Thursday, 28 June 2007

REVIEW: Teva Karnali Wraptor £70

If you are flooded out then sandals are ideal. Also of course it is supposed to be summer, in which case sandals are a great way to air sweaty feet around the camp site, after a day on the hill, or just for sitting at the computer!
A new model this year is the Teva Karnali Wraptor, which is a turbo charged version of the classic Teva Wrapter.

It’s good The Teva Karnali Wraptor is built around a similarly highly functional footbed as the classic Teva Wraptor, being stiff enough to resist pressure from stones underfoot yet beautifully flexed at the toe to allow an exceptionally natural walking action. In short it feels great when walking on paths and rocky surfaces due to the support, stability and cushioning that the sole provides.
When crossing rivers water can get trapped under the feet of most sandals, but not the Karnali, as they have built drainage slots in the sole to let the water out, which they call a Drain Frame. These slots have a fine mesh on the outsole to prevent grit rising up them, while the outsole lug pattern is deep enough to prevent water getting forced up through the mesh on each step. These slots also allow a little more air to circulate underfoot which may partly be why these sandals don’t feel quite as clammy as some.
The other big difference between the Karnali Wraptor and the old standard Wraptor is the toe bumper. This provides great protection for the big toe and prevents the toe from slipping forward and over the front edge of the sandal when walking down slopes or over uneven terrain. It also hides your toes if you are not too pround of how they look and of course it’s the current flavour of shoe design! The straps are similar to the old Wraptor, although slightly easier to adjust and loosen thanks to a combination of Velcro and quick release clips. The soft lining around the inside of these straps is also better than the old Wraptor.

But like the Wraptor, these are not a budget priced sandal, so you need to be sure you really want all that extra comfort if you are going to splash the cash on these. My old Wraptor had a heel fit webbing strap, but the Karnali Wraptor doesn’t have this, so it may be worth checking the fit before buying as there is less heel adjustment. A size 46 pair weighs in at 828g, so these are not a lightweight sandal if you just want a pair as a spare when backpacking. Of course if you only want a sandal for occasional use and don’t need it for river crossings and wearing as your sole alternative to your walking boots, then other sandals have advantages of price too.

Buy it if you want a sandal that is superb on all terrain that you would consider wearing a sandal crossing. But the performance may be more than you need, and as you have to pay a performance price, you may prefer a less practical sandal at a more practical price.

Vital stats
Upper synthetic straps, texprene padding
Sole Spider rubber, EVA cushioning, Microban® zinc based anti-microbial protection
Sizes 7-14 (men’s); 5-11 (women’s)
Weight 828g (size 11)
Made in China

For more information visit the Teva Web Site

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Reviewed by Graham Thompson


Anonymous said...

The Teva Wraptors may appear good at first wear. However their durability leaves MUCH to be desired. Having only worn them every couple of weekends or so while out, I was much dismayed when thick dry grass roots stabbed through the water drainage holes into the soles, and into my feet.

I thus discovered the hard that the silver mesh that was supposed to protect me from such events was not the stainless steel it pretended to be, but chromed plastic mesh.

I was around 100Km from the nearest town, on foot, with plenty more of such grass on my path. Lucky I had spare shoes. It certainly wasn't the most convenient time to discover that Teva products are mere Toys.

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