TEVA OSSAGON MID EVENT BOOTS
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
April 10, 2009
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
White Lake, Michigan USA
5' 4" (1.63 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
I started hiking in 1998 after an eye-opening climb up Hahn's Peak in Colorado. Hooked, I return to Colorado often. I've hiked/snowshoed glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in domestic and exotic locations, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
At home, I plan for 2-3 hikes of 6-8 mi (10-13 km) weekly and one weekend hike monthly. Weekday hikes take place in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a mixture of heavily-wooded moderate hills and flat terrain. Weekend hike locations vary.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) including food and water
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Teva Sport Sandals|
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.teva.com
MSRP: 120.00 USD
Listed Weight: 17 oz (482 g) - one boot
Measured Weight: 15.5 oz (439 g) - one boot
Colors Available: Brown
Color Tested: Brown
Sizes Available: 5-11 Women's (also available in Men's )
Size Tested: 8 Women's
Other details: (from the Teva Website)
* Full grain and suede leather upper with Scotchguard™ stain protection.
* eVent® waterproof / breathable membrane.
* Injection molded TPU shank for underfoot protection and stability.
* Midsole:- Molded sockliner with Ortholite® comfort technology
* Outsole: - Non-Marking Spider XC® outsole.
|Teva Ossagon Mid eVent Boots|
Warranty: Teva footwear is warranted to provide normal wear and be free from defective materials or faulty manufacturing for one year from confirmed date of purchase. Any products beyond one year will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS - Dec 08
Teva makes BOOTS?? Yeah, they do and nice looking ones, too! While I'm very familiar with Teva sandals, until I visited the Teva website, I never knew they ventured into the manufacturing of mid-height footwear. The graphic of the Ossagon on the website doesn't do the boots justice, however. They look much better in the flesh!
I did have an inkling that these boots would be different from some of my other boots after reading the website description and features. For a start - "Full grain and suede leather upper with Scotchguard™ stain protection" - Hmmm! My first thought was "that might be heavy". Nope! These boots are very light weight. As a matter of fact, when the box was delivered, my husband tossed it to me saying "this can't be your boots, it's way too light"! At less than 1 lb (0.5 kg) a piece, the Ossagons are the lightest pair of mid boots I own.
About that "full grain and suede leather upper" - The main body of the boot is a warm brown smooth leather which wraps upward from the sole to a center seam just above the toe. The heel of the boot has a wide center overlay of supporting leather which runs up the back of the boot and ends just below the collar of the boot. The collar of the boot is suede and slopes downward from front to back with a notch at the back of the heel.
|Teva Ossagon Tongue||The tongue of the boot is gusseted to within 1 in (2.5 cm) of the top front of the boot and extends about 1 in (2.5 cm) above the front collar of the boot. The tongue is made from a mixture of materials, the very top being sueded with a leather "Y" that also forms a last lace "loop" for alignment of the laces at the top of the boot. There is also some cloth fabric on the lower tongue centered by a small webbed seam covering which forms a loop at the toe where the laces pass through.|
The laces are solid brown round laces and pass through three sets of metal loops before threading through woven side mounted loops. At that point the laces are both passed through the centered leather loop on the tongue. A final wrap around the last set of open metal quick-lace hooks and the Ossagon lacing is complete. The length of the laces is conducive for a double bow without excessively flopping laces.
Two really unique looking features of the Teva Ossagon are the soles and the Wraptor Strap System.
As can be seen in the pictures below, the boots have nice deep treads both front and back with a rather smooth surface in the arch. The angle of the treads should channel water from under the sole and outward nicely and should grip slippery surfaces well. How they will handle our famous sticky mud remains to be seen.
The really interesting thing I noticed was the deep inset into the middle of the heel area and the "V-shaped" inset in the front toe area. The material is definitely not the usual "sole" sort of construction. I don't know what the purpose of this design is at this writing, but will be definitely noting any results I can attribute to these insets.
