Last Updated: July 10, 2019

Keens Vs. Tevas (The Ultimate Summer Sandals)

keens vs tevas

It's almost vacation time! And whether your ideal summer vacation includes spending days lying on the beach or going on adventures in different places, you are going to need a pair of good sandals. Keen and Teva both have a lot of great options for the modern woman, and I'll do my best to help you decide between the two. 

There is one more great option - Chacos. But, they are mostly meant for water sports and similar activities, while these other two brands focus on making your feet comfortable on dry land. 

Enough with the small talk - let's get straight into this detailed comparison of the best Keen and Teva sandals. Enjoy!

Keens Vs. Tevas: A Detailed Comparison

Some things are crucial, when deciding on which sandals to purchase. I'll do my best to explain all the important features you want in a good sandal, so that you can make your decision easily. And I will also tell you which sandals are better for what occasion. You know, not every sandals is suitable for hiking, just like not every boot is waterproof!

But, I can tell you right now that if you are looking exclusively for sandals for water sports, you won't find them here. If that is the case, I suggest you check out a few Chacos. In this comparison, I'm going to focus on sandals for hiking, for every day, and a couple of very good flip-flops!

Purpose Is The Key

The most important thing you need to know before purchasing sandals is what you are going to use them for. Do you need a pair that you can walk around in all day and not get your feet tired? Or do you want a pair that will protect your feet when hiking, but still let them breathe?

You also need to focus on different features of the sandals for different purposes. For hiking, I always suggest you get closed-toe sandals, especially if you plan to walk through some tall grass or on very rocky terrain. In that case, I would suggest that you go with Keens, because Tevas don’t really come in a closed-toe version.

On the other hand, if you just plan to spend a lot of time on your feet, then you are going to need sandals that are very comfortable and the will give you plenty of support. In that case, cushioning should be your main concern. And, it certainly helps if they have some antibacterial features that will keep the sandals odorless, even if you spend 12+ hours in them on a hot July day.

Maybe you need a good pair for the beach? In that case, I suggest you check out the section about flip-flops. For the first time in a long time, you are going to see a couple of pairs of flip-flops that actually have good traction and cushioning! Sounds like a game-changer, right. 

Performance Of These Sandals

Performance is just as important as purpose. It doesn’t matter if you get a pair of sandals that appear to be perfect for everyday, if you are going to get blisters the first time you wear them. Or if they offer lousy traction and zero support.

The good thing is that both of these brands are well known for the amazing quality of their footwear. And they both put a lot of thought in designing features that you didn't even know you needed in the first place. For example, the Microban technology in some Tevas is incredibly useful when it comes to keeping your sandals odorless. And just the same, the Keen patented toe protection is something you will adore when hiking. 

But one of the most important things you should check out when buying sandals is the outsole. It will immediately tell you what kind of grip and traction you can expect from the sandal - never go for a sandal that has  completely flat outsole. Instead, you should make sure that the ones you choose are suitable for the purpose you need them for. 

For example, sandals for hiking and similar sporty activities should have 2-3mm lugs all over their outsole. And preferably, those lugs should be multi-directional. That will ensure you have plenty of traction on all surfaces, and that you won't sprain your ankle (or worse). The good news is that both brands include equally great outsoles in their sandals, and neither will disappoint you in this aspect.  

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Lago Coral 10

On the other hand, there is some lee-way here with outsole everyday sandals, but it still doesn't mean that the outsole can be completely smooth! Comfort is a more important aspect of their performance, and so you should pay the most attention to their footbed. It needs to be soft to keep your feet comfortable, no matter how many hours you spend in them. 

And last but not least important aspect of their performance is the support they offer. For hiking you want plenty of arch support, and so sandals with two thin straps aren't your best option. They would be good for just walking around, but it's likely that you'll sprain something the first time you step on a rock.

In general, I would say that Keens offer better support then Tevas, because their sandals include much more straps - they almost look like hiking boots where someone cut out a few panels to make them more breathable. And that's exactly what you want for summertime hiking. 

