Back in high school, my friends would laugh when I’d manage to break a shoe within weeks of buying it. None of us quite knew why it was happening. Were they too cheap? Was there something wrong with my feet? Was I jinxed?
This curse followed me into college, until it was lifted by a pair of red Keds. Finally a shoe I could wear hard all day, every day. After finding the Keds in my college and post-grad years, I’ve discovered other shoes that have served me well through later chunks of my life too: from the day-to-night-to-hike leather Clarks of my late-20s to my long-walk pandemic Nikes. I learned to be loyal and less frugal, repurchasing identical pairs every year or two.
This year I entered my Teva era with the Hurricane XLT2 sandal—and I’m never looking back. Comfortable, versatile, and flipping cute, these are my go-to shoes for spring, summer, and beyond (seriously, I’m deciding if I can get away with the socks-and-Tevas look come winter). Here are all the reasons you may find yourself enamored with these sandals too.
How the Teva Hurricane XLT2 Fit and Feel
Boy, oh boy, are these comfy. I can walk all day in my Tevas without my feet feeling achy. I have high arches, and ever since my fave Clarks were discontinued, I’d been looking for another sandal with arch support. The Hurricane XLT2’s footbed is made from lightweight and flexible ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam, which provides good cushion and support—as well as effective shock-absorption that keeps my right knee brace at home. The wide velcro straps are adjustable at three points for a snug, blister-free fit, and my toes are free to wiggle around and splay out (perfect for hikes with wet or rugged terrain).
It took a day or two to really break in and get the straps just right, but once they’re set, so are you. Now all I have to do is release the velcro at the ankle in order to slip my foot in and out. Finally, the neoprene cushion in the heel strap is my favorite little touch since it prevents that annoying chafing above the heel common in a lot of outdoor sandals.
Tevas had their moment in the ’90s, another resurgence back in 2018, and a current surge thanks to everyone’s love of the ugly shoe. For me, Tevas will forever embody Colorado cool girl vibes because of my college best friend, who rocked permanent Teva and Chaco tan lines (one of the few drawbacks of the shoe).
The Hurricane XLT2 comes in more than 10 different colors and patterns, from muted pinks and greens to vibrant psychedelic prints. I chose a sunflower yellow, and the millennial in me is pleased that they’re colorful and chunky enough to match the throwback Gen Z aesthetic while satisfying my need for stability and comfort. No matter what I’m wearing—a patterned jumper, a silky maxidress, or hiking shorts—I instantly achieve that laid-back summer spirit when I throw on these shoes.
Performance and versatility
I don’t have a car, so I walk, bike, or take the train everywhere. This means my shoes have to be my best friends. Since I bought these Tevas five months ago, I’ve felt like I could wear them anywhere. Vienna, where I live, has all kinds of terrain, from hard paved sidewalks to rough cobblestone paths to muddy trails. I sport them in the city and on hikes in the Austrian countryside because they’re durable, lightweight (clocking in just under one pound), and have solid traction for a sandal. I wear them for swims in the Danube because they’re quick-drying and close-fitting. I wear them out to dinner because they look cute with a beaded anklet and summer dress. And I’m going to continue wearing them until it’s too cold out, because they have yet to show any signs of tear and are beyond comfortable.
Two downsides though: The deep grooves of the rubber tread make it easier for small rocks or dog poop to get stuck, and the velcro straps can catch plant debris and pet hair. But these are minor annoyances, especially since they’re super easy to wash.
With its cushy midsoles, grippy rubber outsoles, and secure straps, the Hurricane XLT2 sandal earns its comfort and durability accolades. More than a hiking sandal, it’s great for strolling around town, water sports, music festivals—really any kind of sunny-day activity. I mean, I packed three pairs of travel shoes for a monthlong trip down the East Coast—including walking around New York, camping in Maryland, and kayaking in South Carolina—and ended up only wearing my Tevas (a packing fail, but a big win for these bad boys). One pair should last me through my five-year shoe phase (just in time for me to recycle them through the TevaForever program) and choose a new color for another Teva chapter.