At a Glance
Teva are well known and respected player in the active footwear market and have strong pedigree in dressing the feet of many a participant in a range of outdoor pursuits. Having supported the freeride mountain bike scene for some years it would seem natural that they would turn their attention to developing a shoe for that market. Designed in collaboration with pro freerider Jeff Lenosky the Links is Teva’s first foray into (for them) unchartered waters and I for one was keen to put them through their paces. This market has some pretty clear leaders so I was keen to find out how years of Teva’s experience in the out of doors would combine with the insight of a seasoned pro to challenge for a place at the top table.Buy Shoes on
The Links are a shoe for the flat pedal fraternity that boasts some promising features and benefits. The sole is ‘specifically designed to interface with the unique platform of a bike pedal’ and utilises Teva’s proprietary Spider365 sticky rubber.
A ‘Shoc-Pad’ in the heel provides critical cushioning and the ‘Mush’ infused insole, adds to the cushioning and impact absorption. The shoe also takes advantage of an ‘ion-mask nano-coating technology’ for complete water management’ and although it does not claim to be waterproof implies a high level of protection from the elements.
On the Trail
In terms of traction, the sole seems to hit its mark combining well with a variety of flat pedals that I have tried it with. It is not the stickiest or tackiest sole out there for sure but easily offers the grip that you will need and more
Comfort and flexibility is there in abundance and the “mush ‘ insole certainly seems to offer enough impact absorption to assist in keeping your foot securely and comfortably planted on the pedals. The Links are a very comfortable shoe of that there is no doubt.
If your riding involves pushing up you will appreciate the flex and comfort.
As to the ‘ion-mask nano-coating technology’, how much protection from the water does it offer? The answer is that where it is present, the shoes sheds water like, well, a duck’s back. Unfortunately the majority of that protection is focussed on the toecap.
The tongue is sponge like and not sewn in. The result is that although when riding trails much of the water is displaced by the toecap when you start to push up and are walking thorough undergrowth it is not. So if you keep moving and don’t hit too much in the way of standing water you’ll get an acceptable level of protection but if you are out all day in the rain you are going to get wet feet.
A funky design package makes them stand out from the crowd, personally I like it but some might wait to see if more toned down options are released. One really incredible feature of the ion-mask technology is its self-cleaning property. No matter how wet and muddy they get once they are dry they seem to be unfeasibly clean again.
A great first foray into the industry - you would not expect anything less with Teva’s pedigree and overall the Links are a definite contender.Buy Shoes on
This review was in Issue 15 of IMB.For more information visit Teva
By Richard KellyRichard Kelly has been riding bikes since forever, and teaching people to become better mountain bikers for over a decade. He’s always out in the Surrey Hills training riders, building trails and riding for himself whenever he gets the chance. His unique perspective on mountain bike technique has earned him fans the world over, with some speculating he is actually Jamiroquai or perhaps Jack Sparrow…