Behind the Design: The Hurricane XLT2


In the early ‘90s, Teva was paving the way for outdoor lovers by making shoes that could take them places they’d never been able to go before.

Founder and river guide Mark Thatcher had created the prototype for the Original Universal sandal out of two watch straps and some old flip flops in order to make it easier for people rafting the Grand Canyon to keep their shoes from floating away (you can read our origin story here). Within a few years, we forge ahead, inventing other amphibious sandals and adding performance bike shoes to our collection. One of the first products to come out of this period of prolific innovation was the Hurricane.

Mark Thatcher and friends on the Grand Canyon.

A vintage photograph of Teva founder Mark Thatcher and friends on the Grand Canyon.

A vintage Teva ad.

A 1996 ad for the Teva Hurricane sandal encourages fans to give your feet some “real freedom.”

“We wanted to create a stronger platform that was unlike any other sandals being offered at the time,” explains Director of Innovation Chris Hillyer. “The Hurricane was an evolution of the Original Universal: It represented the original version of the Teva brand by honoring the amphibious sandal with more modern materials.”

Steven Hoskins wearing Hurricane XLT sandals on rocks.


Former Creative Director Steve Hoskins testing out the Hurricane XLT in 2016.

Hurricane XLT sandals floating.

Some things never change. Like the lightweight feel of the Hurricane XLT.

Meg Haywood-Sullivan wearing Teva Hurricane XLT sandals on rocks in New Zealand wearing a hat

A film shot from a Hurricane XLT photoshoot in New Zealand in 2016.

A few years ago, we went back to our roots and rebuilt the sandal with deeper lugs for better grip, more durability, and a comfortable top sole for extra support. The Hurricane XLT was introduced in 2011 and, since then, the shoe has been reimagined for countless collaborations and partnerships, from Opening Ceremony to Jhené Aiko to UGG.



The Teva X UGG Collaboration got a lot of attention when it debuted.


Jhené Aiko has designed two versions of the Hurricane XLT so far.

Feet wearing the Teva Opening Ceremony collection sandals against polka dot wall

A campaign shot from our collaboration with Opening Ceremony, which included this variation on the Hurricane XLT.

The Hurricane XLT has even appeared at New York Fashion Week in AREA NYC’s 2017 and 2018 shows.

“The models from our Spring/Summer 2018 show were all commenting on how comfortable the sandals were backstage when they were running from hair to makeup to wardrobe,” said Beckett Fogg, founder and designer of AREA. “They are classic silhouettes with a sporty twist.”

A pile of Hurricane XLT sandals at New York Fashion Week

A tear of a model wearing Teva sandals.

Models in a warehouse wearing Teva's Hurricane XLT sandals.

The Teva Hurricane XLT, reimagined for AREA’s show at New York Fashion Week. The models welcomed the comfortable alternative to heels. 

Now, we’re proud to introduce the next generation of the Hurricane sandal: The Hurricane XLT 2, Women’s Hurricane XLT Infinity, and Men’s Hurricane XLT2 Cross Strap. Our all-new Hurricane XLT collection styles reinvent a best-loved ‘90s sandal with fresh upgrades.

“We wanted to build on this concept of time-tested design and make it stronger, more durable and more comfortable,” says Hillyer. With new water-loving webbing, soft heel straps, and rugged soles that deliver better traction than ever, they’re throwbacks reimagined for the modern trail.

A woman running in the waves wearing Teva's Hurricane XLT2 in red.

Shop the Women’s Hurricane XLT2 in Red.

The Teva Hurricane XLT2 collection posed on rocks in a studio.

The Women’s Hurricane XLT2, Women’s Hurricane XLT Infinity, Men’s Hurricane XLT, and Men’s Hurricane XLT2 Cross Strap.

A man walking behind a tree by a concrete wall wearing the Hurricane XLT2

“The Hurricane XLT2 was made for free spirits who love roaming the outdoors,” says Hillyer. “For those who want something they can wear in the water and out. Go to rivers, enjoy the great outdoors, go swimming, be free.”

And with grip that doesn’t slip, one thing’s for sure: Mossy rocks never saw the Hurricane XLT2 coming. Explore the collection at