The Teva Terra Fi 5 is an updated, sportier version of previous generations of the Terra Fi. Our testers are more fond of the newest version with its very soft and comfortable footbed material and dependable traction but found that the neoprene material that covers the webbing straps and loops are a bit too bulky and can cause rubbing and chafing. Overall, the Terra Fi 5 has a sleek design with classic Teva style, and the universal strap material and neoprene covers make it as comfortable in the water as it is on land. It is a solid all-around sandal that provides reliable performance in many different conditions.Editor's Note: we performed an update to this Teva review on March 25, 2022. This new update has more information about the sandals that won awards and made our list of favorites.
Teva Terra Fi 5 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, good traction, water-friendly
Cons: Spongy sole lacks stability, can cause chaffing
Compare to Similar Products
Teva Terra Fi 5
|Price||$83.72 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$115 List||$65 List|
$59.41 at Amazon
$79.95 at REI
$55.00 at REI
|Pros||Comfortable, good traction, water-friendly||Lightweight, versatile, excellent traction||Very affordable, light, comfortable||Minimalist, flexible, featherweight, eco-friendly||Plush comfort, simplicity, lightweight|
|Cons||Spongy sole lacks stability, can cause chaffing||Not best for high arches||Less supportive than others, loses some traction when wet||Thin, lack of support, durability||Lack of traction, instability with a high platform, no adjustability|
|Bottom Line||A classic design with improved comfort and traction and solid all-around performance||This lightweight sandal is comfortable, durable, and capable of handling anything out on the trail||Impressive comfort and solid all-around performance in a lightweight and affordable package||An amazingly lightweight sandal with superb comfort, flexibility, and a compact design||Delivering on its name and purpose, this recovery focussed sandal is perfect after long and hard days on your feet|
|Rating Categories||Teva Terra Fi 5||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Teva Katavi 2||Xero Z-Trail EV||Hoka Ora Recovery S...|
|Specs||Teva Terra Fi 5||Bedrock Cairn Adven...||Teva Katavi 2||Xero Z-Trail EV||Hoka Ora Recovery S...|
|Weight (per Pair)||1.74 lbs (size 9)||1.10 lbs (size 10)||1.36 lbs (size 9)||0.76 lbs (size 10)||0.75 lbs (size 10)|
|Footbed Material||EVA||Granite Grip rubber||Contoured EVA||BareFoam||EVA|
|Sole Material||Spider Rubber||Vibram XS Trek Regolith||Durabrasion rubber||FeelLite rubber||EVA|
|Upper Material||Recycled plastic||Premium webbing||Suede||Polyester||Synthetic|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While our testers are fond of the comfortable footbed and grippy sole material of the Terra Fi 5, we were a little disappointed in the bulky neoprene material on the straps that led to some rubbing and chafing during our testing. Otherwise, this is a solid product that scores respectably in every rating metric. Whether on dusty trails, slick rocks, or wading in the water, this is indeed a dependable choice.
We are very impressed at how comfortable the Terra Fi is right out of the box. Utilizing a comfortable and spongy footbed, this sandal conforms to your foot and also provides a good amount of cushion from rough trails and hard impacts. It even goes well with socks when additional comfort and warmth are necessary.
The Terra Fi 5 does lose some comfort points because the webbing straps land on top of the foot — some of our testers found this to be awkward. Also, the quick-drying neoprene material that protects the feet from the webbing straps is very bulky and has some uneven surfaces. This left the sides of our ankles blistered and bloody the first few times we wore these sandals.
Teva uses its proprietary Spider Rubber on the Terra Fisole, which is engineered to be extra grippy and provide greater friction on tricky terrain. We found the Terra Fi's traction to be very dependable in all sorts of conditions, getting beaten out only by models with Vibram soles.
The Terra Fi provides adequate traction throughout various surfaces and even handles transitions from wet to dry with ease. The firm outsole material is supportive and allows the tread to 'bite' on rough, angular rocks. Further, the cushioned footbed has a grippy rubber surface that helps keep your foot secure during high-performance outings, even when you get a little wet or dusty.
The Terra Fi 5 scores slightly lower in the stability metric due to its spongy and flexible footbed. Although the outsole is a tough and durable rubber that is beefy enough to handle sustained abuse on the trail, the sole still feels very soft and flexible overall.
A unique feature that our testers enjoyed is the heel spoiler that helps 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 backward while scaling steep inclines. However, if you're looking for uncompromised stiffness and durability in your sandals, the soft and flexible footbed is not as supportive or stable as some heavier-duty models.
The Terra Fi 5 scores 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 the 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 a long time.
Though the Terra Fi is quick and easy to adjust, we wished that we could achieve a snugger fit overall. Sometimes, our testers found themselves wrenching down on the straps only to provide an uncomfortable fit. We chose to wear the Terra Fi with just moderately tightened straps for the most part.
In true Teva fashion, the Terra Fi 5 is a highly versatile all-terrain sandal that is comfortable both in and out of the water. The well-cushioned sole is comfortable enough over variable terrain but still light enough to travel with. This sandal is athletic enough to handle multi-sport adventures and stylish enough to be worn at the local watering hole.
The Terra Fi doesn't excel in any particular area but managed to function well in most of our testing metrics. It is designed to perform in the water with its neoprene accents but will 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 temperature starts to drop.
Should You Buy the Terra Fi 5?
It's hard to go wrong with Teva sandals — river rats and climbing dirtbags alike love them. While some of the performance upgrades of the Terra Fi 5 provide modern comforts and upgraded traction, some of our testers were disappointed with the bulky strap material that caused some rubbing and chafing. While these are certainly very versatile sandals that would be suitable for rafting, travel, or simply lounging around camp, they face a competitive footwear market that makes it difficult for them to stand out. The Terra Fi 5 is one of the more expensive sandals included in this review, but it has high-quality materials and construction that will last for years to come. While this sandal could be a good value for the right user, we think there are other offerings that are more comfortable and better performing for the same or lower list price.
What Other Sandals Should You Consider?
The Bedrock Cairn Adventure is the sandal to watch in this review. It offers the best traction and is comfortable and versatile. It has a similar price to the Teva, but you get a more adjustable and versatile sandal. If you like fewer straps and comfort, the Cairn is hard to dismiss without consideration. If you love Teva but hope to save some money, the Teva Katavi 2 is somewhat cheaper and more comfortable with the "dad style" straps that provide comfort and stability. However, if Teva is your brand of choice and you appreciate the traditional straps and style, the Fi 5 is your best bet.
— Nick Bruckbauer and Rob Woodworth
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