An Open Letter to Teva
Tyrell Bay (Carriacou), Grenada
Dear Teva, your sandals stink—literally!
I recently retired my life in the United States, opting to become a fulltime backpacker. Every piece of equipment and clothing (or lack thereof) was selected deliberately, with great thought and care. Your Universal RS sandal happened to make the cut as my primary footwear—a selection that I wish I hadn't made.
Teva, I chose the RS Universal because of your reputation in the backpacker community, the apparent comfort, and acceptable styling of the sandal. I even foolishly continued to stand by my decision after your product game me horrible blisters on the tops of my feet for the first month I wore them (which the scars are now a living testament to).
The leather sole of the sandal, while initially attractive, had been a curse. When the "waterproof leather" becomes wet, it retains water and takes a painfully long time to dry. Meanwhile, the bottoms of my feet become soft and waterlogged because they're strapped into constantly damp shoes.
Shortly after several days of dirt and hard rain in Tobago, your sandals began to smell something awful. I've tried washing them, covering them in baking soda, using pleasant smelling antibacterial sprays, and a whole slue of other remedies—nothing works. Now because of the region of the world I'm in, it's difficult and cost prohibitive to find a fulltime sandal to replace them with. So I'm stuck with these heavy, stinky shoes.
Thanks for the attempt at a multi-purpose piece of footwear, and the lesson on what to avoid in the future.