Sexy Hiking Sandal? Picking Out Shoes For Easter Island

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So were you among the folks who wondered if I was going to romp around Easter Island in a pair of heels? I know a few people did. That was actually not my plan, but fortunately I happened to think about the shoe question before I’m leaving or it might have come to that. 🙂

Ovaje Beach Easter Island Teva Zirra

One of the downsides of traveling a lot  is I usually assume that I have appropriate clothing and shoes for any trip. Usually I do, but not always. In this case, the problem was what shoes would be comfortable for walking all over the island, look ok with dresses, and fit in my carry-on?

I’m weird, but I’m never going to wear sneakers with a dress if I could help it. I’m also vain. Since I intend to plaster my apartment walls and bombard my family with pictures of me on the island, I did not want to be sporting bright white sneakers. Plus, I’m only going to be on the island for two nights so I’m only taking carry-on luggage. Sneakers, running shoes, or hiking boots would take up a large portion of space that I want to allocate to little statue reproductions.

So no sneakers. Flip flops might be doable, but also seemed like a bad idea. I’m clumsy, the likelihood I’d get them caught while climbing rocks seemed pretty high. Wedges? I do love my Steve Madden Wade wedges, but I doubted I could walk several miles on a grass track and still be happy.

It seemed like it was time to revisit sports sandals. It’d been many years since I bought my last pair of Tevas, so I dived into researching the latest and greatest (and wow has technology evolved!). If you do the same, I do recommend not doing research over any meal times. I saw far too many pictures of blisters…

But anyway. Based on my research I narrowed the brands down to Chacos and Tevas. My goal was to find a sports sandal that could pass for a normal sandal, but was comfortable enough to wear all day and hardy enough for me to climb rocks, etc. So I wanted a cute hiking sandal with thin rugged sole with arch support, as few straps as possible, a comfortable heel strap and definitely no toe strap .

Having narrowed it down to a manageable number of options, I spent the weekend tracking them down and trying them on. None of the Chacos I’d picked were in stock at any of the local stores, so I didn’t get a chance to try them, but while looking online, two more brands stuck out with attractive – Merrell and J-41.

J-41 Shasta Sandal looked great online, but in person they weren’t quite as sharp. And when I put them on, it was an immediate no – the straps cut in to my foot on the side and it didn’t look as elegant (for a sports sandal) as I’d hoped.

The Teva Terra Fi Lite sandal, which I tried on since it was handy, was appealing. The heel strap was incredibly comfortable, but the straps in general were thicker and the heel definitely so.

The runner up was the Merrell Aster sandal. It had fewer, thinner straps. The cushion was pretty hard, but as I walked that actually became a positive. I could have been quite happy with this choice if only they weren’t $85 and only available in stores.

Teva Zirra was the ultimate winner. A delightfully thin, flexible sole with soft cushion, good traction, very few straps, and lots of support. And on Amazon as cheap as $45.


I had originally planned to get the black so it will match more things, but when I tried them on the chocolate chip was much less obtrusive. They should arrive this week which will give me plenty of time to break them in before I’m touring the heads. 🙂

While I was looking I also came across the Teva Cabrillo Strap Wedge. It is surprisingly comfy! Not comfy enough for Easter Island, but definitely something I could wander around the DC mall for hours in.

Update: How did the Teva Zirra fare on Easter Island


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