The Teva Tirra: My New Favorite Travel Shoe

November featured blogger, Kristin Repsher.The following is a guest post by November’s featured guest blogger, Kristin Repsher.

I probably shouldn’t admit it, but even though I own a website called “A Pair of Boots and a Backpack,” I don’t always take a pair of boots with me when I travel. In fact, on my recent trip to Europe, I didn’t even pack a pair of tennis shoes. Instead, I took my pair of Teva Tirra sandals, knowing that they would work for nearly every situation I found myself in.

I’ve been a Teva fan since I bought my first pair of Mush flip flops, but until a few years ago, I never felt like I could justify buying a pair of their sandals. I didn’t really like their look, plus I figured the shoes I had covered everything I needed. It wasn’t until I found myself fording rivers in New Zealand that I really wished I had a pair. Other hikers just switched to their sandals and hiked on; I had to choose between waterlogging my boots or wearing flip flops. Either way, I’d probably end up with blisters on my feet, either from wet shoes and socks or from dragging ill-fitting flip flops through the current.

My now slightly grungy Teva Tirras
My now slightly grungy Teva Tirras

Originally, I invested in a pair of Teva Karnali Wraptors.

The Teva Karnali Wraptor, one of the ugliest pairs of shoes I've ever bought
The Teva Karnali Wraptor, one of the ugliest pairs of shoes I’ve ever bought
I’m sorry, but they were the ugliest shoes I have ever owned. I don’t know if the other colours were the same, but the yellow version was so hideous that I just wouldn’t wear them — and I’m a person that doesn’t care about fashion when it comes to good outdoor gear.

Late last year, I replaced them with a pair of Tirras, which I liked as soon as they arrived from Amazon. I ordered them just at the right time too, since I broke my leg shortly after; this meant they got a solid six months of use while I needed supportive shoes that were easy to take on and off. Ever since, they’ve been my go-to shoe for many outdoor activities — they’re great for clambering over rocks at the beach — and for many everyday activities as well.

5 Reasons Why You’ll Love Them Too:

  • They’re incredibly comfortable. I love the feel of these sandals. Even though they are strappier than the standard sandal, none of those straps rub on my feet. I’ve only gotten one blister from wearing them, and that was when they got wet and I kept wearing them tight rather than loosening them up slightly. They’re also very supportive — I’d say they have just as much support as my tennis shoes do.
  • They’re pretty much destruction-proof. It’s hard to find a pair of Tevas that aren’t built to last, and the Tirras are the same. From slogging through mud to going for runs on concrete, these shoes will do anything and they’ll hardly show any wear and tear. The soles are thick and durable so I don’t anticipate having to replace mine for years to come, which makes the $80 investment seem very worth it.
  • They’re so easy to put on and adjust for any situation. Forget having to tie shoes or deal with annoying straps or buckles. It’s so much easier just to slip your foot in, velcro up, and go. I find it especially handy on planes that I can easily adjust the fit as well, since my feet often swell on long haul flights.
  • They’re not just for tramping through water. While the Tirras are great for doing day walks and for going wading through rivers, they’re equally at home walking around town or on a casual night out. I wouldn’t wear them with a dress, but they go well with jeans or even skirts.
  • They save precious packing space. If I’m going somewhere with a warmer climate (and I’m not doing a lot of hiking), I’d be happy taking just these, a pair of flip flops, and some flats for nights out. Since I’d wear the Tirras for travel, they’d hardly ever take up room in the bag; even if I did have to carry them, they can be clipped onto the back of your bag rather than put into the bag itself.

One word of advice though: if you do buy a pair of Tirras for your next trip — and I highly recommend you do — make sure you take some sunscreen too, otherwise you’ll end up with funny triangular patterns all over your feet like me!

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That’s the last of the posts by Kristin Repsher, our November featured blogger, but also be sure to check out her travel blog, A Pair of Boots and a Backpack, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Amanda says

    I have the EXACT same pair (color and everything). I bought them for my summer trip to Europe for days when I’d be doing a lot of walking, but I ended up wearing them just about every single day for 2 months! They’re so comfortable. Perhaps not the most attractive sandals, but much better than some of the alternatives out there!

