Hands-on Gear Review

Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Review

A fantastic sandal at a fair price, this lightweight model can hang with almost any pair.
By: Rob Woodworth ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 15, 2018
Price:  $70 List  |  $69.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, minimalistic, comfortable
Cons:  Lacks support and stiffness
Manufacturer:   Teva
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Traction - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 7
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Best Buy Award

Our Verdict

The Teva Hurricane XLT 2 is a classic three-strap sandal that offers a few comfort and performance upgrades when compared to the original Hurricane. Our testers agree that it's a capable multi-sport sandal that feels more comfortable in and out of the water than its predecessor. The Hurricane collection combines EVA-foam midsoles with rugged Durabrasion Rubber outsoles for enhanced traction in aqueous endeavors, though they're just as nimble on land. The quick-drying webbing is a blend of polyester, nylon, and recycled PET and features a neoprene cushioned heel pad that eliminates hot-spots. All of this for the low price of $70 makes the Hurricane XLT 2 an obvious winner of the Best Buy Award.

We'll be the first to admit: Tevas aren't for everyone. But whether or not you're already a fan of the brand, we encourage you not to overlook this sleeper of a sandal. Not only is it stylish, but it performed well across the board and won't cut into your summer budget like some of the high-end models. If, though, you're willing to spend a bit more, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure provides higher performance with a lower profile that transitions from trail to town more convincingly.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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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.

Performance Comparison


The XLT 2 is a water-friendly sandal that can also handle rugged dryland adventuring in moderation.
The XLT 2 is a water-friendly sandal that can also handle rugged dryland adventuring in moderation.

Traction


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.

Despite having a light sole made of soft rubber  we experienced decent traction from the XLT 2 while pushing steep inclines.
Despite having a light sole made of soft rubber, we experienced decent traction from the XLT 2 while pushing steep inclines.

Comfort


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.

Soft webbing  a cushy footbed  and a padded heel strap help keep your feet comfortable in the XLT 2. Added bonus: it's sock-compatible for when the temp dips.
Soft webbing, a cushy footbed, and a padded heel strap help keep your feet comfortable in the XLT 2. Added bonus: it's sock-compatible for when the temp dips.

Stability


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.

While it isn't the stiffest or most supportive sole in the lineup  the XLT 2 still has above-average stability.
While it isn't the stiffest or most supportive sole in the lineup, the XLT 2 still has above-average stability.

Adjustability


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.

The classic Teva design utilizes three adjustable straps that run behind the heel and twice over the top of the foot for a secure  intuitive fit. Though they both adjust the same  we prefer the padded webbing of the Terra Fi 4 (right) to the simpler XLT 2.
The classic Teva design utilizes three adjustable straps that run behind the heel and twice over the top of the foot for a secure, intuitive fit. Though they both adjust the same, we prefer the padded webbing of the Terra Fi 4 (right) to the simpler XLT 2.

Versatility


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.

Because of the softer sole and less secure straps  we sometimes experienced toe-jams on the XLT 2--especially on downhill stretches where our feet would slide forward.
Because of the softer sole and less secure straps, we sometimes experienced toe-jams on the XLT 2--especially on downhill stretches where our feet would slide forward.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

The satisfied look of getting a great pair of sandals at a great price.
The satisfied look of getting a great pair of sandals at a great price.

Conclusion


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.

Rob Woodworth

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 15, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Mountain Biker

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   Aug 23, 2017 - 07:58pm
Hammersorethumb · Mountain Biker · Bay Area

I had been wearing Chaco sandals for the past 10 years. After the sole fell off a second time I needed some new sandals. I purchased these because they were way less expensive than Chaco's and much lighter. I took them to Tuolumne Meadows for three days of rock climbing. They worked great as approach and decent shoes and they were easy to carry on my harness on in a small pack. They had great traction on the rock, held my feet OK. I felt that their light weight made up for the lack of support and structure. One problem for me is that I am a solid 9.5 and they only come in full sizes so I am wearing a 10 which is a little over sized for my feet. Then I took them on a 4 day backpacking trip, also in Tuolumne. They made great camp shoes, light and comfortable. They were also good for a few stream crossings. Then I took them to a favorite local swimming/cliff jumping spot. I'm not sure why but some interaction between the sole and the type of rock at this spot was treacherous. When wet they were slick as banana peels. I've been to this swimming hole many times and used to wear my Chaco's there all the time, they were great and I would wear them when climbing up to the top of the cliff and then jump off in them. With the Teva's I quickly learned that taking them off and climbing up in bare feet was much safer. So to summarize I really like them in most settings, I'm just not sure about traction on rock when wet. I will keep wearing them and see if it is specific to this swimming hole and this type of rock?



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Hiker

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   Nov 14, 2013 - 01:37am
Barker · Hiker · Auburn, Maine
I picked up a pair of Hurricane XLT's when looking for some shoes for water crossings during a 5 day Grand Canyon trip. I was surprised to find them in a local shop for $36. I was kind of skeptical of them really but I new we might need to do some water crossings and they were almost half the weight and price of the Keen's I was looking at. During the trip we didn't end up doing any water crossings but used the Teva's every night in camp and they really helped my feet recover from some damage that my feet had received along the trail. At the end of the day I felt like I could have finished the hike in these Teva's if my boots finally gave up the ghost.

I have had a few chances to use them on slippery surfaces and they have been amazingly grippy in my admittedly limited experience. I was also impressed at how light and easy to pack they were. I really can't believe that these were $36. I have seen them a couple more times in local stores for $36- $39.99 over the past year.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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