Teva branched out from their traditional strapped sandal and into the burly flip flop market when they engineered the rugged Pajaro. At first glance, this well-constructed flop might look more like a hiking shoe than the lake lounging footwear we've come to associate with the words flip flop. A thick footbed and shank make for a sturdy platform for both on and off the trails, and a thick lug pattern on the sole provides excellent traction. Seemingly built for a specific purpose, the Pajaro performs well on steep mountain trails, granite slick rock, and desert jaunts. The Pajaro, for its burly build, is definitely a high-volume, bulky flip flop that doesn't fit well into backpacks or carry-on luggage. If a slimmer, more versatile flip flop that can still get it done in the mountains is something that you're interested in, we'd recommend the Chaco Flip EcoTread or the Olukai Ohana.
Teva Pajaro Review
Cons: Bulky, not stylish
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pajaro was by no means the highest scoring sandal in our review, but it did well in all of the metrics (except in style, which can be a personal preference). In fact, this model impressed our testers with its stability on uneven terrain, as well as its traction on steep dirt, mud, and rock.
The Pajaro earned high scores in several metrics, including durability, traction, and comfort, but lacked in several others such as style. For those folks looking for a beefy sandal aimed at walking on rugged trails, this may be the flop of choice.
The Pajaro was super comfortable out of the box, impressing our testers with its support and stability on long walks off the pavement. Its wide straps have been ergonomically designed, cradling our feet, and keeping the sandal in place. The footbed has been treated with an anti-microbial, which keeps the dreaded slime to a minimum, while the nylon shank (throughout the sole) makes for a sturdy platform to keep sharp rocks from poking into your foot.
The Pajaro is a super comfortable sandal in a performance setting, and it earned an 8 out of 10 for comfort. It handles well on pavement but is clearly designed for use in the mountains. If you're interested in a plush and comfy sandal with a more casual feel, check out the Reef Fanning or our Editors' Choice Olukai Ohana.
You could, theoretically, participate in any activity you could dream up in this pair of flops. They handle beautifully on rocky trails, in the woods, and on beaches. They perform as well as any sandal on a trip to the grocery store or coffee shop. The question for this flip flop is, do you really want to wear a bulky hiking boot turned flop to a casual BBQ or on a first date? The answer might be yes, and in this case, you've found the perfect flip flop.
If the answer is no, you might want to consider that these well-made flops are best used for specific purposes and should make up just a part of your flip flop quiver. The other drawback of the Pajaro is their size and bulk; we've found that one of the best things about flip flops is their low-profile nature, making them easy to pack in a carry-on or clip to your harness. The Pajaro is a big, bulky piece of footwear, negating this aspect of the flop. If you want a model that performs in every situation, complete with less bulk and more style points, we'd recommend any of the Reef options or the Olukai Ohana.
The Pajaro was one of the most durable sandals in our fleet. Coming from a company with a long lineage of well-made footwear, we expected nothing less. The mixed material straps, nylon shanked sole, and beefy tread all have longevity written all over them. The seams where the elements are stitched and welded together appear to be bomber, and we saw minimal signs of wear during our testing. We've found that weight and durability go hand in hand, and the Pajaro is no exception. This flop weighs a bit more than most of its competitors, but for that reason, is built to last. The only flop that beat out the Pajaro in this category is the Chaco Flip EcoTread, and only by a slim margin.
Like in other metrics, the Pajaro has a specific style that stands out in a field of otherwise pretty normal flip flops. The Pajaro's thick sole and footbed, as well as its thick straps, make the wearer think more about a hiking shoe than a casual flip flop. In not so many words, these are not the coolest looking flip flops, especially if you're used to a more traditional look. Each time we slipped them on, we felt like we were about to go on an extreme adventure; for those casual evenings, this model seemed like overkill for a social outing. However, the Pajaro comes in a variety of soft earth-tone two tone colors and are what we'd call pleasing to the eye. For a rugged tread pattern but a more traditional look, we'd recommend the OluKai Ohana, as well as our Top Pick for Style, the OluKai Hiapo. The Chaco Flip Ecotread and Reef Fanning also offered ideal traction while scoring high style points.
Traction is a metric where the Pajaro stood out. Its hefty lug pattern tread handled well on loose dirt and muddy trails. In fact, our testers reported that the Pajaro felt similarly to the other top performers on rock slabs; however, traditionally, deep tread patterns offer exceptional performance on loose dirt, but do not provide the same performance on smooth rock. The Pajaro earned an 8 out of 10 for traction and was bested by both the top three scorers: the OluKai Ohana, Chaco Flip Ecotread, and Reef Fanning.
After months of testing, would hesitate to use the Pajaro as a one-flop quiver due to its lack of versatility and bulky nature. That being said, if you like the looks of this sandal and are in the market for a flip flop you can use on long hikes in the mountains, this might be the flip flop of your dreams.
At $55, the Pajaro is a standout in value. For such a burly, well-built sandal - from a name we all have known for years - this is a great price point. The Pajaro handles well and showed little signs of wear and tear, leading us to believe that it would be a great purchase that would last for years.
The Teva Pajaro is not going to be an everyday sandal for most people. Its weight, bulk, and aggressive tread make it a specific sandal that is designed for taking on long hikes on uneven, rocky terrain. If these are traits you're looking for in a pair of flip flops, you can't go wrong with the Pajaro.
— Sam Piper