Teva Olowahu Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Cute, molds to feet over time, affordable
Cons: Not super durable, straps can chafe, pinkie toe slips out side for some people
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Olowahu is fun, plush flip flop to have on hand to pair with your summer attire. It will easily turn heads whether you're wearing it with shorts or a dress, all the while keeping your feet comfy and cozy.
The Olowahu is one of the sandals in our test group that we put on and didn't want to take off. The plush foam footbed is cozy, and as it molds to your foot, it becomes more personalized and comfortable. We did have some issues with the straps, though, which is why we can't award a higher score in this category. The textured fabric can chafe a bit, particularly when wet.
The strap configuration also makes this sandal a bit tricky to put on — it usually required us reaching down to adjust and pull them into place, an issue that lessens with time as the footbed compresses and breaks in. However, the other problem that cropped up was that, for some, the pinkie toe would slip out the side due to the high placement of one of the side straps. Because of these oddities we recommend trying the Olowahu on in person if possible.
Support & Stability
With a lightweight foam footbed, it's no surprise that the Olowahu falls a little short in this category. The footbed is indeed quite thick, so it's better than many cheap bargain bin foam flips, but not by a ton. And one of the major issues with foot-molding footbeds is that, if you have any abnormalities in your stance, like pronation or supination, they will get molded into the footbed instead of the footbed helping to correct the issue.
These issues aside, the extra straps on this flip do add a bit of stability that would otherwise be lacking. But overall, if excellent support is a priority for your footwear, we recommend looking into a sandal with a well-executed contoured footbed.
As with support and stability, we can't score the Olowahu very high for durability because the entire footbed is made out of lightweight moldable foam. It's thick enough that this shoe will last you for at least several seasons, but if you're hard on your summer flips — hiking, biking, scrambling, etc. — the foam could get worn and torn pretty quickly.
While the footbed on the Olowahu dried decently quickly after a thorough soaking (15 minutes), the fleece-lined polyester straps took a surprisingly long time. Still damp at over an hour, we went for a bike ride thinking the wind would help dry them out. One hour and forty minutes later, the straps were still a bit damp, and we found them to be a bit scratchy-feeling when wet during the break-in phase.
Walking around with a wet footbed isn't super secure either: the combo of water and complicated straps makes it feel a bit like your foot is going to be pushed out the back. This lessens later on when the footbed is broken in and more contoured and, as mentioned above, the footbed does dry pretty quickly. Long story short, this isn't the most pleasant sandal to have on when wet, but as long as you're not trying to use it as a water shoe, all the issues we had were relatively minor or resolved themselves quickly.
Considering the Olowahu is super cheap and made from lightweight foam, it performed surprisingly well here. Decent, but certainly not the best. Things went pretty well on steep hills (we only slipped once), but overall we couldn't fully trust our feet on slick terrain. You'll be fine in the city on all manner of concrete, stairs, and dirt park paths, but this isn't the smartest choice as your approach shoe or river companion.
Here is where the Olowahu gets to shine. The women we polled loved this sandal, and for the price tag, how can you go wrong? It's super cute and stylish and has some of the most fun and unique straps of all the models we tested. Easy to dress up or down, Teva offers this model in quite a few fun colors and patterns. If you want to stay stylish without having to suck your wallet dry, the Olowahu is a fantastic choice.
The Olowahu did respectably through all of our testing challenges, but it was pretty apparent that it's not the best choice for rafting trips or rock climbing approaches (nd that's okay!). This cute flip is fantastic for most everything else, and you don't need every pair of shoes in your closet to be able to do it all. It's a stylish and comfortable summer shoe that, considering the price, we don't think you'll regret buying in the slightest.
This sandal is a great value for the price point. While it isn't the most durable or stable shoe, it's chic, affordable, comfortable, and well-constructed enough to last you for a while, depending on what shenanigans you like to get up to during flip flop weather.
The Olowahu is a lightweight and super affordable flip flop that is a winner for style and comfort. While the foam footbed and complicated straps aren't the best for heavy hiking or regular poolside soakings, there is no doubt that this is a great shoe for the price. The footbed will mold to your feet over time, making it even more comfortable and personalized. If you want something attractive and plush but don't want the stress of throwing down tons of money, this gem is a must.
— Penney Garrett