Teva Universal Trail Sandals Review: Functional, Fashionable and Eco-Friendly

Back in 2014, I was on my way to the trailhead for my 22 day John Muir Trail hike when I realized I forgot a critical piece of gear – camp shoes. I found the nearest outdoor store and the only option they had in my size was a pair of Teva sandals. Being the only choice, I was obviously sold, and little did I know this would be the beginning of a long term relationship between me and my new favorite camp shoe.

Teva Hurricane XLT sandals on the John Muir Trail
Taking a break on the JMT in my Teva Sandals, 2014


After 6 summers of wearing Teva sandals, I’m convinced that Teva makes the most functional sandals for outdoor recreation. Plus, they have all kinds of fun styles and colors to fit all personalities, and more importantly, Teva is making strides in their sustainability efforts. 

When I’m traveling in my van, I only have room for one pair of sandals, and the new Universal Trail Sandal hits every mark. Available only at REI, they are functional for the trail, fashionable enough for town, and comfortable for night after night at camp. Plus, they are vegan and made out of recycled water bottles!

In this blog post, I share why the Teva Universal Sandals are my favorite summer footwear.

This post is sponsored by REI.


Cushion under the buckles and straps

Ever worn sandals on a hike and ended up with blisters from the straps digging into your feet? With the Teva Universal Trail sandals, you’ll never worry about this again, due to their neoprene-like lining. The straps and buckles are lined with a quick-dry, eco-friendly material called Ariapene® that provides a layer of soft cushioning between the sandal and your feet. This prevents uncomfortable rubbing and painful blisters. This material is also quick dry for splashing around in the water.

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

Vibram Sole provides durability and traction

Want to hike above your campsite to a good vantage point for sunset? No need to put your hiking boots back on. The Teva Universal Trail sandal has a VIBRAM Mega Grip Outsole®  that provides an impressive amount of traction that will keep you from slipping on rocky terrain. The grippy sole also helps in wet environments.

I will say that this sandal is a hybrid for city and mountain living. If you want something that is a bit more rugged and stiffer, check out the Teva Hurricane XLT-2 sandals.

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

Straps are made from recycled plastic water bottles

The Teva Universal Trail sandal straps are made from 100% recycled plastic called REPREVE® polyester. In fact, each sandal prevents 4 plastic water bottles from ending up in a landfill! In addition, these sandals are vegan. As a new plant-based eater, this is something I’m starting to pay more attention to.

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

Moderate arch support and cushy footbed provide max comfort

I don’t care how functional a sandal is, if it’s not comfortable, it’s not going to work for me. Luckily the Teva Universal Trail sandal is about as comfy as it gets. I am fairly flat-footed, so some of the competitor sandals with high arches don’t work for me. This Teva sandal midsole, on the other hand, has just the right amount of arch – enough to be supportive, but not so much that it is unnatural. The footbed is also nice and cushy making it comfortable all day long.

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

They are oh-so-stylin’

The Teva Universal Trail sandals aren’t just made for the outdoors. With a simple style and cute earthy colors, they can be dressed up just as easily for a night on the town (or backyard bbqs). The burnt olive color goes with just about anything, and I love the touch of pink on the velcro. 

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

They weigh just over a pound for the pair

No one wants to lug around a heavy pair of sandals on a backpacking trip. With the Teva Universal Trail sandals weighing just over a pound for the pair, they are the perfect backpacking companion. Plus you can throw a pair of socks on underneath for those extra chilly evenings.


Easy to adjust

If you’ve ever worn sandals where you had to really wrestle with the straps to adjust the fit, you’ll love the simplicity of the Teva Universal Trail sandals. Instead of having to pull and tug the straps through the sole of the sandal, on these, the straps pull through a simple loop that allows you to get the perfect fit in a matter of seconds. 


Where to Buy

The Teva Universal Trail Sandals are available exclusively at REI and come in both a men’s and women’s versions.

The new Teva Universal Trail Sandals can go from the trail, to camp, to town. Get my review of these comfy, cute & functional multipurpose outdoor sandals

Got questions about the Teva Universal Trail Sandals? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

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