At Benosh we’ve called Teva one of the most innovative manufactures around (check out our SS11 Awards). They’re always pushing the envelope, and that is exactly what the new Teva Fuse-ions represent. Water shoes you can wear to the bar, Teva says of them. So let’s see how they perform.
The first thing I notice is that the Fuse-ions fit with the casual, cloth Converse-inspired shoes I’ve seen more of recently among a certain set. Our testers had more pop because of bright, electric blue laces (they also come with some more plebian gray, which were more my style), but none of the colors will slip by unnoticed.
But when I think Teva, I think about performance. The Fuse-ions feature ion mask technology, which turns virtually anything hydrophobic—making it shed water. Under most circumstances, this is cool. You’re running through the rain between car and bar, and your feet stay dry—that covers the casual use. But what is a water shoe if not something you wear, well, in the water? How do they do then?
While the ion-mask tech can handle a little splashing, immersion gets water around the tongue and into the shoe, where the padding that intends to let you wear the shoe barefoot gets wet…and stays wet. The padded interior, once wet, takes a long time to dry. You wouldn’t want to wear socks when you know you’re going to get wet, and so Teva pads the Fuse-ions for comfort—except directly under the laces, where tightening the shoes enough left the tops of my feet indented through the tongue (I got used to it, however). So the padding is enough to soak up water when immersed, but not strategic enough to provide seamless barefoot comfort.
The Jstep and Spider Rubber outsole is, quite frankly, remarkable. I’ve never worn a shoe with better grip in the wet. If you boat or kayak or anything where you need your shoe to stick to something, this is it. And here we find the Teva Fuse-ion’s niche—for that kind of water sport, or for casual wear when you want to keep your foot dry, the Fuse-ion absolutely shines as a comfortable, immensely grippy and good-looking shoe. If you’re looking to wear it tromping through streams or something, you’re better off with one of Teva’s sport sandals.
Teva’s Fuse-ion is a trendy, stylish casual shoe that’s great for casually getting wet while you and your socks stay dry. Or if you’re mostly in a boat or kayak that has wet surfaces you need to grip, forget the socks and enjoy their sporting side. At $90, you’re paying for some style and technology, but you’d pay about that for a premium brand’s casual shoe—and it wouldn’t take you sailing. I like sailing, and I like the Fuse-ions from Teva.