I was on the J.Crew site yesterday perusing “new arrivals” when I came across something truly horrifying. TEVAS. Now, I get that things come back around “in style” every few years- and I sometimes bristle at them at first (i.e. puffy sleeves and Birkenstocks) and then eventually, maybe come around a little bit, but this???? This is a forever HARD PASS. Maybe because I associate Teva’s with the early 90’s and my painfully awkward middle school years? But also, they are just flat out hideous. Sorry to any fans, I just can’t get on board with anything from the truly heinous late 80’s/ early 90’s era. Especially these.
Instead, here are some lovely flat, comfy sandals that look grown up and classic. Because unless you are a toddler or strapping in for spin class, you should really not have Velcro on your shoes. #justsayin
CLICK IMAGES FOR LINKS
that’s because you don’t live in Colorado where everyone wears Tevas and birks so it’s no biggie.
The whole point of Teva’s is practicality and water resistance! I’d love to see you kayaking or walking through water in those Ira Strappy Sandals!!! This is kind of an insulting post!
Amen Sista!!! Ugliest Sandal EVER!! they need to be gone part of a “90’s Capsule” and never resurface. LOL!
Curious – what trends are you excited to see come back from the late 80s/90s? Any classic ones to re-embrace?
As someone with giant flipper feet you couldn’t pay me enough to wear any of those, never mind that super flat shoes make my whole body hurt – my legs are my best feature so I use a little wedge or kitten heel to move the eye up and distract from my skis. My cobbler even added a 1/2 inch stack to my precious Artemis slippers. Ariat used to make a decent leather thong sandal with an amazing footbed and a just the right amount of heel, and Ralph Lauren used to make a nice sandal with a not too high or clunky heel, too – but I haven’t seen anything like those in ages. Sad.
I’m with you here design-wise, but most of the adorable flats you linked to are totally unwearable for me. I have kind of picky feet and I’m also a taller and larger person, which tends to mean dainty little things just don’t support my weight or my flat arches, and most don’t come in an 11 (and many 11s have the same strap length as like a 7 so it doesn’t scale up to actually fit bigger feet). I have those same Birks though, the Madrid big buckle ones, and they feel so much cuter than normal Birks while still being comfortable! (They do feel a little less supportive and more flip-flop-y than the two-strap styles like the Arizona, but I got used to it.)
This made me chuckle so hard because I live in Boulder County, CO where Tevas and Chacos are the height of summer style… I don’t think they ever had an out of style moment here haha.
I have a pair of nude-for-me chacos that I love to wear. As a frequent Cape Cod and Maine vacationer, with stepping in and out of kayaks, boats, beach walks with the dog, outdoor dining, etc., I can’t imagine life without these type of sandals. I wear nice shorts or a skirt or a casual dress, sunnies, and well, I’m all in. Are they high fashion? no. But the arch support, waterproofing, and cushioning can’t be beat. I would NEVER buy the bright and silly items above.
Agreed! Unless for some reason you have to go do something sporty in the water, like rafting, there is no reason why you would wear these —this should not be worn as “trendy”
Oh I agree they are hideous but I do love them so!! Chasing my kids around at the beach – always, always, always in Tevas. Can’t remember the last time I stepped in the sand without them on!!
Can you link the tevas? I like some of those options! Thnx.
My already bad feet look even worse in these ugly things. I’m with ya.
Cannot understand how anyone would wear Teva sandals, I think they are truly ugly, always have. In the Sydney paper today there is a pair of Birkenstocks crafted from Hermes “Birkin” bags with a price tag of $US76,000.00. Outrageous to think anyone would consider purchasing them.
Tevas are a utilitarian sandal – perfect for outdoor water activities … for those of us who spend a lot of time near or on the water they serve a purpose. Fashionable, no. Your alternatives are gorgeous, but I’m not going to wear them sailing or paddle boarding. Apples and oranges here.
I agree the Tevas are ugly, but I assure you there will come a day when you realize super flat sandals and shoes are almost as uncomfortable as stilettos.
