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Hands-on Gear Review
Teva Hurricane XLT Review
Cons: lacks support and stiffness
The successor of the shoe that launched the Teva empire, the Teva Hurricane XLT is one of the most simplistic shoes we tested—which to some buyers equals saved weight and ease of use; to others it appears as a lack of innovation or features. However, we quickly realized with this awesome shoe that the lack of features . . .well, we didn't really miss them. Instead, we just loved the lightweight and open design, the simplicity, and the ability to get a truly custom fit through the strapping system. Straight up, this is a no-nonsense technical sandal, originally built for the river, but has far exceeded its basic expectations through our testing.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Without costing a bomb, the Hurricane XLT (shown in blue) offers great performance overall, as seen in the chart below.
The Teva Hurricane XLT boasts a nice, cushy footbed, that doesn't have an aggressive pattern that requires your feet to toughen up like the Chaco z/1 Unaweep or the Chaco Yampa z/2. Instead, from the very first time trying on the shoe, we were happy with how comforting the footbed was. Through time, we found that the footbed slowly conformed to our testers' feet, and left us with an even nicer, positive grip and a footbed profile that aids in long-term comfort.
While the straps appear uncomfortable at first glance, we felt like they were plenty soft against our skin, and the width helps displace the pressure nicely.
With almost an identical design as the Teva Terra-Fi Lite, the Hurricane supplies its wearers with a surprising amount of stability, based off of its three strap design which enables a custom, secure fit.
The overall stiffness, support, and stability of the Hurricane's chassis is a little bit lacking in comparison to some of the burly sandals we tested such as the Chaco Unaweep. While traversing sharp rocks, we could definitely feel a little bit poking through, and occasionally the shoe would fold upon harsh stress. If you'll be spending a lot of time walking on road blast rocks, or live in a place with blocky, hard rocks, maybe take a look at a more substantial shoe that has a bit more protection.
Fit and Design
Teva's iconic strapping system offers three points of adjustment, which at first seems a bit short of "custom", but it offers everything you need to dial in your fit. The heel strap catches most feet at the apex of the Achilles' tendon, providing great support.
Be patient while adjusting these straps. Try some different configurations out. You can really adjust where your foot will sit in the shoe based on the rear strap first (setting your front to back movement), then your front strap, and finally your main instep strap. And yes, while you can always change it, as mentioned above the shoe will start to mold to where your foot sits, so try to lock down your fit before starting to clock miles on these shoes. Our testers reported they would occasionally tighten the front strap when the terrain got rough, but generally keep the Achilles' strap locked in one place.
Like a lot of other shoes in the open design category, the Hurricane doesn't have a whole lot of failure points. We were fortunate enough to test this model for five years…with a lot of wear. Over the years, the only thing that has happened is that we started to wear through the sole. In a shoe that's only a half pound, five years of abuse is pretty good.
Similar to the Terra-Fi Lite, the Hurricane has Teva's triangular rings, may be a questionable piece for some folks, but trust us—they're strong.
Though the Hurricane doesn't have as aggressive soles as the Terra-Fi or the Dozer, the rubber compound used by the folks at Teva is great. The soft compound sticks to anything you can throw at it, from mossy rocks to dry dirt, the Hurricane feels equally comfortable.
In addition to the compound, while the tread pattern isn't nearly as aggressive as the shark tooth design on the Terra-Fi, the lugs do a fine job in keeping your feet below you.
The Hurricane works great as a utility shoe—it was our go-to camp shoe when backpacking, our go-to shoe for hiking into waterfalls, and our go-to shoe for heading out around town. We can't think of a use that this shoe doesn't handle, if not, excel in.
As the winner of our value award, the Teva Hurricane XLT is the least expensive shoe we tested, listed at $60 and available for quite a bit less through many retailers. For a shoe that is as solid, durable, and versatile, we haven't been this impressed with a value on any outdoor gear in a while. You can't go wrong by picking up a pair, even if you're on the fence.
As the utility shoe of our fleet, the Hurricane XLT is an amazing value for a very great shoe. While some elements, such as extra padding through the straps, have been removed, we still think this shoe is an absolutely stunning value, extremely versatile, and well built.
Teva Dozer 4
Teva Terra-Fi Lite
Terra Fi 4
Hurricane XLT - Women's
— Tommy Penick
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 14, 2013
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