Hands-on Gear Review

Teva Terra Fi 4 Review

Favored for its all-around performance and classic design, this model did well across the board.
By: Rob Woodworth ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 15, 2018
Price:  $100 List  |  $92.96 at Amazon - 7% Off
Pros:  Comfortable, decent traction, ready for the water
Cons:  Lack of contoured fit
Manufacturer:   Teva
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Traction - 25% 7
  • Stability - 20% 8
  • Adjustability - 15% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 7
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Our Verdict

The Teva Terra Fi 4 is an updated, sportier version of previous Terra Fi's. Our testers are fond of the upgrades geared towards comfort including Shoc Pad footbed material and antimicrobial neoprene that covers the webbing straps and loops where they contact the foot. It's got a sleek design that is not only comfortable and stylish but also very capable of managing multi-sport excursions. The Terra Fi 4 is good in the water, stable, comfortable, and more adaptable than other three-strap models.

Receiving consistently higher scores across the board, most testers prefer this model to the Teva Hurricane XLT 2 if the price isn't the foremost consideration. If you want something a bit burlier, take a look at the Chaco Z/1 Classic.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Testers are fond of the added features to aid comfort and the overall stability of this sandal. Whether on dusty trails, slick rocks, or wading in water, the Teva Terra Fi 4 is an excellent choice for both comfort and performance.

Performance Comparison


The Teva Terra Fi was evidently designed for supreme comfort. We like the added neoprene that minimized rubbing and dried quickly.
The Teva Terra Fi was evidently designed for supreme comfort. We like the added neoprene that minimized rubbing and dried quickly.

Traction


Teva uses their proprietary "Spider Rubber" on the sole of the Terra Fi, which is engineered to be extra grippy and provide greater friction on tricky trails. The Terra Fi fell into the middle of the pack when it came to fraction, getting beaten out Vibram soled models like the Bedrock Cairn Adventure and Luna Oso.

While it isn't the grippiest sandal out there, the Terra Fi gave adequate traction during testing throughout a wide variety of surfaces—especially transitioning from wet to dry. The firm outsole material is supportive and also allows the tread to 'bite' on rough, angular rocks. Furthermore, the cushioned footbed has a grippy rubber surface that helps keep your foot secure during high-performance outings.

It wasn't the grippiest sandal we tried  but the Terra Fi 4 held it's own during the trials of our review.
It wasn't the grippiest sandal we tried, but the Terra Fi 4 held it's own during the trials of our review.

Comfort


We are very impressed at how comfortable the Terra Fi is out of the box. With padded straps and a cushioned footbed, there is virtually zero break-in period for these sandals. Quick-drying neoprene guards the heel against hotspots and maintains a secure hold even when wet. Our testers all agreed that these added features made the Terra Fi noticeably more comfortable than the Teva Hurricane 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.
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.

Utilizing a spongy "Shoc Pad" footbed, the Terra Fi conforms to your foot and also provides a good amount of cushion from rough trails and hard impacts. It also goes well with socks when additional comfort and warmth are necessary. The only reason the Terra Fi lost some comfort points is because of where the webbing loops land on top of the foot—some of the testers found them to be awkward.

Stability


As soon as you pick up the Teva Terra Fi, you can feel how sturdy the sole is. Despite having a cushy footbed, the midsole and outsole material is made of a very hard and durable rubber that is beefy enough to handle sustained abuse on the trail. Though it feels relatively lightweight in comparison, the Terra Fi performs about as well as the Chaco Cloud models.

The stiff sole and supportive footbed of the Terra Fi 4 make it one of the most stable sandals in this lineup.
The stiff sole and supportive footbed of the Terra Fi 4 make it one of the most stable sandals in this lineup.

A unique feature that our testers enjoyed is the heel spoiler that helped cup the heel towards the rear of the sandal. Not found on many of the sandals we tested, this extra heel support helps your foot lock in and prevents sliding while scaling steep inclines. However, if you're looking for uncompromised stiffness and durability in your sandals, maybe you should take a look at the higher scoring Chaco Z/1 Classic.

Adjustability


The Terra Fi scored well in this metric because of its highly adjustable and easy-to-use velcro straps. In the traditional Teva fashion, this sandal hugs your foot around the heel and in two places over the top of your foot. Once all three straps have been adjusted to a comfortable position, the user need only release one strap to slide in and out of the sandal. This adjustment style is very straightforward and has proven effective over time.

