In my high-school the hippies that weren’t wearing Birkenstocks were wearing Tevas. And it can’t be helped; to this day, when I think of Teva, I still think of thse rubber-soled, webbing sandals. But they’ve come a long way since then. And no shoe company ever sponsored anyone for reeking of patchouli or going to Phish shows.
Teva (that’s “teh’-vah,” not “tee-vah” as their web site just corrected me) did however sponsor MTB freerider Jeff Lenosky, who helped design Teva’s first foray into the cycling world with the Link shoe last summer. And they were a hit.
This season Teva added the Links Mid to their roster and after trying them out, I have to say, they are one solid shoe.
If you’re the clip-wearing type then these shoes aren’t for you; unless you’re ready to come back to the flat side. If you’re a flat pedal rider then hop on. The “Spider365 Rubber” and “PedalLINK” outsole work amazing. I currently have Kona Wah Wah Pedals and these shoes lock in nice and solid. I love the confidence a solid pedal-to-shoe connection provides and this combo offers that in spades.
Not only do the shoes lock up pedaling they also lock up when off the bike (can’t say that about your clip in shoes can ya?). Skate/bike shoes have been my mainstay for decades now and I have worn my Links Mids to business meetings, on hikes in the Yukon and everything in between. They never look out of place or let me down. The T.I.D.E. Hydro upper material of the shoe is waterproof making it easy to wash off mud. It also means the material doesn’t soak up dirt so the shoes look brand new for a lot longer than your average riding shoe. However it also provides my biggest complaint for the shoe: they’re hot. The waterproof material doesn’t breathe that well and on hot summer days if you’re wearing these in an office, you’ll have unsightly pit stains by 9:35 A.M.
The biggest change in these shoes from their original Links offering is the mid-height cut. I was skeptical at first as it makes them difficult to slip on and off. I’ll admit, I can be a lazy fecker and when I’m rushing out the door the last thing I want to do is spend hours lacing up my shoes. However, if you’re looking for performance, then the mid is a superior shoe; combined with the heel stabilizers, the mid-height makes it virtually impossible to roll your ankle. Bashing your ankles during crank flips (is anyone doing those anymore?) is also minimized, so from a performance perspective, the mid-height is a solid offering.
Honestly, I love these shoes. They’re comfortable, they look good and when it comes to riding they’re as good as any shoe on the market. They’re super durable (my original pair of 2011 Links are still going strong), and are fairly priced for a riding shoe ($120). I wish they came in some more colourways, but no doubt Teva is working on that already.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of kicks, you won’t regret giving Teva MidLinks a try.