Teva sandals light the way to the beach

No more goofy headlamps on my head when I take beach hikes at dust or dawn with the dog. Teva, which revolutionized the footwear industry when it created the world's first sports sandal, has yet another bright idea -- literally. On May 1, it is releasing a sandal that has little mounted flashlights on each shoe, enabling you to see where you are walking. I said revolutionary, right?

Teva -- that's pronounced "Teh-vah," not "Tee-vah" for you couch potatoes -- was launched more than 25 years by a young Grand Canyon river guide. Still a company obsessed with how to traipse around in water without slipping or getting your socks wet, Teva sees those dark treacherous trails that often stand between access roads and beaches as the enemy and the company stands ready to help. "Common is the surfer who has fallen victim to an unseen rock, branch or pothole," says the company's press release.

The Teva illum, the flip-flop style sandal, will light the way. Consider it, as its trademark slogan says, "The Glow from Below." The sandals will retail for $60 in leather; $50 for synthetic materials.

For those who crave the more technical details, the topsole is made from an EVA compound, newly engineered for Teva and incredibly soft and comfortable for your tootsies, according to Ian Anderson, a company spokesman. Its trademark name is Smush; how can that not feel good? The toe strap is lined with a water-friendly microfiber, so it won't stretch out when you repeatedly abuse it by getting it wet in the surf. The outer sole is made from a durable rubber called Spider 365.

The LED light, which Teva likes to call a PED (get it?) light, casts a 10-foot beam. The light is detachable and can be used as a hand-held flashlight with the provided key chain, although that does seem to defeat the whole purpose, doesn't it?

The new footwear was developed by two lifelong adventure surfers who liked to be what surfers call "dawn patrollers" -- the first in the water, which means getting there before sunrise. Consider it the answer to stubbed toes and rolled ankles -- available in black, gray, and brown.

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