The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Teva Hurricane

1988

The early Teva sandal     Photo: Courtesy of Teva

It was sometime in 1984 when young Grand Canyon river guide Mark Thatcher decided he wanted a sandal that would drain and have a hiking boot-like grip in and out of the water. Sneakers were too heavy when wet and would take days to dry, and flip flops slid off his feet too easily, so Thatcher decided to create something for himself. He fashioned a thong-style sandal from rubber with nylon ankle strapping to make the first sport sandal. His (very specific) patent: A sandal with an elongated sole configured to the profile of a human footprint with a toe end and a heel end that employs a toe strap connected at two anchor points to grip the forward part of the user's foot and a heel strap connected at two anchor points to grip the ankle of the user's foot with a lateral strap connected between the toe strap and the heel strap which is located on the outside of the sole and parallel to its surface so it is operable to stabilize the other straps and to maintain constant tension in the individual straps as the sole flexes, with the toe and heel straps being infinitely adjustable so the wearer can cinch the sandal to his foot by adjusting said straps in a manner that it will not be dislodged during rigorous activity.

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