Traveling soon and looking for a new pair of shoes that allows you to walk for miles in style?
Or perhaps you have plans to go hiking or kayaking with your friends and in dire need of a pair of sandals but haven’t decided what to buy?
Well, you have come to the right place.
We are here to talk about two of the best brands available for such occasions: Teva and KEEN.
We are familiar with KEEN as we have previously compared it to Merrell, and today we will do the same thing and compare it to Teva.
So, let’s take a look at each brand individually and then try to find out which would be the better choice.
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A Short History of the Brand
But its history truly began in 1982 when a geophysicist by the name of Mark Thatcher noticed the lack of proper shoes for river activities.
He managed to create the first sports sandal by adding a Nylon ankle strap to a thong-style sandal. Thatcher managed to sell 200 pairs within the first year with the help of shoemaker California Pacific.
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In 1984, an unexpected surge of demand emerged as young Americans deemed his product to be fashionable. Due to the market’s new interest, California Pacific claimed rights over the Teva name, expressing that Thatcher was simply an employee of their company.
Thatcher managed to sue California Pacific, win his case, and founded the Teva company in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Since 1985 the Teva sandals were manufactured and distributed by Deckers Corporation, after an agreement with Thatcher.
In 2002, Mark Thatcher sold the Teva patents and trademarks to Deckers Outdoor Cooperation (known as Deckers Brands), which now manufactures most of the sandals in Vietnam, China or El Salvador.
Materials and Manufacture
Teva offers all kinds of footwear other than sandals, including boots, sneakers, hiking shoes, flip-flops, and flatforms.
The leather Teva uses for its products is certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG), an organization that assesses and promotes sustainable and natural strategic policies within the leather industry.
In addition to this, they also conduct a Packaging Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) to identify, evaluate, and assess the environmental effects throughout their product’s life cycle, which will allow those who buy their products to reduce their carbon footprint.
As of the Spring of 2020, 100% of Teva’s straps will be made using recycled plastics, specifically recycled polyester (rPET).
Let’s take a look at two popular designs by Teva, so you can have a better idea of what they offer.
Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal
These sandals are designed specifically for women’s foot with comfort and support as their priority.
They have a “Shoc Pad” heel where they can absorb impact, and they perform well in water and also dry terrains. The polyester webbing is durable and the sandal dries quickly.
As some online reviews suggest, the Tirra sandals are a good option for those with sensitive feet, as they don’t hurt the feet. The sandals come in over 15 colors.
Teva Men’s Katavi Outdoor Sandal
Teva’s Katavi sandals are made of mixed material and have a contoured footbed that supports your arch and heels, to keep your foot healthy and offer comfort and stability.
The rugged Durabrasion Rubber™ outsole provides good grip in different terrains and for different outdoor activities. All in all, a good and versatile outdoor sandal.
Teva’s prices are perfectly reasonable and affordable for the quality they offer. Sandals range from $25 to $100 on average, while their shoes can reach $150.
Is Teva’s Footwear Worth the Price?
Yes, it is. With the comfort Teva offers, its prices are fair in our opinion. Very few products provide the same stability, comfort and support.
A Short History of the Brand
Martin Keen is known to be an avid sailor who prefers sandals while on deck. Growing sick of stubbing his toes while onboard one too many times, in 1999 he came up with the iconic rubber toe bumper that can now be found in most of KEEN’s products.
With the help of Rory Fuerst, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and now current KEEN president, KEEN was launched.
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It wasn’t too long before KEEN became the perfect footwear for outdoor activities such as boating and hiking. Their Newport sandal is one of their first products, now a symbol of the company.
Building on this success, the company began to diversify its line of products by launching cold-weather footwear, boots, sandals, and sneakers.
Materials and Manufacture
KEEN uses the finest materials sourced from around the world for their shoes, sandals and boots.
Their footwear is made to withstand rugged environments, such as construction work, hiking, and white-water rafting, to name a few.
Their facilities are equipped with testing machines to ensure durability and sustainability over time, thus making KEEN’s testing process go beyond standard industry regulations for its thorough quality control (source).
Mid-soles are either made of PU or EVA materials. Your choice of material depends on what you will be using KEEN’s footwear for, but both provide comfort for daily use.
Other materials and technologies that they use are: leather, non-marking rubber outsoles, hydrophobic mesh linings, PFC-free water repellent materials, and KEEN.DRY, a breathable, waterproof membrane developed by them.
When it comes to sustainability, KEEN uses the Higg Index to measure how they are doing and guide their new improvements.
Now let’s see two KEEN’s sandals that we have picked, so we can compare them to Teva’s products above.
KEEN Women’s Rose Sandal
These sandals feature the iconic toe bumper and rubber soles, and are water-resistant.
Their outsole provides a strong grip on slippery and wet ground, and a non-removable EVA footbed supports your foot arch for increased comfort.
They are an excellent option for traveling and camping outdoors, and in situations where you will have to walk for many hours.
KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal
This sandal comes with 100% Polyester webbing, rubber soles and a supportive contoured arch.
Available since the first years of the brand, the Newport design is still up to this day one of the bestsellers of the company.
With its light profile, it is excellent for hiking, kayaking and other strenuous sports.
The prices of KEEN’s sandals vary: you can usually find them in the $50-$150 range. Their shoes go for $100-$150 and some of them can reach a price of $200 and above.
Not bad, especially considering that the brand offers sales from time to time.
Is KEEN’s Footwear Worth the Price?
Their shoes and sandals may not be the prettiest, but they surely are comfortable. For the comfort and durability KEEN provides, we believe their products are worth it.
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3. Which Brand is Better?
It depends on what you are looking for. Both brands provide premium quality and comfort.
If you are looking for a “cheaper” pair, Teva has a wide variety to choose from with just about the same quality that KEEN offers.
They also have a wider variety of sandals than KEEN, and can fit almost every outfit/style you have in your closet.
If you are more of an outdoorsy type of person and want a pair that will last for a long time, our pick would be KEEN.
As for their hiking shoes and boots, we see both of them at the same level.
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That’s all for today! And you? Which brand would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.