Getting The Perfect Fit

I can't stress enough how important it is that you ensure the sandals fit you perfectly. You want to be able to adjust them to cup your feet perfectly, so that you can get the maximum out of their performance.

Think of it like driving a car - you might be a great driver, but if the seat is too far back and you can't adjust it to fit you, are you still going to be able to drive? Well, if the sandal is too large and it can't grip your feet nicely, can you expect it to support your arch and ankles?

The good news is that both of these brands make sandals in half-sizes, for starters. But, if you often struggle with getting footwear to fit you because of high arches or whatnot, Tevas are a better option. All of their straps are adjustable, and you can really get them to fit you like a glove. 

Keens are not as adjustable as Tevas, because they usually have a lot more straps. But I will let you on a little money-saving secret about them! First, check out these two tables: 

Keen Big Kids Sizes
Keen Woman's Sizes

You can see that plenty of those Big Kids sizes correspond to smaller woman's sizes (up to EU 39). Big Kids sandals are much cheaper then sandals for adults, and if you can find your size in that section, then I suggest you try them out. If you wear a women's size 8, for example, the Big Kids size 6 should fit you perfectly. Plus you will save some money, and you get to choose between a lot more color options! How does that sounds?


The Everyday Sandals

When I say everyday sandals, I'm not really thinking about a woman who is going to work or to the grocery shop. I'm actually thinking of a woman who is travelling to a new country, and who is going to be walking around all day exploring - maybe she's going to Switzerland? And she needs sandals that she can walk around the city all day in, without her feet getting tired or swollen. 

I just wanted to make that clear, because 'everyday sandal' sounds a little bit basic. But these two sandals that I want to show you are anything but, and they would be a great addition to anyone's closet!

Teva Women's Terra FI LITE Leather Sandal, Black, 10 Medium US
Teva Women's Terra FI LITE Leather Sandal, Brown, 10 Medium US

First of all, these sandals just look fierce - especially in black. You could wear them with anything, which makes them the ultimate summer shoe. The upper part of the sandals is made from leather, and they actually look very sleek. 

They have three straps (two on the toes and one around the ankle), all of which are highly adjustable with velcro. That means that you will easily make them fit you perfectly, which is very important. 

The Terra Fi Lite feature a cushioned Shoc Pad, which absorbs impact in the heel. It is designed to keep your feet comfortable throughout the day, and it won't disappoint you. And there's also a nylon shank that will stabilize your feet on uneven terrain, and provide you with even more support. 

The outsole of these sandals is made of rubber, and you can see that on the lower photo. That in itself is a good thing, because rubber outsoles give you really good traction. But this particular outsole is called the Rugged Spider Original because of its many spider-like lugs, which will make walking on any terrain a piece of cake. 

Overall, these sandals are an excellent addition to you closet because they are so versatile. Not only do they go with every outfit, but you can go from the mall to the mountains in these, and your feet won't feel a thing.


KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Black/Bright Rose, 8 M US
KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandal, Black/Bright Rose, 8 M US

The Keen Newport sandal is so popular that it has many different variations - the Newport Retro, the Newport Hydro, Eco etc. In this post, we'll check out the Newport H2, which is also available in the Big Kids size - I'll link it at the bottom. :>

These sandals are very versatile. You can wear them when travelling, when hiking and you can also safely wear them in water - the upper polyester won't mind. And it will dry fast, just like the footbed, which features quick-dry lining.

They have the Keen toe protection, which basically means that the outsole extends to cover your toes. I think this is very useful, especially since I am a little clumsy and ten to often stub my toes on everything around me.  

The outsole of these sandals is non-marking and rubber and it will provide you with great traction. The many multi-directional lugs also really help with that. 

The only downside to these sandals is that they are not really adjustable. There is the elastic bungee cord that connects the straps and you can loosen it and tighten it to get it to fit you. But these sandals are meant to be slipped on, and they don't have adjustable velcro closure.

If you have high arches, that will probably be an issue for you. But otherwise, these would make an awesome addition to any woman's closet. 


