for my oddly proportioned feet
- They have a simple design (similar to my old style Reef sandals)
- A friend recommended Teva sandals – she used them as approach shoes for some of her climbs.
- The colours were nice!
Firstly, let me explain why I buy men’s shoes. No matter how often the
people men in the outdoor shops try to convince me that women’s broad/A last shoes will fit. I can promise that they won’t! I have uber wide feet – like paddles. Always have done and always will do – unless I have a couple of toes removed for the fun of it. (this is never going to happen!)
So to be able to find shoes that are both broad enough for my front foot and narrow enough for the back, I buy men’s shoes. These cater for the width in the front of my feet. They also tend to come with a few more eyelets to secure boots/shoes tightly around my skinny ankles. On a side note – to any men who might be reading this, thinking I should stick with women’s shoes, please remember whose feet they are and don’t make assumptions! (Grip over!)
The maiden walk
I have to say that the customer services at Etrias was excellent – there had been a hiccup in the size of the sandals which arrived in my first order, but they sorted out the issue really quickly and within days I had the new ones ready to wear. (Thanks for such helpful service, Etrias team!)
Anyway, with the right size in hand I donned them onto my feet and headed out to do my reverse commute.
The first thing that I noticed when walking in them was how comfortable the sole was. It was padded enough to be shock absorbing on concrete as well as cushioned to save me feeling every sharp stone along the canal. It was also very lovely to feel the air wafting around my feet! It really is the small things in life.
Unfortunately, by the end of my first outing of around 3.8 miles, I had a blister from where the plastic cuff touched my ankle. This meant that I didn’t get to wear them again for a little while during the healing. (I was gutted!)
Recovered and sorted
Luckily, after the skin heeled, I was able to get back into them not long afterwards. To be honest, it could have been solely that I haven’t worn anything but barefoots and hiking boots for years which made my foot skin a bit “soft” in both senses of the word. After that initial blister incident, I haven’t had a problem since – which is good, especially as the warm weather continues into September!
Sandals for walking long distances
As I mentioned above, the initial walk gave me one blister. I honestly don’t think that it was the sandal and was more to do with my “delicate” feet and the increase of sweat on my first walk. It was in the high 20’s!
Would I wear these sandals for walking long distances, yes I very much would. Had I have had them before my trip to Poland and Amsterdam earlier in the summer, I would have done the whole thing in them. They are comfortable and adjustable (something I find important during hot weather) as well as quick drying (also important in hot weather and for rain showers)
Although these come in the higher price bracket for sandals (around the £78 mark …they’re currently on sale! *wink wink*) I do think they are worth the money. If my foam soled Reef sandals lasted me around ten years, I think these will last around that time too – factoring the amount I walk these days.
City breaks and country escapes
I think that one of the wining factors about these sandals is that they are multi-purpose and look great. I can wear them for scouring the town on a city break as well as pottering about in the countryside. I would be happy to wear these for a paved hike, but not for something more rocky due to the exposed toes and lack of ankle support.
They are really comfortable and I am looking forward to taking them away with me again in the not so distant future. Hmm, I wonder where my next sandal adventure will be.
I thought that I would also add a little bit about Etrias while I tell you about my sandals. Although they provided them in return for a review, I went through the whole purchasing experience as a general customer. I found that it was easy to work out the sizes of the sandals and purchased them with ease. Postage was quick and the exchange simple to do – without the need for me to pay anything (I simply dropped the parcel off in town to the nearest collection point, grabbed my receipt and that was it) I have been browsing the website again (dangerous!) as they have a great supply of winter boots and wellies for those rainier days ahead.
I am really pleased with the Teva sandals as well as the service that I received from Etrias. Would I recommend them to you? Yes, I very much would. They have ticked all of the criteria I set out for them, with the addition of being very packable for holidays and trips too.
Do you like to wear sandals for walking long distance walking? Have you tried the Tiva sandals?
Let me know what you think of these ones?