What’s that great big orange thing in the sky? It burns my eyes but makes me curiously attracted to going outside and doing silly things like walking in streams. But alas, my whole house is packed up in cardboard boxes whilst it’s renovated – I can only spare space in our one habitable room for a single pair of shoes at a time.
Hooray then for Teva whose Fus-ion (pronounced fusion) is a water shoe which is styled to look less like a flipper and more like a retro basketball shoe. Am I allowed to say Converse All-Star? Well, there are definitely touches of the homage about the design of this shoe which is meant to be as cool at the bar as it is balanced on a slippery rock.
You can see in the photo above that the core of the Fuse-ion is a slip-on mesh mocassin-type shoe, which is extremely comfortable despite lacking any major amounts of padding and support. And over the top of the mesh Teva have constructed a rugged, almost sail-cloth like upper to protect the foot and support a lacing system.
The Fuse-ion is supplied with two pairs of laces; subtle grey and a lairy cyan which was self-conscious inducing everywhere apart from the beach. I opted for the more suave grey and experimented with tight, loose and non-existent lacing. They all work since the mesh holds them on your feet well enough. In more energetic circumstances you might need the laces done up, but they’re largely for styling purposes.
The soles of the Fuse-ion use Teva’s spider rubber and a design by JStep (a shoe sole rubber company) which makes for a grip level that you probably wouldn’t expect from a shoe that looks so flat. On a slippery stream bed I had more confidence than I would have in a chunky walking boot, although the flip side is that there’s no mid-sole support, so the whole shoe bends and you can feel everything. In a running shoe I’d hate that, but in these I think it’s a benefit.
The heel of the Fuse-ion is designed to fold down so you can wear them as slip-ons. There’s a flat pull-on tag at the heel which means that although it is possible and easy to wear in the slip-on style, it’s not the most comfortable thing to walk on. Think of this feature as a convenience for the waterside and not as a permanent solution.
The Fuse-ion gets its hyphen from the fact that they’re been Ion-Masked. This is a treatment which you might have seen promoted by Hi-Tec in the UK, whereby the shoe’s fabrics are coated in a nano-tech water repellent. This means that the fibres don’t soak up water and thus dry more quickly than they otherwise would. Handy in a water shoe!
I like the look of the Fuse-ions. They’ve grown on me and I really do happily wear them to the pub, even when that pub is 3 miles away across a damp field. They’re a nice break from more structured and rigid ‘outdoor’ footwear that I wear most of the time, and I feel like my feet are taking a break when I wear them.
That said, they’re £75, which is a bit steep.
SUMMARY: Teva’s Fuse-ion is essentially a very grippy sole with a mesh upper and mostly cosmetic lacing system so they look at home when you’re not ankle deep in water. They dry easily and are very simple and thus comfortable. You get a choice of subtle or lairy laces thrown in. They are a little expensive though.