HomeTactical & SurvivalPerformance Trail Running Sandals? Teva Aventrail First Look Review

Performance Trail Running Sandals? Teva Aventrail First Look Review

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This spring, you may want to ditch the laces on your next trail run. Teva, the sandal brand known best in the last few years for its festival presence and lifestyle lean, returns to its performance roots with the launch of what it calls the world’s first high-performance trail running sandal — and I received a pair for a first look.

The minds at Teva worked for the last 2 years to design a trail-made sandal that combined the necessary elements for running on dirt: a protective and breathable upper, a nylon plate that could deliver propulsion and power, and a chunky, comfortable foam that maintained support over punchy trail.

I tested an early pair of the new Aventrail sandals with the Teva team in California to see how they stacked up to the challenge.

If you’re into running trails and sick of standard shoes, this new Teva Running Aventrail Sandal may be for you. But before you get too excited, there are some caveats.

In short: The Aventrail is comfortable, but I have doubts regarding its ability to go the distance. While I wouldn’t recommend the Aventrail for serious or consistent trail runners, I do see great value in an underlooked aspect of the sandals. It stands as a great do-it-all camp shoe. Having one (lightweight) sandal that can hike, run, and lounge is hard to come by, and in this regard, Teva knocked it out of the park. (Bonus points for the Aventrail’s extremely unique look, which will garner attention on and off the trail.)

  • Materials
    Knit webbing in upper made from 100% recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi; EVA foam midsole
  • Drop
  • Sizes
    7-12 (men’s); 5-11 (women’s)
  • Claimed weight
    11.9 oz. (men’s); 9.7 oz. (women’s)

  • No break-in period required

  • Comfortable and cushioned

  • Lightweight

  • Versatile use cases

  • Eye-catching design

  • Makes use of recycled materials

  • Not enough responsiveness

  • Cushioning and foam can feel unsteady on trail

  • Not as technical as traditional trail running shoes

  • Unique design isn’t for everyone

Teva Running Sandal Review

So, a Trail Running … Sandal?

At first glance, this running sandal appears to deliver on all of its design missions, and more. The perforated, engineered upper is comfortable and breathable with or without socks (and made with Repreve recycled materials, to boot).

The Spider Rubber outsole, a proprietary design from Teva, feels grippy enough. And paired with the Hyper-Comf foam in the midsole (another proprietary Teva material), it lends enough balance, support, and stability to take on most terrain. The Aventrail weighs in at 11.9 ounces for men, 9.7 ounces for women, and features a 6mm drop and W strapping for secure foot lockdown.

While it’s true that one could technically run in any sandal on the trail if they so choose, the Aventrail’s design was expressly inspired by trail objectives. It’s not intended to be a hybrid of any sort. 

Aventrail Run Test

While I’ve only run in the Aventrail a handful of times, I have some noteworthy first impressions. The sandal’s proprietary foam lives up to its name — it is indeed comfy and supremely squishy — but that comfort comes at the cost of responsiveness.

By the end of my first 5-mile run, I felt like I was sinking into the sandals rather than bouncing off the compacted dirt trail. This feeling of being sucked into the foam was exponentially more powerful when I arrived at the last stretch of my run, which was paved.

The Aventrail’s foam is great for hikes, walking around camp, and short runs, but it’s also very chunky. The 33.5mm stack in the heel and 27.5mm in the toe is average, but feels like a lot more thanks to the sandal’s construction.

In closed-toed shoes, these specs wouldn’t elicit a second glance, but with the partially exposed design of the Aventrail, I found my feet rolling a lot more often as I navigated rock gardens, tree roots, or down gravel-filled descents.

I learned to trust this sandal and its unique construction, but be aware that the proprietary grip outsole isn’t anything close to its Vibram competition.

My favorite aspect of the Aventrail is its engineered knit upper, which counter-balanced the extra Hyper-Comf foam and left me with a sense of stability I was craving on the trail. The perforation in the upper lends breathability, along with its cut-outs, and even in socks, my feet never felt hot (or developed hot spots, another blessing).


Overall, the “first ever” trail running sandal from Teva left a good impression on me — and the sense that this is just the beginning of the brand’s foray back into performance-oriented footwear.

It’s not a fit for serious runners logging big miles. But for those who appreciate the comfort of open-toe footwear, and want a versatile, rugged option that performs decently well, the Aventrail is a solid step up from the traditional sandal.

Read the full article here

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