I once heard a wise fashion tip: everything comes back in style, but if you wore it the first time it was trendy, when it comes back you’re too old to wear it again. Good advice…even with Teva’s!
I’ve always worn unadorned Tevas to walk the dog or putter in the garden. Hose them down and keep moving; ideal utility footwear. But these tarted-up designs remind me of putting lipstick on a pig! A waste of effort.
One pleasing perk of maturity is blithely rejecting ridiculous trends without a twinge of guilt. I’m more focused on personal style and, as others have aptly noted, the luxury of comfort. Best wishes.
I agree 100%
Okay. Thank you for saving me from myself!! I had those leopard ones IN MY CART…I took a deep breath, X-ed out, and pulled the trigger (finally!) on the Hermes Oran sandals. In two, ten, and twenty years I will still be thanking you.
I cringe at those flesh colored sandals. Shiver. Tevas…meh. Flip flops..really? Talk about the teen years! Birkenstocks..comfy but clunky. Adult feet in general are not pretty,are they?
I totally agree with you, or at least I did until last summer. I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot from wearing Tory Burch’s flat sandals which I love. I never had a problem before and now I need to wear shoes that offer support and with cushion.
It comes down to being able to walk and exercise pain free or suffer because I need to be stylish. I will still never wear clogs, Birkenstocks or puffy sleeves ever, but now need to rethink my shoe choices to avoid chronic pain and so it will heal. The price of getting older as your body ages forces me to rethink my choices but will still strive to find something stylish for what I need now.
I’m the same way…if you haven’t, try Vionics sandals, they are a dream. And Chacos makes “nicer casual” looking leather sandals with the same style of footbed.
“Not even in leopard.” I’m dying.
Appropriate Teva location: white water rafting
Non-appropriate Teva location: everywhere else
Was about to checkout with one of those Tevas in my cart. Was kinda on the fence but this post and my husband’s anti Teva/Birkenstock feelings are making me think fashion flat sandals are the better option. Clunky chic is pretty hard to pull off.
Totally with you 😅
I couldn’t disagree more. The bold color Tevas are not my style, but my 12 year old daughter and I share a pair of all black platform Tevas and they are great! Super comfy, flattering, and I like that they give me some height. Great for going to kids’ outdoor sports events and rainy weather. Flat leather sandals have their place, but I love my Tevas!
Oh Lordy! These trends are whipping around faster and faster…to this 64 year old, lol! Hmm, I’ve done Birks in the 70s (I was kinda hippy, ha) and Tevas in the 90s (for camping, beach with kids). I just can’t, again. Gosh, I just LOVE those green Veronica Beard sandals, luckily, I don’t have foot issues. This post made me giggle. Thanks for that! :)) Have a wonderful weekend!!
I have to disagree with the masses here. I love Teva’s and have been waiting a long time for them to come back around. :) I have such great memories of college and wonderful outdoor adventures that occurred in them. Looking forward to rocking them once again.
Apples and oranges! Tevas are outdoorsy sandals! I own some but only wear them camping, four wheeling, hiking, tromping through Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon etc. Every summer about 20 of our couple friends tube the local river together with beer in hand and tevas on feet. And 1 pair has lasted me 15 years with lots of life left. No one who wears them does it to be fashionable. But Tevas are great because when you wear them you’re probably having a lot of fun. So buy some Tevas and come explore the Rockies!
Ha! Love this- couldn’t agree more! I too was perusing the new JCrew arrivals yesterday and was horrified when I saw those Tevas. BTW, I recently bought your book and am new to your blog- love your design and fashion style!
Looooove Texas but those designs are BAD as in really not good. Give the standard ones a try…most comfortable sandle EVEr
Teva’s are unusually waterproof and great for the beach…. they have many uses. I love them!!!!
Agree- they are ugly as sin, comfy as hell! I am at the age of 52, where comfort, support, and something that won’t kill my feet, later on, are more important. I have a super high arch and actually have to wear arch supports daily. I get out of bed every morning and can barely walk ( thanks- Menopause!) Birks fit my feet strangely and actually hurt my feet. This post reminded me how comfy my Teva’s were. Hmm….. Maybe @ Erin, you can contact the company and design them to look halfway decent AND comfy! I have faith you can do anything. I look forward to hearing about the collaboration with TEVA and the Erin Gates comfy awesome, yet fashionable sandal:) xo
I’m with you!