|Heel of the Ossagon Sole|| |
|Front of Ossagon Sole|
|The Teva Wraptor Strap System, pictured at right, is a patented technology that "uses a lightweight molded frame which integrates directly from the midsole into the lacing system". This design, according to Teva, ensures a superior fit and additional stability. The manner in which the straps wrap under the sole of the foot up both sides, through the lacing system and back down is certainly different from any other boot I have seen. The portion of the strap where the laces pass through can just barely be seen in the picture above of the Ossagon tongue. The premise of the design is when tightening the laces of the boot, the straps will be pulled upward and the resultant tightening of the straps will center my foot properly inside the boot. Hence, I will have more support!|| |
|Teva Wraptor Strap System|
On to the inside of the Teva Ossagons. Other than a waffle weave pattern gray collar, the interior of the Ossagon boot is a smooth white nylon-like material with the eVent logo and the slogan "let the sweat out" stamped throughout the lining. The removable inner sole is bright red with a Teva logo touting the advertised Ortholite® "enhanced comfort" benefit.
On the inside of the tongue of the boot is a tag which informs me the boots were "Made in China," gives the various size equivalents and interestingly a serial number! I've never had boots with serial numbers before. There are also some symbols which could be Egyptian hieroglyphics for all I could figure out. I'm guessing they have to do with eVent properties, but can't be sure.
All in all, the Teva Ossagon boots appear to be very well constructed with a lot of neat features. I see no signs of loose threads, globs of glue, loose eyelets or any other irregularities.
TRYING IT OUT
Slipping the Ossagons on for the first time, I noticed there isn't any "pull" loop on the back of the boots at the cuff. Fortunately, I didn't need one as my foot just glided on into the boot with no tugging necessary. On this initial try-on I had a pair of medium weight hiking socks on. I normally wear medium to heavy weight socks in the winter and I'm confident I will have no trouble with the heavier socks. There is plenty of wiggle-room in the toe box, but not too much so as to cause rubbing and blistering.
I feel a snug support in the arch area and my heel is firmly encased.
Lacing up the boots was rather simple since there is really only one quick loop to deal with. Despite my misgivings about having only one lacing adjustment, I feel the boots fastened securely. I did not notice any "up and down" movement in my heel on a test hike down our bumpy, rutted dirt drive, either.
After this initial trial, I have only one issue I will be watching closely during my testing and that is whether or not these boots are high enough for snowshoeing. The top of the boot is just slightly over 5 in (12.5 cm) from the ground at the lowest point of the back boot collar. It will remain to be seen if this relatively short height causes me problems in the snow...
This concludes the Initial Report of my Teva Ossagon Mid eVent Boots. Please see below to read the results of my first two months of testing.
FIELD LOCATIONS/CONDITIONS - Feb 09
For two months, the Teva Ossagons have been on my feet at least two or three days a week. I currently am living in an RV on our future building site. This means no grass, no patios, decks, sidewalks, etc. This means dirt (or mud, as the weather dictates), rocks, cactus, and brush. This means if I go out the door, unless I'm headed to church or a business meeting, I'm mostly likely wearing boots. And that's just casual wear! I even wore the Ossagons to the Outdoor Retailer Show at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah! The terrain there was flat, and as hard as concrete. It was definitely "dry" and temperatures were easily in the mid-60s to low 70s F (15-21 C). Estimated distance traveled that day was about 5 - 7 miles (8-11 km).
Wearing the Tevas, I've also hiked on several day hike/snowshoe trips - one on Mt. Evans, December 27 and two on the Rainbow Trail in the Sangre de Cristo mountains on January 7 and January 14, come to mind.
Mt. Evans was bitterly cold and windy. Normally, I would have preferred to stay home in front of a fire that day, but this is a family Christmas tradition (albeit, a bit late this year). The temperature was a frigid 1 F (-17 C) when we set out. Ferocious winds took the wind chill to -25 F (-32 C). Our famous Colorado blue skies were no where to be seen.
|Snowshoeing in Sangres||Because of the wind, in clearings, the newly-fallen, blowing snow was blinding. We stuck to the pine forest as much as we could. Estimated snow base was 30 in (0.8 m) and the terrain was fairly gently sloped. My pack weight was about 20 lb (9 kg). This trip was cut short as the weather was just too brutal for our 7 year-old granddaughter (We want her to LIKE snowshoeing!).|
Both trips in January were on brilliantly sunny days with no wind at all, temps in the mid 30s F (-1 C) and estimated snow base of 25 - 36 in (0.6 - 0.9 m). We were stymied by unplowed roads and so had to hike over 1 mi (2 km) to even get to the trail heads. No worry, though, the trips were well worth it. Total mileage was approximately 7 mi (11 km). Pack weights on both these trips were barely 15 lb (7 kg), mostly liquids and snacks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As I indicated above, I've worn the Ossagons a lot. When I evaluate footwear, I look to evaluate the following: comfort level (including water resistance/proofness), ankle and arch support: traction on various surfaces and all-over wear.
