They're some of our favorite travel shoes — so it's time to set this straight.
Teva: it's a household name for any nature-lover, synonymous with sturdy, weather-proof hiking sandals. Nothing ambiguous about it, right?
Wrong. We're here to tell you that, contrary to the common vernacular, this well-known brand name is pronounced teh-vah. TEH-vah. Not tee-vah. Sorry.
Those who know Hebrew will recognize the origins of the name: טבע, the word for "nature" or "the outdoors." A fitting moniker for a shoe that's been a favorite of hikers, campers, and explorers for decades.
The classic Teva sandals were invented in the early '80s by a Grand Canyon river rafting guide who was frustrated by flip-flops that could easily fall off and be carried away with the current. His solution? Rigging a sturdier sandal using velcro watch bands and a little ingenuity.
He started selling his invention out of the back of his car, eventually patenting the model and expanding Teva into the footwear giant it is today. Somehow, though, the true pronunciation of the name was lost to the ages.