  2. Nani Allen says

    I love these sandals too. I gave them a try first in the beatiful but humid, tropical island of Puerto Rico for a few weeks and ended up wearing them almost everyday. From city walking to the beach, they’re very versatile and comfortable. They’re pretty easy to clean too with a bit of baking soda and an old toothbrush to keep the soles from getting grungy. Hopefully these sandals will take 3 months of abuse through SE Asia 🙂

  3. Dianne says

    Tevas are great, I’ve worn them for years. But I have really bad feet (bunions, flat, have had 5 surgeries on them). When you have to wear orthopedic shoes, your choices are not just slim, they’re practically non-existent.

    My new go-to sandals are Orthaheels with built-in orthotics. I finally have sandals that I can wear all day without hurting my feet and the styles are pretty good. Between the O’heels and my P.W. Minors, I can now travel anywhere and not damage my feet. Except I need to convince Orthaheel to make a water shoe for climbing waterfalls.

    • Jessica says

      Interesting article. I am always on the look out for comfortable shoes, whether it’s for work, casual, holidays, etc. I too suffer from plantar fascitis and 6 months ago I fell and tore all my ligaments on my right ankle and had to be off work for 3 months 🙁 Winter shoes I always wear comfortable boots with orthotic insoles but when summer comes I suffer constantly with swollen feet because although I wear comfortable sandals I don’t have the support I require.

      I have often looked at buying these sort of sandals for walking holidays but I don’t want to invest in a pair of shoes that at the end of the day are not convenient for my problem. Diane’s reply has got me surfing the net for the Orthaheels (very cute sandals). Diane, how have you managed to built-in the orthotics? Any advice is appreciated as the older I get the less attracted I am to travel because of my painful feet, escpecially both my ankles ;(

  4. Kirby says

    I tried these on today based on your review and found them insanely comfortable. As I want an all purpose travel shoe I asked my partners opinion on if they could work with a skirt/dress for dinner and he said yes, and he also said he thought they were prettier than the Merrell Asters I tried on at the same time. (all very good feedback from a man who loves to tease my sense of fashion). I ended up buying them (at 30% off) and look forward to the comfort!

  5. Sherry says

    I loved the look of these as well. I am looking for something for an up-coming trip to S, America. Fortunately I tried them on at REI. The strap across the ankle hit me directly on the big tendon that flexes with every step. So when I tried tightening to keep the sandal snug, it was too tight and when I loosened it, the heel slipped. I must have made the saleslady nuts. I tried on every sandal they had. Because sandals are strappy rather than boxes, the placement of the straps really matters, I liked the Keens, but they have a real pigeon-toe curve to them. Ended up with an Ahnu sandal without the arch support, but at least the straps were in the right place for my alien-mutant feet.

  6. Jo says

    Thanks for this post on these sandals. I’m a big footed girl (UK9), and after reading the post on the Merrell Hennas was distraught to find I had no chance of finding them, and then found these discounted on a website. When they came earlier this week, they were too small, but, hallelujah, Teva direct stocked my size! They are on their way again now, and I vouched for the leather ones that cost £5 more (£65), so that they looked more like normal sandals for my 17 day Japan trip. I can’t wait to get these broken in, and am glad somebody agrees on how well made they seem to be!

  7. Renay says

    I read your article because my hubby and I are taking a trip to Puerto Rico next week.
    I bought the Teva Tirras on Amazon (in Terra Cotta – on sale for $41+change) and they came in today. I tried them on and Hallelujah they feel like a dream!
    I broke three metatarsals in my right foot last year and recently rolled my left ankle so I’ve been rather gun-shy with shoes and walking/hiking lately… But these shoes make me feel like I can tackle the hikes and walks we like to go on together.
    Thank you for the review! I have my favorite shoe.

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