Though Teva is most commonly known for their innovative open-designed shoes, they've made a valiant entrance into both the closed-design market and shoes in the past ten or so years—and we're impressed with what we've seen. The Dozer 4 is no exception. With a lightweight build, great traction, and a low-volume design, the Dozer is a dependable choice for adventures.
Teva Dozer 4 Review
Cons: might be too narrow for some feet, durability,
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Teva Dozer 4 vs. The Older Version, the Dozer 3
Though the III has been discontinued, you can get your hands on the Teva Dozer 4 for $75. Though we have not tested this model, it looks fairly similar to the version that we tested, the 3; we have contacted Teva for additional information.In the meantime, check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the latest version, the 4, pictured on the left and the older version, the 3, shown on the right.
The Dozer's soft footbed is nicely molded to fit our feet, with decent arch support and just enough squish to make our feet feel at home. The straps and uppers of the shoe are all lined with a squishy but thin foam mesh that we felt hit the sweet spot between performance and comfort; with any more padding, the shoe would have held water.One of the Dozer's main benefit is the low-profile design, and while this may not seem directly related to comfort, avoiding falling is absolutely more comfortable than busting it on a rock slab when tripping over a root.
Teva loaded this shoe up with tons of stability, and gives almost a running shoe feel, compared to some of the competition.
Though the Dozer's footprint is a bit narrower than most of the competition, we didn't feel like we were rolling our ankles while testing it out. The design of the uppers is extremely substantial, with small pieces of plastic added in throughout the shoe to add stability. Though we've heard complaints of the heel cup being uncomfortable for some feet, we thought the design led to an amazing amount of support, as your heel is fully surrounded by strong materials that anchor you to the shoe.
Fit and Design
Teva's innovative design is spectacular—not only is the design one of the most stable sandals we tested, but it's also still light, comfortable, and low volume. One of our biggest complaints about the entire field of closed-design sandals is the overwhelming amount of bulk. Tripping over roots because of extra material is never fun, and the Dozer minimizes that. Additionally, people using the sandal for kayaking in closed boats will love the low profile that equates to safety and ease of getting in and out of kayaks. Though it might look just a tad goofy with a drysuit and booties, it gets the job done.
Though the Teva is a closed-design, it weighed in at only .7 lbs, destroying the competition in the weight category. As we've covered in other articles, less weight means more miles. Additionally, shoes like the Dozer work great for camp shoes while backpacking, and it's nice to be able to afford the weight, while packing in a two pound pair of sandals may seem like a waste.
Teva had added an anti-microbial, "scent free" footbed to help combat shoe rot and other nasty smelling things. But despite their efforts, this is the smelliest shoe we've ever tested. Though in fairness, our testers' hobbit-like dirtbag feet probably don't start off smelling that good. If this is a big issue in your decision, maybe check out the Keen Newport H2.
We were pretty satisfied with the Dozer's durability, but it does have a tendency to come unstitched in the upper according to some of the folks we polled. Additionally, the aggressive tread pattern is subject to getting a bit torn up over time, but this is not exclusive to the Dozer. For a fully bombproof shoe, check out the Chaco Yampa.
Like the Teva Terra-Fi Lite, Teva outfitted the Dozer with a tooth-like tread pattern paired with their proprietary rubber compound, which proved to be very effective. Whether on dry rocks in the Sierras or mossy creek beds in the Appalachians, the Dozer blew us away with its traction.
We really put the Dozer through the gauntlet in a variety of situations. From wearing with a dry suit while kayaking, to running in the rain from a storm, to kicking around town, the Dozer covers a lot of ground. Compared to the rest of the fleet, the Dozer really excels in water situations, since the sandal doesn't tend to hold water like others, and the overall feel remains consistent.
Significantly cheaper than the competition, the Dozer is the best price point closed-design shoe we tested. Listing between 45.00 and 75.00, the Dozer is a great value, especially considering that the next closest competing sandal is 100.00.
The Dozer is a great choice to cover a wide range of uses. Between the great value, solid traction, and great design, we thoroughly enjoyed grabbing the Dozer to knock out adventures, especially when water was added to the equation.
— Tommy Penick