My first pair of Teva sandals were purchased in 2001 at the request of the camp organisers where I was due to spend the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years at uni. At that point I’d not heard of these sandals, but they were mandatory.
The brand, apparently, meant no slipping of feet, and therefore less risk of foot injuries for us counsellors running around after energetic kids reeking havoc. Stories from that summer still haunt me. But not the footwear. That rocks.
Over the last 15 years those Tevas have been a constant traveling and everyday companion from the highlands of Scotland to the noisy streets of Bangkok – a hundred or more dog walks and a few camping trips. So GWA HQ thought I would be the ideal reviewer for the Teva Livia Sandal with the new Float-Lite technology (which I will come on to in a bit).
I was anxious when they turned up because when you find something you like, and you keep using it for years – there’s a comfort in it. Moving away from a trusted style means a thorough testing had to be conducted. So putting my battered old pair away in the cupboard so they wouldn’t get upset, I opened these box fresh babies. My heart sank.
The first thing I heard my little voice say was ‘well these don’t look very comfy, I bet the straps hurt, and they look way too fashionable and flimsy to keep my feet safe’. I was a bit disappointed.
All new footwear has to be worn in before being taken on a trip, so they went straight on my feet. I was instantly taken aback as they were easy to put on and super comfy immediately. Not sure how to react, I kept them on for a few hours just to see if it was a fluke.
Let me pause here to say that I am not a shoe person. I have pins in my left big toe joint so the delight of footwear left me quickly after those went in. My shoe collection of 7 pairs (I just counted) consists of Hotter, Birkenstocks and Teva, all the same styles and repeat purchases. Plus, I take my footwear on and off a LOT during the day – I work from home most of the time barefoot and in between bursts of work, I walk the dogs, run, drive, go to yoga – and I am usually running late. That means I have this shoe on/shoe off thing happening more than 10+ times a day, and at speed, so I like efficiency any extra time phaffing around with shoes is a no-go and as such has to be taken into account.
Reviewing continued in earnest at home with the usual routine, then a trip out…
On a camping trip to West Wittering these Tevas really started to shine. On the sandy (and in East Wittering, pebbly) beach during a lovely summer on the only weekend it rained with 60mph winds, I was standing on the dunes trying to take pictures of my hubby swim surfing the waves (in between the lifeguard flags, of course). The sandals kept my feet in place as I tried not to get blown away while getting the best exfoliating facial ever.
They braved the freezing cold sea and dried out well and released the pebbles and seaside foliage, performing better than my old ones (as you can see from the pic, I took them with me, just in case). I also did not feel too ‘outdoorsy’ visiting a posh cafe for lunch as this style carries over from functional to stylish nicely. I was also able to put them on in the dark in the very blowy tent for a 3am wee, midway between being drunk and having a hangover.
So the testing going well, I took a closer look at them. The Float-Life technology these Livia sandals are made with means that the soles are super light, shape to your foot, and allow a lot of movement but without feeling every little bump you walk over (jagged terrain and long walks welcome). It makes them feel very sturdy and keeps the foot in place. It’s the ‘high energy return cushioning’ that does it.
The woven webbing is easily recognisable as Teva, which I liked. The padded straps felt perfectly comfy from the first wear, no rubbing even when my feet were really hot and swollen, which I was originally worried about because they were thinner straps and I thought they would pinch. I could slip my foot in and out very quickly with the velcro quick release heel strap which is just the right width (not too wide so not fiddly) which met my important requirement for fast and easy on and off-ness (even when sober). The grip on the sole also did a good job.
I’m seriously crushing on these sandals. The Livia’s performed better than expected. I even got some of my fashion kudos back (Teva call it ‘street’- I guess to appeal to millennials). But it’s not just the new gen who need more functional wearables it’s all of us. So well done for great product, and I am holding firmly onto mine (sorry old pair now in the garage). Plus my 70 year old Mum’s just ordered a pair for her walking holiday in Tenerife this Autumn.
Well done Teva.