Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying out and testing a pair of Terra FI 4 sport sandals, the latest offering from the renowned footwear company Teva. Now, whenever I am carrying out a review, I have to make sure I remain impartial, unbiased and above all truthful. That said, I must start by first saying, that until a fortnight ago I had no interest in Teva sandals and could not see the appeal. A lot can happen over the course of 14 days and in this case, I have travelled on an enlightening learning curve.
Slaps, thongs, flip-flops, call them what you like, that was my preferred type of footwear for the summer period and something I have been wearing for years. After my experience of wearing and using the Terra FI 4’s, I have now found a sandal that is so much more fit for purpose than the humble step in flip flop.
When I first saw the Terra FI 4 sandals, it was impossible to ignore the size of them, they are physically much larger than the traditional flip-flop I was used to. This increased size is purely down to the rubber sole of the sandal and this is where the FI 4 stands out from the crowd. The footbed is crafted in such a way, that your foot sits exactly and precisely within the sandal and means that when wearing them, there is no danger of rubbing or slipping on the delightfully spongy footbed.
The fit of the sandal is further improved with the use of the 3 Velcro adjustment straps that allow you to alter the width and tightness of the Terra almost infinitely until you find the perfect fit. This also means the FI 4 is also suitable for feet of all girths, even those with the widest of feet will be able to find comfort with this Terra sandal.
Comfort is the most important thing with any item of footwear and this is where Teva have hit the jackpot, from the moment I first put the FI 4’s on, I was impressed with the luxury provided. This is helped not only with the exact fit of the sandal, but by the Shoc Pad that is built into the heel that cushions the step on even the longest of hikes. Much to my partners delight, the Terra FI 4 also features an anti-microbial treatment, which means the nasty odours sometimes associated with my footwear are eliminated.
The most impressive quality of the Terra FI 4 and the thing that sets it apart more than any other sandal or flip-flop I have used is the chunky and sturdy sole. Constructed from Tevas Spider Rubber, these sandals are built for the harshest of conditions. If you were to look square on at the bottom of the sandal you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the sole of a walking boot, the tread is that chunky.
I have been wearing the sandals solidly for the last fortnight and not once have I had any issues with grip or stability. From cutting the grass (not recommended in sandals), to walking the dog, beach walking, hiking to the shops, and a day out at a medieval castle the Teva sandals have coped brilliantly. I even wore them when I went for a trip on my Paddleboard and they held fast on the deck of the board.
Another thing worth mentioning is that these sandals don’t ever look out of place, wherever you are, the Terra FI 4 can cope with the situation as well as they do on rugged terrain. You can wear them for a days hiking or at the beach and then that night compliment them with a pair of jeans and head out on the town.
As with any review I have to look for the negatives with the product I am using and I have done the same with these sandals. At first I found them a pain to put on, but this was down to the fact that I was undoing each of the Velcro straps whenever I took them off. This is completely unnecessary, once you are happy with the fit and find the Tevas comfortable, you only need to undo the top strap around the ankle and this allows you to slip the sandal off and more importantly back on easily next time. I also found that due to the thickness of the quality construction of the Velcro straps if you pull them thorough the strapping eyes, they are fiddly to thread back through.
I did find that when walking on the soft dry, deep sand I ended up with sand trapped between my foot and the sandal, and this was uncomfortable and would lead to chaffing if left unchecked. This is a problem that all flip-flops and sandals suffer with, but with a slip on they are that bit quicker to remove.
The only other issue I had, but soon got used to, was the patterning on the straps themselves. I would have preferred webbing that was a little more discreet and maybe just the one colour, but now after wearing the Terra FI 4’s, I wouldn’t let this put me off buying a second pair in the future.
As I said at the start of the review until a fortnight ago a sports sandal wasn’t something I thought I needed or would benefit me, but now after having the pleasure of getting hands on with the Terra FI 4 I am well and truly converted. They are without doubt one of the comfiest items of footwear I have ever worn and are built to withstand everyday life but will also cope with any night life too!
The Teva Terra FI 4 sandals are available for both men and women and in a range of colours, I have been reviewing the Madang Blue colourway. These sandals are available from a range of outlets including Teva themselves, and also at Blacks and Cotswold Outdoors, at a recommended price of £65, if ordering direct from Teva the delivery is free on all orders over £40.
For more details of these superior sports sandals head over to the Teva website where you can also view the whole range of footwear available. My colleague Mark has been charged with reviewing the Teva Original sandal so stay tuned to Surf Report for the low down on further Teva products. Further images of the Terra FI 4 can also be found below this article.