My upcoming trip to Israel has me seriously reconsidering my footwear choices. I currently have a pair of well-used sport tennis shoes, that several years ago cost me a pretty penny, have more than exceeded use, and still have miles in them. I also have a (cheap-ish) pair of ankle-high hiking boots that I bought specifically for my time in Africa, and sadly have only touched the rough terrain trails only a single handful of times.
I’m jumping on a plane again and looking forward to my next adventure, containing lots of hiking and trekking. We will be rappelling down cliffs, covering miles of Israel trails along mountains, streams, waterfalls, and all in the dead heat of summer.
My two sturdy pairs of trekking shoes would work well..but I am looking for something lighter with good support, that are flexible, but sturdy, waterproof and breathable, and can withstand harsh environments and a lot of mileage.
Several people on my time in Africa had Teva sandals, not only did they look stylish but in the harsh grassland environment stayed tough and barely weathered by the end of our service. After reading reviews and going to REI to try on several pairs for myself, I finally settled on a pair of Teva Newport H2 Sandals in an 8.5, a half size from my regular shoe. This was the winner after countlessly comparing these with Clearwater CNX, Whisper, and Arroyo II Multi-Sport.
Why the Newport H2?
Vs. Arroyo: They are stylish without sacrificing quality, the coral/black color is visually appealing as well. I do like the Arroyo, obviously the sturdiest of the four and most resembling of a true hiking boot. The reason these weren’t my first choice is they are large and bulky, almost clunky to walk in, I wanted something more stealth and nimble, not to say I won’t eventually buy myself a pair of Arroyo.
Vs: Whisper: The Whisper are by far the lightest, almost too light, but still has a thick sole. Using the faux rock fixture to test them at my local REI, I felt the ease of moving over mixed terrain, but the narrow toe made my wide feet pinch slightly going downhill. There is also less covering around the foot, making it almost less secure.
Vs. Clearwater CNX: They fit a lot like the Whisper, but have a wider toe that makes downhill a lot more comfortable. The only problem with the toe is it is only a half guard. The sole is less thick than the Whisper, making me wonder if it could handle tougher terrain over time.
First Review: The Newport H2 is a beautiful combination of the best of Clearwater CNX and Whisper. They have a strong, sturdy, thick sole I like about the Whisper with a durability of the Arroyo. The enclosing of the straps are close together and multiple making them nice and secure on the feet. They are light and nimble, with a wide toe that has a fully covered front. An added bonus is the bright color of the Clearwater mixed with the neutral black. After testing them out, they will get a final verdict and review.