The Hiking Sandals

Realistically, you could probably get away with some light hiking in the sandals we look at in the previous section. But, I did find some that are a little sturdier and that will do better in some more rugged conditions, and I want to show them to you. 

A pair of Tevas and then a pair of Keens. Is one of them a better choice? Let's find out!


Teva Hurricane XLT2 Lago Coral 10
Teva Hurricane XLT2 Lago Coral 10

At first glance, these Tevas look very similar to the previous ones, right? But, that's just the brand staying true to their design aesthetic. So, we are going to check out all the details that make the Hurricane XLT2 sandal stand out from the others. 

First, Teva really upgraded their traction with these sandals. They feature Teva patented Rugged Durabration Rubber outsole, which not only offers great traction, but also allows you to have excellent grip on any surface. The sole is soft and it perfectly conforms to the shape of your feet with every step you take

The upper part of the sandal is made of textile, unlike with the other Teva sandals. Therefore, these are much more suitable for more rugged condition, and you don't have to worry about getting them wet. They will dry quickly, especially because there isn't really too much textile on them. 

The Hurricane sandals are highly adjustable. The strap around the ankle can be tightened and loosened, due to the velcro closure, just like the strap on the toes. You will easily get these to fit you perfectly, whichever size you wear. 

Also, they have an EVA foam midsole that will keep you comfortable throughout your adventures. And the cushioned heel tab and nylon shank will really help with stability, and ensure that you don't feel the ruggedness of the terrain below your feet. Amazing, right?!


KEEN Women's Venice II H2 Water Shoe, Blue Mirage/Citadel, 9.5 M US

The Venice II sandals stand out mostly because of their enhanced adjustability features. So, the problem with the Newport H2 was that it was just a slip on, which meant that not everyone could get inside them so easily. 

Well, these sandals feature velcro closure on the back, so you'll be able to get them on and off easily. And there is also elastic bungee cord on the top part of the sandal, that allows you to adjust its width. With the Venice II, you don't have to worry about the fit at all

You also won't have to worry about comfort. These Keens are equipped with a metatomical EVA footbed, along with a compression molded cushioning midsole. So, whether you plan to walk on pillows or on sharp rocks, your feet won't know the difference. 

The sandals also have an ESS shank that really helps with stability. But their most impressive feature is the outsole. You can see from the photo that it has about a thousand different lugs, and they are obviously multi-directional. The outsole is also non-marking, so you can even sneak around if you like!

But, what makes them the most suitable for hiking (in my opinion) is that same toe protection we had with the Newport H2. It means that you won't have to worry about where you step, and you can just enjoy the beautiful nature around you!. 


The Flip-Flops

In my experience, walking around the beach can be nightmare. So much so that I wore my old Chuck Taylors to the beach a few times, just to avoid stabbing my feet. Granted, all of that depends on the type of beach. But, if you tend to spend a lot of time on rocky beaches, then you are going to need a pair of good and sturdy flip-flops.

There are plenty of cute, fashionable flip-flops for women out there. But the problem is that most brands focus on making flip-flops that are going to go well with your bathing suit, instead of making ones that you can walk around in and not hurt yourself. And that’s where Keen and Teva come in.

Since it’s almost vacation time and you are going to need some comfortable beach footwear, why not go for something that will actually offer you some comfort and traction? If that sounds appealing, check out these two pairs – one from Teva, and one from Keen.


Teva Women's W Voya Flip Flop, companera Pink/Coral, 8 M US
Teva Women's W Voya Flip Flop, companera Pink/Coral, 8 M US

The Voya flip-flops are just awesome for the beach. For one thing, they feature quick drying polyester webbing, and they won't stay wet for too long. That is also true for the topsole, so you can even swim in these. And that should come in handy if you are anything like me and dread the thought of sea weed and creatures touching your feet! :>

The other thing that is really cool about these is the outsole. It is lightweight and EVA, and it looks like it will offer you some pretty good traction. And that will certainly come in handy if you walk around rocky beaches or have to hike a little to get to your apartment. 

