Admittedly, I’ve not been much of a fan of the myriad of sandals on the market today. Many are chunky, clunky and awkward. Using ultralight versions of Teva’s beloved EVA foam midsole and Spider Rubber outsole, the Zilch if the ultimate minimalist sandal.

Teva Zilch Barefoot Sandals Features:

  • Ultra-grippy Spider Rubber outsole
  • Minimalist design with ultralight straps
  • Welded outsole/midsole/straps ┬áreduce stitching
  • Squishy Mush EVA foam
  • Colors: Black, Federal Blue, Spicy Orange (tested), Wild Dove
  • MSRP: $80

Teva Zilch Sandals Review

When I saw these sandals at Outdoor Retailer, I thought to myself, “Wow, those are pretty cool, but I wonder how they will wear in real life?” Well, I’ve now had the opportunity to wear these for over a month and I can tell you that the Zilch is the real deal. I’m very impressed.

Over the past few months, I’ve also been testing a pair of Merrell Tough Glove barefoot shoes, so these are the perfect warm-weather companions to those. While the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to gallivanting around the countryside, I’ve made do as I’ve gotten miles put on the Zilch sandals. Being creative, I’ve done everything from light hiking to refereeing my daughter’s soccer game — all in the Zilch sandals.

A trip to Minneapolis was also the perfect opportunity to stuff these into my carry-on. They squish down flat and take up next to nothing in your roller bag. If you want, they can also be rolled up and stashed that way with no ill effects to the sandal. Either way, there’s no excuse for not bringing them along on your next trip.

Walking around town, these remain comfortable. Granted, they are very minimalist, so you’re not getting ultra-cushiony comfort, but what you gain is amazing ground feel and just enough squish to keep your body happy. On top of that, if you adopt a more barefoot-style stride, your arches will be strengthened and your calves will turn into cantaloupes (that’s good, right?).

It did take a few outings to get the proper calluses on my feet. The forefoot strap gave me a small hot spot on the top of one foot (after refereeing the soccer game), but after that I’ve had no issues. I was concerned that the little toe loop would be bothersome, but the nifty inner stretchy band grabs your toe while the outer stiff band keeps things in place. Really, there’s not much to say about the fit on these… Teva really did a great job designing a minimalist sandal.

On occasion, I do have a bit of trouble slipping them on and do have to open the upper strap more than I think I should. I don’t know if it’s just getting the entry position just right or what, but other times my feet just slide right in without fuss. I’m sure I’ll figure that out with more use.

Good Zilch

  • Minimalist sandal done right
  • Just the right amount of cushioning
  • Spider Rubber is super grippy
  • Amazing travel sandals as they pack down to nothing
  • Heel pulltab is key to getting these on — great product design

Bad Zilch

  • Sometimes I can’t slip my feet in very easily
  • Sometimes you can have too much grip (rare instances, but indeed you can)

Bottom Line: Teva Zilch Sandals

If you’re going for a minimalist sandal, the Teva Zilch really shines. I like how well it wears in all conditions and how amazingly-grippy the outsoles are in all conditions.

Buy Now: Teva Zilch Sandals at Backcountry.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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