Wait until you experience your first case of plantar fascitis. And you will – eventually – if you wear these completely flat sandals all the time. Ecco used to make a nice looking sandal with good arch support but that no longer seems to be a priority with them.
100% ALIGNED. These are hideous. Every corner I go to on the internet today, I am utterly perplexed by the comments. How are all of these people pro-hideous sandals? I think I need an internet break.
NO TO TEVAS…franki
100% agree :-)
I needed a good laugh!
Lol, I live in Tevas like the last one all summer long. #PNW
I tried birks and they were so uncomfortable. My Miller flipflops are great and hold up amazing. No velco for me!
Have to disagree on this one. Most if the sandals you posted have no support. If you are chasing kids or on trains/lake/water, ect you cannot wear flimsy slides. The all nude tevas are the best looking of the group from j. Crew in my opinion
Trails, not trains lol.
I’m out on all completely flat shoes or sandals. I have bone spurs and require 1 1/2 ” heel to take the pressure off my achilles. Comfort first then style.
I could not agree more!
I have never been a fan of Tevas. I do have a pair of Birks clogs that I came across in TJ Maxx and I like those, but I’m never going to be a Tevas girl. My choices for flat, warm weather shoes these days are TKEES and Soludos…
Erin-I laughed out loud reading this post. I completely agree! Thank you for making my day!
All I can say is nothing is more out of fashion than telling other people what they can and can’t wear. Seriously?
Big no for me too !! When we were traveling and walking all day , like either Eccho brand or Gabor …. so comfortable! Bought them in England actually but sell them in limited styles at Nordstrom! The ones you showed are just too clunking ugly for my taste !! LOL
Oh my gosh! This totally made me laugh. I am 110% on board with you. Now Birkenstock’s….I do love those. ❤️
I don’t own Tevas, nor have I. That being said, I read through the comments then I looked at the two pictures again. They are not, in my opinion, an apples to apples comparison. I like the flat neutral sandals, but can’t see engaging in certain activities in the majority of them. Definitely wouldn’t wear them if I was going to certain rocky bodies of water, but I would think the tevas would be ideal for that. It’s also different strokes for different folks. How boring would the world be if we all dressed the same.
They would be fun on a young person but not a mature one. I like some cushion in my sandals versus the absolutely flat ones but won’t go as far as this. I must admit I do own a pair of Keens to walk the rocky beaches along the coast. They are not on trend by any means but they protect my feet. So I guess I should say wear what makes you comfortable and happy.
I’d really like a pair of espadrilles that are not high. At 5’8” I don’t need height. Any ideas?
My husband wore a pair of Birkenstocks he’s owned since college and I teasingly called him a “dirty hippy”. He exclaimed, “You just bought that white pair and wore them with a dress! What’s the difference?” I replied “I wear them ironically.”
Bought a pair of black Tevas for Disney World running around all day with my kids. They were great for that but I have absolutely not worn them since.
Haha, love this post!
Nope, No Tevas. Not ever. Awful.
Also, if possible could you do a post inspired by Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston- Morning Show) or Carolyn Bassette Kennedy?
YES — great idea! Alex Levy’s wardrobe on the TMS is great. It’s so amazing. It’s aspirational, believable, and consistent. I would love to copy it. It was interesting that the Bradley Jackson wardrobe seemed more inconsistent and uninteresting. To me, it seemed to represent the show not knowing what to do with the character. But maybe it was purposeful and meant to show that Bradley was unsure and inexperienced.
I agree. Tevas are a hard no for me (already did that in the 90s), BUT, they are actually really cute and easy for little girls.
I fall into the category of some of the older women who have commented that the flat sandals are painful if worn for long (although your options are wonderful). To get a sense of our ages, I think that we would all say that Tevas were not around when we were in middle school.
