The Grand Canyon celebrated its 100th birthday this month. In reality, it’s been around for 70 or so million years, but on February 26, 2019, it officially attained centenarian status as a US National Park. Only 14 other parks have reached the milestone, but the Grand Canyon might be the most iconic. It’s known around the globe as a symbol of America’s natural landscape, and visitors come from everywhere to take in its spectacle (more than six million per year, according to the National Park Service). The Grand Canyon has inspired literature, art, films and one seriously impactful product: the strappy outdoor sandal.
It was while guiding a river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon that Mark Thatcher modified his flip flops with two Velcro watch straps so that they wouldn’t come off of his feet. After improving upon the design, Thatcher went on to found Teva, the company that created the category of the outdoor adventure sandal.
Teva isn’t letting the Grand Canyon Centennial go by without marking it either. The company released not just one commemorative sandal but an entire collection of footwear that pays homage to the brand’s birthplace. There are various styles available, including a new knit sock-like model as well as one that looks akin to what Thatcher built himself.
Chaco, another outdoor sandal company, is also celebrating the occasion. The brand recently brought about an option for customers to personalize custom sandals with their photos and artwork and used that tech to create a limited Grand Canyon version of its Z/Cloud Sandal.
So, wherever your brand loyalties are, if you’re a fan of the Grand Canyon, there’s a new adventure-ready sandal for you.