Our origin story goes like this: Teva (“teh-va”) was born in the Grand Canyon in 1984 when a river guide named Mark Thatcher rigged two Velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops, creating a sandal that wouldn’t float away. With a sturdy, comfortable fit and patterned straps (this was the first time that designs had been woven into nylon webbing), it didn’t take long for his patented design to become an icon of the outdoor world.
When we introduced the Alp sandal in the 1990s, we wanted to make sure our sequel lived up to the Original—it had to be bombproof.
The original adventure van, complete with phonetics.
Thatcher and friends demonstrating iconic ‘90s style.
An old Teva ad targeting minimalists, showcasing the Original Universal and Alp sandals.
The Alp’s roots are in Columbia, California, the western foothills of the Sierras, where river guides came to make a name for themselves on the Stanislaus, Towalame, and Merced rivers. Once they built their reputation there, they could go and start guiding in the Grand Canyon.
Designed to support these river guides with smaller straps and durable buckles, the classic Alp sandal was manufactured right in Columbia and became another go-to sandal for river guides in the ‘90s, coveted by watermen and women from California to North Carolina.