Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
It seems as if the only the seams have changed on the Hurricane XLT since our testing period. Compare the two photos below, with an updated colorway shown in the first image. There are no seams that run the length of the straps as on the version we tested, right.
Hands-On Review of the Hurricane XLT 2
The classic Teva has been around for long enough to know that they got something right with their three-strap design. Love it or hate it, you can't deny the ubiquity of a Teva. The Hurricane XLT 2 builds upon the original style with some material selections that make for a better ride. While it doesn't offer quite the same performance as some high-end models, the XLT 2 is a very capable and resilient sandal with a straightforward design. Furthermore, being the most affordable sandal in this review, it's the clear choice for our Best Buy Award.
Though we don't have any qualms with the original, the Hurricane XLT 2 provides a better experience due to some refreshing upgrades from the original.
For the most part, our testers agree that the Hurricane has above average traction thanks to a sturdy, yet light foundation. The outsole features decently deep treads set in firm rubber, though it's not quite as sticky as we've seen on others—possibly because it is made from non-marking rubber (bonus if you plan to get nautical).
Bridging the gap between stylish and functional, the Hurricane has a semi-sporty tread that is by no means aggressive but can maintain a respectable grip on loose or moderately-technical trails. It was an average performer on wet terrain tests, which came as a surprise considering that it was designed to excel in watersports. However, the water-friendly webbing and three points of adjustment allowed for a secure fit even after the Hurricane had gotten wet. If you like how Tevas fit but can't compromise on traction, we recommend taking a look at the Chaco Z/1 Classic.
The Hurricane XLT 2 has a soft footbed that conforms to the foot and offers a moderate amount of arch support. Made from EVA-foam, the insole requires no break-in period for your feet to feel comfortable and secure. What's more is the added neoprene cushion in the heel strap which we find helpful in alleviating chafe when wet and aiding in security during climbs.
We would've awarded the Hurricane more points for comfort if it weren't for the placement of the straps and buckles. Some of our testers think that the molded plastic holding the webbing in place is positioned in an unfortunate spot for their knobby ankles and toes. Thankfully, the three independent points of adjustment allow you to get a precise fit no matter what your foot shape is. If you're more comfortable in shoes without significant heel drop, we recommend trying the Bedrock Cairn Adventure.
For how light it feels on foot, the Hurricane XLT 2 is surprisingly stable in rocky, demanding terrain. The foam midsole doesn't lend the same amount of rigidity as some of the more rugged offerings, but it does cushion well on harder foot strikes. And the neoprene heel cushion is yet again appreciated for its enhanced grip to lock in your heel—especially in the water.
The Hurricane is overall a stable and comfortable shoe for moderate trail use but lacks the precision tune necessary for more intense hiking or trail running. It feels better suited for water shenanigans than extended tours. If you need extra-burly support with maximum stability, the Chaco Z/1 Classic is worth investigating.
Aside from the Hurricane XLT 2, there are only two other sandals included in this review that have three independent points of adjustment—and one of them is another Teva. The brand that's known for its classic three-strap design has yet again proven that simple is efficient. Once the toe and heel straps are adjusted properly, you should only need to fiddle with one piece of velcro to get in or out of the sandal.
Some folks might scoff at velcro as opposed to a buckle, suggesting that the velcro will wear out after repeated use. While we didn't encounter any issues with the velcro's integrity, we did notice that some re-adjusting was necessary after the initial break-in period. On the move, velcro makes for quick and easy tweaks.
While it doesn't shine in any particular area, the Hurricane XLT 2 is a very steady and reliable performer. In fact, it received the most consistent ratings among our testers. Perhaps the most unassuming, bare-bones sandal in our lineup, the Hurricane is well-rounded enough to call an all-purpose sandal. And while it may be most comfortable at cruising speeds, it won't back down from a challenge either.
Because we feel that other models are more suited to extended use or precision control, we trimmed some points off the Hurricane's versatility rating. However, we still believe that it will satisfy the requirements of a multi-sport sandal seeker.
If you're looking for a classic sandal that can easily manage wet and dry terrain at a minimal cost, look no further than the Hurricane XLT 2. With water-friendly features like quick-drying webbing and closed cell foam, it seems an obvious choice for watersports enthusiasts.
With quality materials, a distinguished track record, and above-average performance across the board, the Hurricane is easily the greatest value priced at only $70. Another sub-$100 model, the Xero Z-Trail, didn't score as highly and also doesn't appear as durable as the Hurricane. We wholeheartedly believe that you'll get your money's worth with the XLT 2.
Revamping a well-known classic with a few welcome upgrades, Teva has created a great all-purpose sandal with the Hurricane XLT 2. While it does have an inclination towards watersports, we feel both prepared and stylish in the Hurricane. It is a well-built sandal that provides the user with comfort and functionality at a great price.
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