Teva Aventrail Review: Embrace the Trail with Airy Freedom

For some, trail running is more a feeling than a sport. Aventrail's blend of sandal comfort and trail running performance needs to be bottled by Teva.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

Welcome to my Teva Aventrail review, and yes, this is a sandal, but fret not, it’s not just any sandal – this beast is highly tuned for trail running. The Aventrail is Teva’s first venture into the trail running space, blending the airy freedom of a sandal with the performance and comfort of a trail running shoe.

I was thrilled to be one of the first trail run testers, along with some other reviewers, the Teva marketing crew, and Outside PR. Stick around to find out if these running sandals are worth adding to your trail running gear.

The Avetrail test squad in the Marin Headlands (our backyard trails)
The Avetrail test squad in the Marin Headlands (our backyard trails)

Key specifications of the Teva Aventrail

  • Price: $145 at rei.com
  • Weight: 11.6 oz (329 g) for US Men’s 9
  • Drop: 6 mm (33.5 mm at heel, 27.5 mm at toe)
  • Upper: Engineered knit material
  • Midsole: HYPER-COMF technology (supercritical foam and EVA) and a Nylon plate for energy return and propulsion
  • Outsole: Spider rubber with moderate trail lugs
  • Sustainability: 100% recycled plastic webbing

Fit and feel

When you first slip into the Teva Aventrail, you may want to consider wearing socks, as Teva recommends, to avoid any potential initial rubbing from the straps – I followed this advice, and noticed no rubbing at all.

When you first slip into the Teva Aventrail, you may want to consider wearing socks

However, to truly experience the essence of what these running sandals are all about, going sockless is the way to go. The open design gives your feet incredible freedom and breathability, which is perfect for summer runs.

After removing my socks I felt that a half size smaller would provide a better fit, as the footbed felt slightly too big with my regular size, with no socks.

The sandal design connects you to the trail in a unique way, offering a primal, free-feeling experience that’s hard to beat. It’s hard to explain but I’m going to do my best to do so throughout this review.

Teva Aventrail performance review

Before I get stuck into how they perform on the run, here’s a quick reminder that you can also watch my video review to get more insights, by tapping the image below – Don’t forget to give the video a like if you enjoy it (that really helps our channel), and subscribe to our Youtube Channel for more reviews of the latest running shoes :).

Teva Aventrail Video review

The Teva Aventrail is built for moderate trails, and it handles them impressively well considering it’s a sandal. Despite initial concerns about the weight (11.6 oz), the extra cushioning and secure fit of the upper make up for it.

The engineered knit material is breathable, perfect for dry conditions, making it an ideal summer running shoe. These sandals are not for winter running, or running in the rain, I feel the performance will be compromised in such conditions.

Cushioning and midsole

The HYPER-COMF technology in the midsole is a mix of supercritical foam and EVA, and it provides a cushioned yet responsive ride – which is exactly what I look for in a pair of all round trail running shoes.

Teva aventrail has a much better experience without socks

This cushioning, combined with a nylon plate, offers fantastic energy return and a slight propulsive push, making runs feel faster and more enjoyable as a result. The shoe has a fair amount of spring, which is evident when flexing it (which I demonstrate in my video review above).

This bounce, along with the cushioning, ensures comfort on longer runs and more technical trails – and that Nylon plate acts as a rock guard in protecting the bottom of your feet from sharp rocks on the trails.

Traction and outsole

The Aventrail outsole, featuring spider rubber with moderate lugs, is well-suited for various trail conditions.

The outsole, featuring spider rubber with moderate lugs, is well-suited for various trail conditions. I tested the Aventrail on technical trails, and it performed admirably, providing reliable traction and grip. However, its lug pattern is best suited for moderate trails, so while it can handle rougher terrain, it performs better on less technical trails, and also on road surfaces thanks to all that midsole cushioning.

We all agreed on this after our test run in the Marin Headlands – route pictured below.

Teva Aventrail test route in Marin County

Stability and support

As expected from a sandal, the upper isn’t the most supportive, but it offers a unique freedom of movement.

The Aventrail W-strap velcro fastening system and the strap around the heel secures the foot well

The W-strap velcro fastening system and the strap around the heel secures the foot well, preventing any wasted energy on uphill climbs, and the midsole cradles the foot, similar to HOKA’s J-frame, adding a layer of stability.

For those with strong ankles and a background in trail running, this setup works beautifully, allowing natural biomechanics to take over but if you need more stability due to pronation issues you may prefer a more supportive upper.

Protective features

One concern I first had with wearing sandals for trail running is the exposed toes. Initially, I was worried about stubbing them on rocks, but this proved to be a total non-issue. This design encourages you to lift your feet more consciously, avoiding stubs naturally because you’re more aware of you toes being exposed – the fear is a psychology one.

The toe area is slightly elevated off the ground, acting as a forefoot rocker, which helps in protecting your toes despite the lack of a reinforced toe bumper

Additionally, the toe area is slightly elevated off the ground, acting as a forefoot rocker, which helps in protecting your toes despite the lack of a reinforced toe bumper.

Comfort and airflow

One of my favorite features of the Aventrail (and I guess any running sandal), is the airflow or 100% breathability. Running in these sandals feels liberating, with air circulating freely around your feet, keeping them cool even on hot days.

Wearing socks made my feet overheat, but going sockless provided a much more pleasant experience. This open design makes for an awesome summer trail run experience, offering a “feeling” that traditional shoes can’t match.

Is the Teva Aventrail worth buying?

The Teva Aventrail is certainly a niche product but one that I believe is worth the $145 price tag for the right person with an open mind, and you can pick up a pair at REI if you fancy getting yourself a pair. It’s a running sandal that’s tailored for those who crave a deeper connection to nature and a unique running experience – that certainly matches my profile, what about you? Let me know in the comments if you’d be willing to give trail running sandals like these a try!

Running in sandals won’t be for everyone, particularly those who want to be able to run in wet or cold conditions, but for summer and dry trail runs, it’s an exceptional experience, so you’d really by these as a supplementary trail running shoe that you wear for moderate trail runs in warm conditions.

The sandal design, combined with trail-ready features, makes it a worthwhile investment for adventurous runners looking to try something new. If you’re open to new experiences and want to feel more connected to your environment, the Teva Aventrail is definitely worth a try, in my opinion.

For more in-depth reviews and comparisons, check out our other posts on Trail & Kale. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest running shoe reviews and tips!

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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