Penguin Gets Performance Water Shoes

Lucky, a Humboldt penguin born at the Santa Barbara Zoo, recently got a new pair of highly technical Tevas courtesy of the company.

If you haven’t heard of Tevas, they are excellent water shoes that are perfect for hitting the water when you need more protection and traction than bare feet or flip-flops provide (although they also make some GREAT flip-flops with equally excellent traction!).

The natural question at this point is why in the world would an animal who lives going continually in and out of the water need a water shoe — the answer is that Lucky was born with a problem that affected the way the bones in his feet grew.  The Santa Barbara Zoo’s vets noticed it when Lucky began walking with a limp.   As he tried to get around, he began to develop sores that the staff feared would become infected and eventually kill him. They ruled out surgery as being too risky for the limited benefits it would provide.  They decided that the best option for Lucky was to leave the foot alone and create a shoe that would protect it instead.

Enter Teva.  Not only are they renown for their water shoes, but they are also located in Santa Barbara and a partner of the zoo!

Teva began the design and engineering process for Lucky’s boot.  The first version was a hard boot. Stuart Jenkins, Vice President of Business Development, said “He didn’t like that, and he let us know immediately. The feedback was instantaneous.”  Five more versions were built and chucked before they found the right design that made Lucky happy.

Lucky’s soft boots – he has a couple of pairs since they need to be changed daily for washing – enable him to get in and out of the water, hop around and walk with his fellow penguins.  The boots are built to keep his foot dry with specially designed material that is more than just water resistant and the sole has a super sticky texture that allows Lucky to get great traction so he doesn’t slip when getting out of the water.

Now Lucky is able to fully live the active life he was meant to – thanks to a company that recognizes that “penguins are athletes, too.” (Pete Worley, President of Teva)


Once-a-Month members get their treats automatically shipped to them, and they get 5% off!  To make a good deal even better, Tigertail Foods donates another 5% to the rescue of your choice. What a sweet deal!


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