Unless you’re into hiking or have a fondess for wearing sandals, Teva might not be a brand you’ve heard of before, but that’s all set to change now that the Colorado-based company has released its first specific mountain bike shoe, the Links.
It’s applying its expertise and design skills into its first mountain bike release. To make sure it got these shoes spot on, they got Jeff Lenosky involved at the early design stage, and the result is a great looking shoe that appears to tick all the boxes.
“I worked with Teva’s product team for over a year to build this shoe,” notes Lenosky. “We didn’t compromise on any aspect of the design, using the very best materials, style and technology available. I’ve been wearing them and riding in them for a few months and I’m really proud of the finished product.”
Firstly, from a style point of view they don’t look too dissimilar to any other popular riding shoe, but the purple colourway of our samples sure makes them standout. Place a finger over the Teva logo in fact and you might easily mistake them for another brand, and that’s no bad thing. We can’t see the white sole staying that way for long however, and while it does look good fresh out of the box, it’s something Teva might want to change down the line.
The Links are designed for flat pedals (we perhaps should have mentioned that earlier if you’ve read this far and are a clipless user and were getting increasingly excited). Hopefully a clipless version will be released in due course. Being a flat pedal shoe does however give Teva the chance to showcase its own Spider365 sticky rubber sole. A technology found on its outdoors shoes, it promises high levels of traction on the pins.
Elsewhere, there’s a Shoc-Pad inside the heel to give some cushioning, there’s a tough but flexible armour around the side of the shoes and an ion-mask coating should keep the damp out on typical wet UK summer rides. The metal reinforced top lace holes are a neat touch too.
We were pretty excited then, and got on the blower to Teva to arrange a pair of samples for testing. And they duly arrived.
First ride impressions
As we’re more used to clipping in (it’s been a while since we last rode with flats, in fact we’re scrabbling around in the bike shed this afternoon for a pair of suitable flat pedals) we got Dirt Mag designer Jon Gregory, a rider who favours flat pedals, as the perfect person to give them a thrashing. A couple of rides later, and here’s his first impressions:
“Lightweight and snug. A very positive feel for the pedals and although not stealth rubber levels of grip they are more than capable of keeping your feet where they need to be.
“I’ve not been ditching these as soon as I’m off the bike either – a testament to their comfort and all-round wearability. So far so good, they are bedding in well and they have held up well in a couple of storms. It could be down to a special out-of-the-box coating but moisture is just beading straight off them at the moment…”
There is of course evidence to suggest Teva are making a good move getting into mountain biking, based on the success of 5.10, a company with a similar background in outdoors that decided to hop into the world of mountain biking. Based on this initial positive review, it looks like Teva have made a good debut. More soon…
£85 from www.teva.co.uk