There is one more thing you should know about the footbed of the Voya flip-flop; it features Teva patented Mush cushions that conform to the shape of your feet and make every step incredibly comfortable. 

And finally, there are a few summer-ish color options you can choose from. That is certainly not very important, but it's good to have options. Especially since I think all-black flip-flops are a little bit too depressing for summer. 


The obvious difference between the Keen and the Teva flip-flops is the outsole. These have a much more rugged outsole, which will benefit you if you have to deal with some sharp rocks

For example, I often go to beaches with very sharp rocks, and walking around them in regular flip-flops can be pretty painful, not to mention dangerous. The Kona flip-flop would be great for such conditions, as this outsole will give you great traction, and it will help you stay stable in every step

The shoe is soft and it will conform to the natural shape of your foot and bend with it. Plus if features quick dry lining, so you know they won't be too wet for long if you get them in water. 

The footbed is I think the best feature about them. It is a metatomical, EVA footbed, and you can see from the photos how thick it is. Now, just imagine how soft they will feel - not to mention that you won't feel a thing you step on. Rock, grass, sharp glass - these will protect your feet and keep them comfortable. 

The only downside to these Keens is their somewhat high price tag. They could be cheaper, but think of it this way - if you get them, you won't have to buy another pair of flip-flops for a looong time. And I think that makes them worth it. 


Keens Vs. Tevas: The Best Of The Best

It's time to pronounce the winners of this battle of the sandals! Well, I certainly have my favorites and I hope that you'll agree!

Let's start with the 'everyday' sandals. And again, I'm actually talking about sandals that you can walk around in all day, and still stay comfortable. These would be great for any of you that are travelling somewhere new this summer, and know you'll spending most of the day on your feet. In that case, I suggest the Teva Terra Fi Lite Leather sandals. They are not only incredibly comfortable, but they also look very good and you could wear them with anything. That will also save you some space in your suitcase (or travel backpack)!

Teva Terra Fi Lite Leather Black 9.5
  • Enjoy the on- and off-road versatility of the Teva® Terra Fi Lite Leather sandal.
  • Leather upper.
  • Three adjustable hook-and-loop strap closures allow for an adjustable fit.
  • Comfortable textile lining.
  • Zinc-based, antimicrobial Microban® technology helps prevent odors. Molded PU midsole. Cushioned Shoc Pad™ in the heel absorbs impacting shock. Spider Original rubber outsole. Imported. Measurements: Weight: 8 oz Product measurements were taken using size 9, width B - Medium. Please note that measurements may vary by size. Weight of footwear is based on a single item, not a pair.

If you are looking for sandals that you can wear when hiking and that will protect your feet no matter what, then I have to suggest the Keen Venice II. The signature Keen toe protection is something you will really appreciate, especially if you are a daredevil who like to go on some difficult hikes - perhaps in New Zealand? Anyway, these sandals have a great outsole that will provide you with plenty of grip and traction - so much so that you won't even have to watch your step. But please do, just in case!

For the beach, you should obviously get flip-flops. But I'm honestly a little bit torn between these two. I prefer the soft footbed of the Teva Voya, and their overall look. They just appear more feminine, which is always a bonus. However, I also really like that thick, rugged outsole of the Keen Kona flip-flops. It looks like it's so comfortable that you wouldn't even know what you are stepping on, and that's a comfort level that everyone should experience. So, I'm going to leave this last one up to you. After all, it largely depends on how you imagine beach time - on a stone, rocky beach, or lying next to the hotel pool?

Teva Women's W Voya Flip Flop, companera Pink/Coral, 8 M US
  • Water-ready polyester webbing upper is extremely durable and dries quickly after getting we
  • Mush top sole cushions and forms to your foot for amazing comfort

That's all folks! I truly hope you saw something you liked, and that you think will be a great addition to your summer suitcase. If that is the case, then head over to Amazon. The prices of these sandals are something you also need to check out, and you'll get the best deal on them there!

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

follow me on: