Teva Katavi 2 Review
Cons: Less supportive than others, loses some traction when wet
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Teva Katavi 2 immediately stood out to our testers as one of the most comfortable sandals in our lineup, and continued to be one of our go-to models during testing with its simple design and solid all-around performance. With no major weaknesses, the Katavi packs similar comfort and design features as many competitors that are nearly twice the price, and easily comes away with our Best Buy Award.
Our testers rank the Katavi 2 among the most comfortable sandals in our entire lineup regardless of price. The plush EVA foam footbed material is gently contoured for an anatomical fit and has a slightly raised brim around its edge to comfortably support and cradle the foot in place. A very subtle diamond texture helps keep the foot from sliding around but doesn't detract from the plush comfort.
The strap system on the Katavi is also one of the most comfortable designs that we tested. The suede outer strap material is soft and supple and provides a luxurious look and feel. The inner mesh lining of the straps provides excellent coverage and support around the foot and has limited gaps or intrusive seams that could cause uncomfortable rubbing or chafing. The three straps are easily adjustable to help achieve a comfortable and balanced fit without needing to over-tighten them. The footbed and straps work together to keep the foot comfortably in place on uphill, downhill, and sidehill terrain.
The Katavi 2 is also surprisingly lightweight for such a comfortable design. Its plush contoured footbed is comparable to what is found on much pricier sandals and easily outperforms most competitors in a similar price range. This luxurious, lightweight comfort is a big reason why the Katavi earns our Best Buy Award.
The Katavi provides suitable traction for most circumstances with Teva's Durabrasion Rubber outsole material. The sticky rubber does a good job of gripping smoother surfaces, and the deep lugs are able to grab and bite rougher uneven terrain, giving our testers confidence on most surfaces. The outsole material and tread pattern are of a noticeably higher quality than most other sandals in this price range.
The Katavi 2 struggles a little bit maintaining traction when the conditions turn wet. Like its name suggests, the Durabrasion Rubber outsole material is certainly durable and able to withstand abrasion, but the harder density that adds to its durability struggles to maintain grip when wet. The deep tread pattern that provides dependable traction through loose, uneven surfaces also struggles when wet. Further, the soft footbed material, despite its subtle diamond texture, can become slippery when sweat or other moisture seeps underneath the foot. While there are other models with noticeably better wet traction than the Katavi, it does still provide reasonable performance, especially when compared to other models in its price range.
For a lightweight design with such a soft and comfortable footbed material, the Katavi 2 provides a surprising amount of overall stability. The firm Durabrasion Rubber outsole gives a strong, supportive foundation for the sandal, and the EVA foam midsole material creates a stable platform that nicely cushions and cradles the foot. The contoured footbed provides enough arch support for most types of feet, and the slightly raised brim around the edge of the footbed adds additional security.
Adding to the stable and supportive fit is the simple and classic strap design. The straps of the Katavi are anchored to the footbed in four different locations and provide just the right amount of lightweight support without being too tight or too constrictive. The three velcro adjustment points can help optimize a perfectly snug fit, but we found that not much adjustment was needed to maintain comfortable support around the foot.
Overall, the firm outsole material, contoured footbed, and comfortable strap system work well together to provide a balanced, comfortable, stable platform for your feet.
With a classic three-strap design with adjustable velcro closures, the Katavi 2 is very similar to many other sandals in our lineup, and earns average scores in our adjustability rating metric. The adjustable rear strap allows the user to slide the heel forward or backward, which is a feature not found on every model. The classic three-strap design does a good job of locking in the heel and ankle and providing suitable support for the forefoot area.
This strap design is adequate for most users and similar to many other sandals on the market, but there are some limitations. While the heel and ankle straps do a good job of locking in the rear part of the foot, the single forefoot strap doesn't provide as much midfoot support and stability as other models with overlapping strap systems. Depending on your foot anatomy, this could lead to some slipping on downhill or sidehill terrain, especially if your feet are wet. While the adjustability is certainly adequate, especially for such an affordable sandal, it doesn't have any standout features that set it apart from the crowd.
The Katavi 2 is burly and durable enough for hiking on rough terrain, comfortable enough to wear all day, and stylish enough to bring from the trail to a casual happy hour. The lightweight design is suitable for carrying in a suitcase or a backpack, and the soft suede material in neutral earth-tone colors blends in with any outfit. The classic three-strap design also lets you wear these sandals with socks when the temperature drops or if you've packed them along on a camping trip.
One of our favorite features of the Katavi 2 that bears repeating is the lightweight, low-profile design and soft suede strap material. The streamlined fit and luxurious materials make these sandals a joy to wear and make them feel much more expensive than they actually are. One potential minor downside with these high-end features is that sun, sand, and saltwater could eventually cause the suede material to fade a little.
With one of the lowest list prices in our lineup, the Katavi 2 provides impressive all-around performance comparable to several much pricier options. This model has several higher-end features like high-quality materials, a more comfortable footbed, and better traction than most competitors in its price range. Combining excellent comfort and performance with a great price, the Katavi 2 is one of the best values that we've seen and easily wins our Best Buy Award.
With its lightweight design, comfortable fit, and high-end materials, the Teva Katavi 2 stood out quickly as one of the favorite sandals in our lineup. With an impressively low price for such a standout performer, it quickly came into view as our Best Buy Winner. Providing excellent comfort and strong performance across the board, the Katavi 2 makes a great choice as a dependable all-around sandal at an affordable price.
— Nick Bruckbauer