Sandals: Teva Itunda
The Itundra have a strange name and also an unusual take on the traditional sport sandal. What makes these a bit different is the closed toe design. They are still a sandal though and one that is specifically aimed at both water sports and land use, albeit one that looks a bit more shoe like.
They have plenty of cut-outs making them airy enough for me and quick draining. Some may prefer a more open style though. There are extra drainage holes in the heel that ‘vent’ to the sides rather than straight to the bottom. Whilst this seems sensible in that grit and mud cannot come in through the bottom – do they really allow better dissipation of water than no holes at all? I’m not convinced they are necessary, but they don’t have a negative impact.
Now, one reason they feel slightly less sandally and more akin to a shoe is the nicely sculpted footbed – it is certainly the comfiest sandal sole I have used. In fact, barring a small blister on top of the big toe in particularly sweat weather they have been the comfiest sandals I’ve worn to date. They are pretty light too considering the additional upper material and the extra support – at least as light as some ‘normal’ sandals I have owned.
Having said they are the comfiest sandals I’ve worn I should qualify that to say, I have always found sandals to be a bit annoying when it comes to grit and gravel – often to be seen with a Ministry of Silly Walks approach trying to flick a tiny piece of grit from under my foot. These sandals have meant I have had to adopt a new approach – with the closed toe you can’t shake debris out the front… you have to wiggle it out the back instead. I’m not sure this is any worse, just a different solution to the age old problem – maybe it’s just me!
However, the closed toe does provide benefits; I feel much happier scrambling in these than a traditional sandal – although clearly not teh most ideal footwear for such things, they cope well, have a reasonably grippy sole and it is nice to not slide out the front or side and catch toes on rock.
Overall: a good, supportive, secure sandal. If you think you’d benefit from a closed toe on your sandal or are just after a good supportive sandal these are definitely worth trying out.
Reviewed by Steve Hodges