Teva has long been beloved by outdoor enthusiasts for its strapped and trail-ready sandals, but has suddenly become more fashionable with the rise of gorpcore and more men getting past their fear of baring feet. You’re nearly as likely to see a pair of Tevas in SoHo as you are in Boulder, Colorado — but those outside of the brand’s long-term customer base are unlikely to know that it also makes boots.
Last month, a wonderfully weird pair of Teva boots came to our attention and made us want to sing their praises before even wearing them. As the name suggests, the Revive ‘94 Mid is a reissued ‘90s silhouette and sees the same elastic straps from Teva’s sandals replacing laces on the lower-cut boot. Making them only more attractive is a heavily textured suede appearing underneath a stretch collar for easy on and off.
Now that I’ve had the chance to actually wear the Revive ‘94 Mid, my excitement for this left-field hiking boot is only greater. It’s extremely comfortable with or without socks — versatility is important if you plan on coming across water — and the oddity of its strap only makes it more delightful to wear.
The feeling of straps atop your foot instead of laces takes some getting used to, but it won’t be too long before you start thinking about it at all. The grip on your foot isn’t precise, and you probably wouldn’t want to wear the boot for a more arduous hike, but it’s snug enough to keep your foot in place for everyday wear or more modest hikes. Making it snugger is also remarkably easy, as you just have to pull at the end of the single strap that zigs atop the shoe twice.
And because of how it feels, standing out is far from the only reward.
There’s no proper tongue, and in its place is quick-dry webbing that’ll help prevent your feet from feeling soggy. Rubber paneling at the toe and heel help provide security, while the waterproof suede won’t be damaged if it gets wet. The entire shoe isn’t waterproof — but that’s the point. Water will inevitably get inside from the collar of any waterproof shoe that doesn’t climb higher up the ankle, which is where the drainage system within the midsole helps to get rid of it quickly.
If you’re planning to wear the Revive ‘94 Mid for a hike that includes streams or shallow rivers, you’ll want to wear them without socks that’ll become waterlogged. The good news is that stitching is kept to a minimum inside so your foot won’t become raw and create and another problem worse than moisture.
Rounding out the construction is a lugged outsole with plenty of grip and two layers of foam underneath the foot that’ll prove more comfortable than a lot of other boots out there. This cushioning makes the boot one you need not relegate to the trail alone, but one you can wear throughout your day in a more urban setting.
I’ve been wearing the Revive ‘94 Mid in the latter environment along with water-repellant pants during light rain and my gorpier shorts on hotter days. A splash of color on the native print straps and the raised Teva logo at the heel helps make them an attractive oddity in my rotation — and I plan on wearing them until the snow comes and I need greater protection.
Adopting outdoor gear isn’t exactly a standout choice in today’s landscape, but Teva’s new sandal-boot hybrid is an option you’re not likely to see replicated by most. And because of how it feels, standing out is far from the only reward.