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Teva Olowahu Review

This lightweight, stylish, and affordable flip flop is a great addition to any summer wardrobe
Teva Olowahu
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $25 List | $24.95 at REI
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
Manufacturer:   Teva
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 13, 2019
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support & Stability - 20% 5
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 15% 6
  • Traction - 15% 4
  • Style - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Teva Olowahu is super cute, comfortable, and will mold to your feet over time — all for less than dinner and a movie. While it's certainly not the most durable sandal out there, and the straps can be a bit of a pain, this is a lightweight and plush shoe that, with proper care, can still last you for years. For style, fun, and affordability, look no further than the Olowahu.

If you need to stay affordable but want something with more support, check out our Best Buy winner, the Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA. Super comfortable with adjustable straps, this winner is only a little more expensive. Our Best Fashion-Forward Buy, the Crocs Sexi Flip, is another great model to consider if you want more durability and water resistance without sacrificing any style.

Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison


Super cute and super comfy  the Olowahu is an easy flip to fall in love with  especially for the price.
Super cute and super comfy, the Olowahu is an easy flip to fall in love with, especially for the price.

Comfort


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.

While we generally found the Olowahu to be quite comfortable  for some foot shapes the pinkie toe would pop out the side due to the strap placement.
While we generally found the Olowahu to be quite comfortable, for some foot shapes the pinkie toe would pop out the side due to the strap placement.

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.

The Olowahu is a fun and comfortable flip-flop  but it won't provide you with very much support or stability.
The Olowahu is a fun and comfortable flip-flop, but it won't provide you with very much support or stability.

Durability


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.

The Gizeh and Olowahu are both stylish comfortable sandals  but the Gizeh is a much more durable shoe and it can be repaired if and when it gets damaged.
The Gizeh and Olowahu are both stylish comfortable sandals, but the Gizeh is a much more durable shoe and it can be repaired if and when it gets damaged.

Water Resistance


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.

The Olowahu (to the right of those fine feet) isn't the best for water resistance  but it performs decently with small amounts of water and will be fine for anyone not planning to use them as water shoes.
The Olowahu (to the right of those fine feet) isn't the best for water resistance, but it performs decently with small amounts of water and will be fine for anyone not planning to use them as water shoes.

Traction


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.

The Olowahu  while not a super sticky shoe in the traction department  is just fine for the city and decent for simple jaunts out in nature.
The Olowahu, while not a super sticky shoe in the traction department, is just fine for the city and decent for simple jaunts out in nature.

Style


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.

Shorts or dresses  happy hour or late night  the Olowahu is chic enough to do it all.
Shorts or dresses, happy hour or late night, the Olowahu is chic enough to do it all.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Some of our top performers  from L to R: Birkenstock Gizeh  Teva Olowahu  Merrell Around Town  and OluKai Lala. The Olowahu is the cheapest shoe we tested but still held it's own against our most expensive models.
Some of our top performers, from L to R: Birkenstock Gizeh, Teva Olowahu, Merrell Around Town, and OluKai Lala. The Olowahu is the cheapest shoe we tested but still held it's own against our most expensive models.

Penney Garrett