Teva Terra-Float Churn It Up Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Slipper-like comfort, decent traction on hard surfaces
Cons: Almost no traction in mud, sand accumulates in shoe, low sensitivity, poor foot retention
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Terra-Float Churn It Up is a comfortable, street-shoe like water shoe. Made almost entirely of mesh, they drain exceptionally well and provide a lot of cushioning and support. However, their casual design makes them less than ideal for activities like whitewater boating or canyoneering.
The Terra-Float has a soft, neoprene-like interior that feels great on bare feet. The mesh that makes up the upper of the shoe isn't stretchy, but the tongue is kept in place with a short piece of elastic that makes for an almost sock-like fit. However, the fit is somewhat low volume, so that sock-like fit might seem tight if you have high volume feet.
The non-elastic, quick cinch laces on this shoe work acceptably but pale in comparison to higher-end quick laces from other brands. The plastic cinch is hard to actuate, doesn't slide on the laces well, and doesn't hold the laces tight as you walk around. While drainage is excellent, with holes even under the insole, sand can quickly get in this shoe and is hard to remove.
With a pretty much entirely flat sole, these shoes reminded our testers of sleds in the mud. While it can be fun to be able to slide around on flat ground, we quickly got gripped descending a steep, muddy trail. Whereas most shoes will slide initially, then dig in with their lugs, these shoes will just keep on sliding.
If you can avoid mud, however, these shoes do decently well on hard surfaces like rocks and logs. They performed above average at sticking to hard surfaces, which you might be a lot more likely to encounter walking along rivers.
As an almost entirely mesh shoe, these are not warm. The tongue is sewn in relatively high up on the shoe, meaning you have much less adjustability compared to most other water shoes we've reviewed. This equates to being unable to add insulation in the form of thicker socks on cold days while also being able to thin down your socks (or not wear them) on warmer days.
Because drainage is so awesome on these shoes, they don't retain much water. That makes them dry fast, but also allows evaporative cooling to chill down your feet rapidly once out of the water. This isn't a problem in warm climates, but we wouldn't recommend these shoes for cold regions.
As a casual shoe, these are fairly versatile for mostly-land activities, but not when it comes to the things we like to use water shoes for, like boating, canyoneering, or taking wet hikes and runs. Their lack of soft surface traction makes them a total bummer on muddy hikes, and their lack of warmth and adjustability makes them a no-go for cold days on the water.
That said, they work fine for hanging out at camp, taking easy strolls along the beach or river, or having a party at the lake. They are pretty light, and we wouldn't hesitate to use them as dedicated camp shoes on a rafting trip. Their flat soles stick well to smooth surfaces, like those found on SUPs and boat decks. They also don't look any different than typical street-shoes, so unlike some water shoes, you won't feel odd roaming around town in these.
Like a more traditional, high support running shoe, the Terra-Float Churn It Up features a thick, supportive sole with substantial heel to toe drop. They don't wrap around logs or rocks much at all due to their stiff outsole, which can impair stability in rough terrain.
That said, the substantial cushion in these soles does give you decent proprioception, which can be nice when walking across variable terrain such as in and out of a riverbed.
Mesh just isn't te most durable material to build a shoe out of. Around the toe, there are some stiffened and reinforced sections of mesh just adjacent to the toe bumper, but we doubt they will do much to prevent punctures and abrasion.
We also don't like the combination of rough laces and lace keepers (at least the upper two) made out of a thin, string-like material. On other shoes with this style of lacing, we've had bad experiences with lace keepers breaking entirely, which more or less ruins the shoe.
One plus side to these shoe's almost entirely flat sole is that as you wear it down, the traction is unlikely to change much. Unlike most shoes that have lugs, you won't be losing lug height as you wear down these soles. That said, the flat sole design is problematic for traction.
For the cost, these shoes just don't have the versatility or performance we'd expect. For a significantly lower price, you can get high-performing water shoes that are just as versatile (and arguably more stylish).
If you're really looking for maximum drainage and slipper-like comfort, these might be the shoes for you. For most water shoe applications, though, these lack key features that would enable them to work well.
— Dan Scott