Though the Terra Fi is quick and easy to adjust, we wished that we were able to achieve a more snug fit. Sometimes, our testers found themselves wrenching on the straps only to provide an uncomfortable fit. For the most part, we chose to wear the Terra Fi with just moderately tightened straps. If you need a more precision fit out of your sandals, we recommend the Cairn Adventure.

Versatility


In true Teva fashion, the Terra Fi 4 is a highly adaptable all-terrain sandal that is comfortable both in and out of the water. The thick sole is burly enough to handle rugged terrain but also still light enough to travel with. They are athletic enough to handle multi-sport adventures but also still stylish enough to be worn at the local watering hole.

Ample cushion  great support  and a stiff sole mean that the Terra Fi 4 is primed for all sorts of adventuring.
Ample cushion, great support, and a stiff sole mean that the Terra Fi 4 is primed for all sorts of adventuring.

This sandal doesn't excel in one area in particular but manages to function well in every single testing metric. It is designed to perform in the water, but would also satisfy the needs of hikers, bikers, and other landlubbers. Plus, the ability to wear the Terra Fi with socks means you can get some extra mileage out of them when the temp starts to drop.

Best Applications


The Terra Fi 4 is a great all-around sandal that provides reliable performance in many different conditions. We believe that the neoprene padding and quick-drying materials make this sandal a stand-out option for watersports enthusiasts.

Value


Priced at $100, the Terra Fi is one of the more expensive sandals included in this review. Though, the materials and construction of this sandal are high quality and will last for years to come. For similar performance at a lower cost, take a look at the Teva Hurricane XLT 2.

No matter the weather  these Tevas will get you where you need to go.
No matter the weather, these Tevas will get you where you need to go.

Conclusion


It's hard to go wrong with Tevas— river rats and climbing dirtbags alike love them. And with some welcome performance upgrades, the Terra Fi 4 is a step above what you might be used to from the brand. Whether you're looking for rafting sandals, travel sandals, or simply lounge-around-camp sandals, you'll find a friend in the Teva Terra Fi 4.

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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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.5)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Hunter

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Oct 25, 2015 - 03:44am
Tex · Hunter · Arlington

Wore these sandals on a hike today: worst mistake of my life. Ever since I started wearing sandals, I've been a Chaco man, but I decided to give these Teva sandals a shot since they're the Editor's Choice on OGL. BIggest mistake ever. They're held onto your feet by three Velcro straps. If mud or sand gets in the Velcro, the sandals are pretty much useless and will fall right off you're feet. I ended up doing the last 5 miles of the hike barefoot. I know not everyone hikes in sandals, but I've been on plenty of hikes in my Chaco's and have no doubt that they could've taken me the whole way today. You really don't realize how much stability the strap around the big toe provides until it's gone. Not sure Teva even offers sandals with a strap around the big toe. Even just hanging around the house, the Velcro is annoying because it sticks to the carpet and everything else.

Bottom line: the sandals are good for a ten-minute trip to your local Home Depot to pick up a new screw driver and that's about it.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

Hiker

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   Aug 8, 2017 - 10:14am
quester · Hiker

I completely agree with this being "editors' choice". I've been wearing this model ever since it came on the market, and to me these sandals are irreplaceable. Exactly as stated in the editors review, they are superior in almost all respects : weight, traction, comfort, adjust-ability of fit to foot, and value for price.

I wear them all year in extreme desert conditions, so the bottom sole usually starts to wear out after a year - but I don't know of any shoe/sandal that lasts longer in the conditions I use them. Their traction on dry surfaces is simply fantastic. Your foot slowly forms its niche in the upper layer, so the sandal becomes extremely comfortable, your foot does not slide in it, and the sandal becomes part of your foot - after a while you don't even feel it. You can tighten/loosen the (strong) velco straps to make a perfect fit, and adapt the sandal's grip on your foot to the walking conditions or your personal preference. Shocks are absorbed well.

Teva has done very well in designing this sandal. One minor fault is that small sand particles can enter the body of the sandal through the small slits where the straps enter the sandal - if too much gets in, the bottom sole can start to bulge. If needed, I can clear this out with compressed air, but no reason that Teva should not design a better seal for these areas on the sandal.

Always room for improvement, but in the meantime these are indeed the best walking/hiking sandals to be had, at least for me.



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


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