Comfy hard-wearing, these men’s sandals prove just secure enough for a spot of light hiking
Go to the desert and wadis of the Middle East and the last thing you want to wear is hiking boots. However, such is the varied terrain facing you – from canyons, gorges and boulder-strewn river-beds to deserts, beaches and even mountain tracks – that any pair of sandals needs to be as sturdy as hell. Can Teva’s latest cut it?
The Teva Fi Lite’s certainly grip onto one’s feet securely, with a full harness for ankle and toes joined by a sturdy link. A lot of you are going to be suspicious of the side-weighted link, which leaves the instep side of the foot bare to the elements, but in practice it makes little difference.
Ditto the open-toe design, though from long experience TravGear knows that anywhere you put an over-toe protector, you also collect a lot of sand and stones if you get anywhere near water. Travelling through multiple wadis and river-beds, streams, waterfalls and beaches, closed-toe just wasn’t going to work in Oman.
The ‘spider’ sole grips well on dry rocks, but when it gets wet, there’s a chance of slipping. A hike up and down a tight canyon in Oman proved this beyond doubt, though we never felt that the sandal straps unusual positioning were to blame – it was definitely the sole. To be completely fair, wet boulders and scree is just about the toughest test there is for a pair of sandals.
However, a couple of slips during the 3-hour walk let us feeling slightly nervous on the way back, which makes using hiking boots more likely next time. A good effort from Teva, whose toughly-made and easily adjustable sandals were great for general travel, but these are everyday wear rather than ready for anything sandals.
Price as reviewed: £60