Teva - Adventuring Since 1984

Posted by Whole Earth | 05.12.2021

A colorful mandala of Teva Universal Sandals celebrating 30 years of Teva!



Teva - Adventuring Since 1984


A river rafting guide needed shoes that could run rapids and protect his feet both in and out of the water. His choices at the time were sneakers or flip flops. Anyone who has worn wet sneakers knows what a squelchy mess they can be to wear, and it may take days for them to dry out. And flips? One misstep in the current and your flip is gone for good. But the guide had an idea.


During college, he spent his summers working on the Colorado River taking adventurers on raft trips through the Grand Canyon. In 1984, he rigged two Velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops and created a shoe that stayed on even when a raft overturned in the rapids. This was the prototype for the first Teva sport sandal.


Tinkering with the design, he created the Original sandal, which he dubbed an “amphibious utility sandal.” It had a toe thong, but was not as sport-friendly or comfortable as he thought it could be. So he went back to the drawing board and created the Universal, a sandal that Teva makes to this day. It was an immediate hit.



The Teva Universal

Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals Sun and Moon Insignia BlueWhole Earth was an early adopter of Teva and the Universal. It’s a great sandal for exploring the creeks, rivers and lakes in Texas as well as for kayaking and canoeing. We were soon spotting them on trails and around town. The Universal became the cool sandal for summer wear. And why not? It had a thicker more comfortable sole than flip flops and the fancy patterns in the webbing made them fashion forward. We still sell the Universal after all these years. Tweaks in the design and an endless parade of beautiful webbing options keep it fresh.



The Teva Hurricane XLT2

Teva Men's Hurricane XLT2 Sandals Vista SunsetAnother Teva favorite in our Whole Earth stores is the Hurricane XLT2, a heritage throwback re-imagined for the trail and for water.  The XLT2 has a thicker and grippier rubber outsole than the Original. Its lightweight EVA footbed molds to the foot while an interior nylon shank stabilizes and offers support on uneven ground. The three point strapping system at the toes, heel and ankle remains the same, allowing for a personal fit and quick adjustments. The Hurricane also has a soft padded heel-strap for extra comfort.  Its quick-dry webbing is made from recycled plastic – four plastic bottles worth. In fact, the entire sandal is now recyclable. More on that in a bit.


If you haven’t tried a Teva Hurricane XLT2 or you’re a fan and would like a new pair, enter our Teva Hurricane XLT2 Giveaway! From Friday, May 14th through Tuesday May 18th, you can enter to win a pair of Hurricane XLT2s! You’ll find the details on our Whole Earth Instagram page.



The TevaForever recycling program logoNow for more on the TevaForever Recycling Program. Our worn out Teva sandals can now be mailed to TerraCycle, diverting them from landfills so they can be recycled into something new. Teva’s long-term vision is to work towards one day fully closing the loop by recycling old Teva sandals into new ones. Visit to download a prepaid shipping label. The sandals will be cleaned and separated into component materials for processing. The processed material will be used by manufacturers to make new products including playgrounds, athletic fields, and track ground cover. So if your Tevas wear out, recycle them!




The Teva Block Party

A bejeweled pair of Teva Universal SandalsWhole Earth and Teva have partnered for some fun events over the years. One of our favorites took place in October 2014 – the Teva Block Party! To help celebrate Austin City Limits Music Festival weekend, Teva put on quite an event at our North Lamar store in Austin. First up, for a donation to HAAM, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, guests received a pair of Teva Originals that they could then decorate! Once the masterpiece was complete, lunch was served. Teva hosted a free barbeque lunch prepared by House Bar-B-Que, the oldest pit in Austin. There was also live music and some lucky souls won tickets for the second weekend of the ACL Music Festival! It was definitely a day to remember.




If you’re looking for a sport sandal that’s at home in the water and on the trail, try Teva!  The Universal and Hurricane XLT2 are open-toe sandals that stay securely on your feet thanks to the easily adjustable straps, and the outer sole grips in water, on rocks and on the pavement. They’re comfortable, durable, and great adventure sandals for playing and exploring in water, the wilderness and the big city. Teva is your do-it-all sandal.



A Whole Earthling with a Texas tattoo ascending the steps in a pair of Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals






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