Teva’s First Minimalist Sandal: Teva Zilch

All the minimalist lovers I know wore Tevas before they shed their shoes. But I will be heading back to Teva shoes on April 1st, 2011, when they officially release the Teva Zilch.

Teva has been pretty tight lipped so far about what we are to expect, but I managed to track down an information sheet. True to Teva’s reputation, the Zilch is going to be a performance shoe. This means we can expect the same great traction and comfort I get from the Terra Fi but with the barefoot freedom I have become accustomed to.

But down to the technical information. You can expect the Zilch to weigh 7.0 ounces with a total of 10mm between your foot and the ground. Teva is using the Spider Original Rubber sole, which is made to stick like crazy in wet environments. But don’t let this trick you into thinking this is only a water shoe. The outsole does well in dry environments too. It was designed to mimic the human foot as much as possible, so it moves and bends with your foot.

I haven’t gotten a chance to really try out the Zilch, since it hasn’t been released yet, but I was lucky enough to briefly try on a prototype. I tried it on indoors, so I cannot speak about the grip of the outsole, but I can say that the topsole was incredibly comfortable. There is no built in support, just the polyurethane that fit my feet so well without trying to change it. I will admit, it wasn’t as “bare” as my Vibram Fivefingers, but they did seem a bit more discreet and a bit less sweaty on hot days. Expect a full review as soon as I can kick around in them for a week or two!

Here’s some pictures of the Zilch all folded up.

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Outdoor Retailer : Day 1 : Teva

Teva has come up with some really great shoes and sandals that we’re excited about and hope you are too.

First off is the Itunda. With two points of adjustability (once it’s set, you leave it and you’re in and out with the buckle), Spider Rubber, side heel drainage (so the drainage ports don’t get clogged) and a very solid 3/4 shank, we think this is one of THE picks for water shoes at this year’s OR.

The Tanza has that traditional Teva look, but with Spider Rubber, a REALLY comfortable “Shoc Pad”, and a $70 retail price, this definitely feels like the upgraded version. Oh – and we like the simple, clean colors on this as well. Check out this orange!

What do you do if you’re a paddler than needs a water shoe but you’ve got your street cred to uphold and wouldn’t be caught dead in a girlie booty? Check out the Gnar. This actually came around last year, but we still like it. The camo area of the shoe is all drainage. From river to roach coach – boys, you have a new shoe.

The Katavi Slide and Thong. Great looking sandles, the first time Teva has done slides for men in years. We’re glad they’re back.

Ladies, the time has come for river sandal fashion and function to merge. Check out the Tirra: Spider Rubber, Shoc Pad, 3 points of adjustment. Let the boys go river to roach coach – we’ll go river to restaurant.

Kayak Shed . http://www.kayakshed.com/blog/ . http://www.kayakshed.com