Geophysicist Mark Thatcher was working as a river guide in the Grand Canyon when he realized that the shoes most people wore were not suitable for river or rafting trips. Tennis shoes became very heavy when wet and took days to dry, flip-flops would break or become lost, and sandals offered very little protection.
Thatcher created sandals that covered the toes but had an ankle strap to help secure them in place. He called his creation Teva, which is Hebrew for “nature.”
After difficulties with the first manufacturer, Thatcher set up an exclusive licensing agreement with Deckers Corporation to manufacture and distribute Teva sandals.
Deckers eventually obtained exclusive rights to Teva, including US patent #4,793,075 for the basic design and a trademark for the brand name. The sandal was redesigned, creating the Universal Strapping System. The first model, called “Hurricane”, is the basis of all Teva sandals.
In November 2002, Deckers Outdoor Cooperation acquired the worldwide Teva patents, trademarks, and other assets from Mark Thatcher. Teva sandals are currently manufactured in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Teva is often listed as one of the most comfortable sandals in the world.
Teva maintains a corporate office in Goleta, California.