I’m back from a 10 day surf adventure to the waaaaaay south of Mexico.  As promised here, I took Teva’s new Fuse-Ion (MSRP $90) to see if it lived up to Teva’s claims as being a pretty darn good do-everything adventure shoe.  I think I put them on a pretty good test of what extremes you may experience on a trip….

  •  Airport Security? = Check
  • 10 hour airport delay? = Check
  • Nasty Mexican bathrooms? = Check
  • Push a van out of the mud? = Check
  • Hike miles and miles through jungle and over beach in 98 degree weather? = Check
  • Hang at the bar in the evening? = Check
  • Dodge waves while bouldering around on slippery rocks? = Check
  • Wash off with a garden hose and look just like new when you return home? = Check
  • Look good enough to wear to work on casual Friday? = Check

You can read all about the shoe’s fancy technology here, but I will boil it down to what us average shoe buyers are looking for:

One piece tongue.  Although I did, you don’t need to wear shoe laces with these shoes.  The shoe is stretchy, so they slip on like a Sanuk.  I never tied the laces, although you could if you wanted a snugger fit.

Convertible to slipper.  Also like the Sanuk, the heel of the shoe folds down so you can wear it like a slipper.  This was handy at night for quick trips to the bathroom or walking across the grass dodging scary insects and reptiles.

Durability.  They get dirty, and clean up quick.  By day one I had both hiked a couple miles through a tropical rain forest and pushed a very big van out of a very big mud hole.  The shoes were thrashed, and I figured I had destroyed them.  But I washed them off in a clean puddle and they not only shedded the mud and discoloration quickly, but they dried out super fast.  When I got home, I hosed them off in the yard and was able to wear them to work the next Friday.

Comfort.  The shoes are light and the flat sole actually feels pretty good on your feet.  I didn’t get tired on the hike, or wearing them to the office.  I’ve read a couple of reviews where people complained about the low-cut digging into their heel.  I didn’t experience this, and wore the shoe with and without socks.

Traction.  Like I said, I had to push a car out of the mud, climb around on slippery rocks and hike on the sand.  The traction was pretty impressive.  One day I climbed pretty far out on an ocean rock jetty to get some shots of my buddies surfing, and the shoes were able to grip on the wet, angled rocks.

Smell.  This type of shoe can stink quickly, and my feet are prone to getting a bit stinky at times.  I’m pretty aware of it, and these shoes pass the test.  I can comfortably wear them to someone’s house that I know doesn’t allow shoes inside, and be OK leaving them at the door.

All in all, Teva has done a good job designing an adventure shoe that functions in both extreme water conditions as well as blending into every day life.  Check out the photos below to see what I mean.  While the primary purpose of this shoe is adventure, I find myself wearing them around town more than any of my other shoes!

The shoes were put to work on day one of the trip, and I was too tired to clean them up before bed. It would have been pointless anyway, because they got dirty every single day.

I was covered in stinky Mexican mud. It would have destroyed any other shoe…

With a garden hose and swipe of the towel, the Fuse-Ion were ready to wear to the office for work!