Fashion gossip says a rafting guide who wanted to stop his flip-flops from flying off his feet fastened crisscross Velcro watch straps to his sandals and voila! Tevas rose from the banks of the river. These sturdy sandals have enjoyed popularity fueled in part by their outsider vibe, but this year Tevas are emerging from that status. With a boost from designer Anna Sui and upstart labels Sandy Liang and Collina Strada, the brand is moving into the spotlight of style and quickly overtaking Crocs and Birkenstocks as the “It” ugly sandal of the summer.
Teva began its first real fashion launch with an Opening Ceremony collaboration in 2014. Next came partnerships with singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko, hipster retro backpack manufacturer Herschel Supply Co. and luxury technical camping brand Snow Peak. Designer Anna Sui used Tevas during her New York Fashion Week show, and others such as Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada have offered their own versions. High-end designers like Alberta Ferretti and Loewe have crafted iterations of the hiking sandal.
In early May, activewear startup Outdoor Voices released a Teva collaboration that sold out most sizes within a week. Instagram followers will recognize #teva as a favorite of music festival followers who keep up with #festivalstyle.
Why are Tevas sought after this summer? Comfort, for one thing. Every step in the squishy cushion sandal is like a foot massage. Functional design is another part of their appeal. Quick-drying Tevas are designed for water sports and outdoor activities. They’re perfect for camping and swimming in streams, and they’re famous for protecting feet from slippery rocks.
Teva Original Universal Sandal, $50, teva.com
EVA foam footbed cushions and softly supports your feet for all-day comfort. Water-ready polyester webbing upper is extremely durable and dries quickly after getting wet. The Universal Strapping System with an easy hook-and-loop closure comes on and off quickly and gets the fit just right.
Flatform Universal – Anna Sui, $150, teva.com
This limited-edition collaboration curated by fashion designer Anna Sui debuted during the designer’s New York Fashion Week show. One of Teva’s most playful designs to date, this sandal sports a whimsical mix of serpents and tropical birds. The familiar sandal has been reworked with a punchy summer print and color-blocked platform.
Northside Seaview Flat Sandal, $24, jcpenney.com
This light-weight sandal offers cushiony comfort and protection that will take you from rocky beach shores to mountain streams and city streets and back again.
Teva x Anna Sui Flatform Universal, $150, annasui.com
A vibrant mix of serpents and color blocks, these limited-edition sandals are a collaboration between Anna Sui and Teva. These sporty shoes are the perfect warm weather shoe and are inspired by Teva heritage sandals. They combine signature Teva comfort with playful Anna Sui prints.
Women’s Hurricane XLT2, $70, teva.com
Inspired by colors of the canyon, this sandal is part of a special collection that celebrates the Grand Canyon’s 100th year as a National Park. Teva gave the iconic Hurricane XLT a fresh comfort upgrade with soft heel-strap padding. A new, modern sole offers even better traction than before.
Chanel Sandal, $975, chanel.com
That’s right, $975. The Chanel version of the hiking sandal you’ll be sure to wear to the next pool party.