I have had a pair of Tevas (the type with velcro) in my closet ever since they first came out. I don’t wear them when I want to feel stylish. I wear them when I need to support for decent amounts of walking. My Tevas are basic dark colors. I also have a couple pair of Teva wedges that I can slide into. They have good height on the heels. I wear them in the summer with jeans quite often. They are comfortable and don’t draw any attention.
I wear flat dresser sandals when I won’t be walking much. Given that I want to keep walking long distances without foot pain, I’ve had to learn what works for me and to protect my precious aging feet.
I feel the same way! Even the ones that are Liberty print….horrible. There are some lovely Hermes Oran sandal dupes on Tuckernuck right now. Those, I can justify!
I have a few colorful, outdoorsy, spirited friends and sisters who wear Chaccos and they fits their spirit so well that it makes me love them! (the shoes and the friends) Of course, I’m here on your website looking for fashion inspiration, so you can probably guess that my style is different. So, I condone wearing them if you are a a colorful, outdoorsy, spirited type. Maybe the rule should be that if you have not worn them prior to 2021, you cannot wear them. You don’t get to adopt them for dubious fashion purposes. Pre-existing Hippie spirits only :)!
Ha! I love this! I like to think of myself as a hippie turned mom and stylish business woman. That said, I still love me some Chacos! I started wearing them in college around 2000 and have traveled the world in them. Glad I get to keep them using this logic ;).
Also, even though I am only in my late thirties, I hear all the gals talking about the discomfort of super flat sandals. I had no idea I would turn into my mom so soon!
If you’ve ever suffered from plantar fasciitis, all those cute classic leather sandals are going to be a hard no, sadly. I do think those clown colored Tevas are ridiculous for adults but I will confess that I own black and white patterned Tevas that are a summer dog walking and light hiking staple (worn with workout wear) and just feel so darned good on my feet. I wear Birk Gizehs (not the Arizonas, those are for my teen) for something just slightly nicer around town and have held onto a couple of pairs of Bernardo leather sandals for wearing only when there is little to no actual walking involved, The joy of aging and foot injuries!
@Holly. I love the Gizeh EVA as pool + beach shoes. I also wear a pair during the summer as my house shoes.
Munros really helped my plantar fasciitis, I mistakenly had started wearing sneakers all the time thinking it would help but it just made my condition worse. A lot of Munros are NOT stylish, but I have three pairs of boots and a couple other pairs that are really cute… also bought some supportive Munro slides to wear around the house. A lot of my foot pain was stress related as well. Both times I have had it I was under extreme stress.
Lol! I am with you 100%. Worst look is men with the big untanned, unpedicured feet stuck in stupid Tevas!! I just bought the cutest buckle small heel flats by Sam Edelman and am wearing them around the house waiting for warm weather!! thanks
I’m with you on this one. However, Tevas and Chaacos are great if you are on the water – whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing… I too have a case of plantar fasciitis and have found that flat sandals and flip flops are the worst thing you can wear with that condition. Vionic makes decent looking sandals with arch support.
And velcro…..seriously, I loooove my Vionic sandals (and their flats, boots, mocs, tennies and slippers)! As a teacher standing on hard tile all day, they save me from foot, knee and back problems. I pull out my Keens for puddle jumping with my twins. A time and a place for everything.
I agree about the Teva’s, but so many of these flat sandals give no support. I don’t have that much trouble finding cute shoes with arch support, so I wish more companies would make cute sandals with arch support. Some of us still would rather not wear Birks, at least not exclusively.
Vionics are decent for support and some are cute!
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I hear you on the cringe-inducing 90s fashion these days. But, Tevas and Chacos have their place in my closet alongside my collection of pretty sandals. I’m at an age and attitude where I’m not running errands all day in shoes that will make my feet hurt and if I can do it in a fun pair of Chacos without looking like a total clown, then so be it.
I so agree! Five years ago I would have agreed with this post, but at my age — foot stability and comfort is key with my aging ankles/flat feet. For prolonged errands, I turn to my Tevas and Birks; all others for fashion.