Teva Azure 2-Strap Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Stylish and summery, the Azure 2-Strap is comfortable for simple urban jaunts but had issues that caused our testers some annoyance when faced with longer or more complicated journeys. The footbed is very thick and cumbersome, but the material is also soft enough that we were able to feel every rock and twig underfoot. The straps are thin and dainty and get twisted very easily, causing the wearer to have to adjust them regularly to retain comfort and aesthetics. And while the footbed handled water decently well, the straps took a surprisingly long time to dry. All in all this sandal could be great if executed a bit better, but as it stands, we feel your $45 would be better spent elsewhere.
The Azure 2-Strap is most comfortable when you're standing upright, but as soon as you start walking, you can't help but notice how heavy the sole is, particularly in comparison to the thin and dainty straps. The thick footbed is decently cushioned, but there isn't much arch support, and the material is squishy enough that we were able to feel every oddly shaped thing under our feet. The straps don't seem to have enough integrity to balance out the weight of the sole, and because they are so thin and soft, they get twisted extremely easily. Sometimes we wouldn't notice the twisting and would fix it just for the sake of aesthetics, but other times it would cause a bit of discomfort. This all adds up to a flip-flop that feels clunky and relatively unstable. For a more comfortable experience, check out our favorite shoe for comfort, the OluKai Ohana. And for comfort married with the best stability, be sure to read about our Editors' Choice, the Birkenstock Gizeh.
Support & Stability
We found the Azure 2-Strap to be an unstable shoe for a few reasons, especially on uneven terrain. The delicate straps are rather loose and lack integrity, so the foot isn't held in place very well, allowing it to move and torque easily. Combine this with an overly thick and heavy sole, and it feels like this shoe is fighting against itself on all fronts. If support and stability are important to you, unfortunately, the Azure will probably leave you frustrated.
Check out our Editors' Choice, the Birkenstock Gizeh, for the top performer in this category. With thick adjustable straps and a snug fitting footbed that molds to your feet, it couldn't be a more different experience from the Azure. If you'd rather stick with a simpler, more rugged design, the Vionic Tide II is a fantastically supportive flip-flop offering built-in orthotics. And the simple North Face Base Camp Lite, our Best Buy for Sporty Adventures is also a great budget option.
In our time with the Azure 2-Strap we didn't see much visible wear other than some dirt and a few loose threads on the straps. However the straps are thin, and the one made from leather (one is leather, one is webbing) is prone to stretch, particularly under the weight of the thick footbed. This means you end up with the two straps being unevenly tensioned. The molded polyurethane footbed is soft and squishy enough that we feel it could get irreparably punctured or ripped, though this is just speculation and didn't influence our score. If you like the idea of a water resistance rubber footbed paired with webbing straps, check out the Chaco Flip EcoTread, the Vionic Tide II, or the Astral Rosa, our Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling — all of these flip-flops we considered to be highly durable.
The footbed of the Azure 2-strap handled water exceptionally well. With a small amount of water it retained its internal traction, and though we could tell the water was present under our feet, it affected our ability to walk so little that we were completely unbothered by its presence. With a full underwater soaking, the footbed was completely dry to the touch in less than 7 minutes. With pressure, it would release some of the absorbed water up until about 15 minutes. These are impressive times. However the straps were a different story; with a full soaking they took over an hour to dry, despite how small they are. Even with a light sprinkling, they stayed damp for longer than seemed to make sense. Once again it appeared as though the components of the Azure were from two entirely different shoes. For a light, minimal shoe that wicks away water and dries extremely fast, take a look at the Rainbow Single Layer Premier. And if your summer plans involve lots of water play, be sure to look at the Astral Rosa.
At least with rubber only a few months old, the Azure had perfectly decent traction. However, once again, the combination of a heavy footbed and thin straps made it hard to feel completely at ease on more challenging terrain. On top of that, the softness of the polyurethane footbed didn't provide a very effective buffer between our feet and sharp obstacles. We wouldn't consider the Azure a good flip-flop for much outside of flat city sidewalks or very short and straightforward hikes. If you want a sandal that can handle rocks and steep inclines, either the Astral Rosa or Merrell Around Town would be much better choices. Both the Vionic Tide II and the Birkenstock Gizeh also provided impressive traction.
We polled a group of savvy women to see which of our tested flip-flops they determined to be the least and most stylish and the Teva Azure 2-Strap ended up right in the middle. Much like the imbalance we found in the construction of this shoe, our style raters were pretty divided. Some loved the sleek cuteness of this sandal, and some disliked the thick sole and tiny straps. Overall we feel like it's a cute flip that would pair well with anything from jeans to a casual summer dress. For some seriously stylish sandals that can be dressed up even more, take a look at our Top Pick for Stylish Adventures, the Lovely Lala, the Paniolo, or the classy Gizeh, our Editors' Choice.
The Azure 2-Strap is a simple and cute flip-flop that, due mostly to some oddities in its construction, is best suited to urban terrain or short, simple beginner hikes.
For $45 this flip-flop isn't too much of an investment, but we still feel it's a bit overpriced for what you get, especially considering the design flaws detailed in the review above. We found the fit and performance of our other Teva model and Best Buy award winner, the Olowahu, to be far superior, and it's only $25. The Rainbow Single Layer Premier, at $52, was also a much more enjoyable shoe for only a few dollars more.
Overall we felt that the Azure 2-Strap had a lot of potential but in the end just fell short. The decision to put thin dainty straps on a thick and heavy sole really hurt the overall performance of what, otherwise, could have been a well-executed flip-flop.
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