I have to say, as far as comfort goes, the Ossagons are five star boots! I can slip them on in the morning and no matter what I do during the day, I have happy feet. I chuckle when my companions are immediately pulling off their boots when we reach camp or the car at the end of the day. I rarely feel the need to "get the danged boots off" my feet. These boots feel like my tennis shoes!
I've worn the boots mostly with heavy weight socks. Occasionally when I've worn them casually, I've donned medium weight socks. In either case, I have not had a problem with sweating or too cold feet due to lack of footwear protection. Even on Mt. Evans where the wind chill was -25 F (-32 C), I was spared the pained toes some others on the trail reported. I believe the leather body of the boots kept me as warm as I could be. (I'm certainly not going to say I was "toasty"!)
Snow in my boots is not something I am eager to experience. I don't wear gaiters due to the excessive heat factor sometimes created when the gaiters are coupled with our Colorado sunshine. While I usually do wear various snow pants, it is up to my boots to keep the frozen white stuff away from my feet.
This was not an area where the Ossagons shined. The relatively short height at the back heel allowed a gap between my snow pants and the boots when striding through the snow on snowshoes. In anything more than 5 in (13 cm), snow would end up in my boots. By day's end, when I removed the Ossagons, I would find a small rim of icy snowmelt around the collar of the boots. This never caused me any discomfort while wearing the boots - probably more due to the socks I wore than the boots - and I always had the boots off before the ice turned to water. So, no harm done, but something I noted.
Running or even standing water has been scarce on my outdoor adventures this winter so far. So, I have not tested the Ossagons for its waterproof capabilities. This spring, I know I'll be fording snow melt-fed streams and the boots will get wet. As far as the snow goes, I have not had any seeping into the boot problems from snow. I have deliberately let snow melt on the outside of the boots rather than knocking off the clumps. The liners of the boots have remained dry as far as I could tell. (Except for the collar as stated above.) Neat!
I have found it difficult to tighten the shoe laces to the point where I feel support is maximized. I pull as hard as I can, but with only one loop to work with, I can't seem to really change the tightness factor. This may be due to the weakness in my right wrist which is still recovering from injury (broken in mid-November). Time will tell.
I am, however, still content with the level of support the lacing system gives me for the most part. I have not experienced any heel slippage or rubbing when traveling on level ground or uphill. The place where I have some issues is on the downward slopes, especially after some time has passed. At this point, I usually further tighten my boot laces to almost "too tight" and I just can't seem to get the Ossagons to go there. That said, the slippage is minimal and I have not suffered any blisters or black toes as a result!
My pack weight hasn't been very high but it has been adequate to evaluate the arch support of the Ossagons. Often, boots do not afford me enough arch support with even light packs. At this point, I am pleased with the level of support I've found in these boots. There hasn't been a single instance where I have undue aching in my arches. That does not mean I won't be putting a third-party insole into the boots as soon as my four months of testing is up! This is through no fault of the Ossagons. I do this with almost all of my boots. stock insoles are just not as supportive as custom ones in my opinion.
Shale, granite, sand, mud, powdery dirt, snow - both packed and not - and ice! All these terrain surfaces have been present at one time or another during my backpacking and snowshoeing treks these last two months. For the most part, the Ossagons have been very steady, keeping me safe from falling flat on my face. The tread grips well on dry surfaces from powdery dirt to the broken up shale I encounter a lot in the hills around us. Icy surfaces are not so kind. I have to be careful placing my feet firmly. A "stickier" surface would be a welcome modification. I still don't know what the purpose of the fabric-like material embedded in the soles is though.
|The Teva Ossagon boots are the first boots I have worn that feature almost completely leather uppers. Any initial concerns about the wear and tear of leather in the harsh terrain of south central Colorado have been put to rest. The boots are in great shape after two months and show minimal wear and no scuff marks or scratches. Even the areas of the boots which received constant rubbing from my snowshoe bindings survived unscathed. There has been no discoloration of the leather from mud or water. The tread remains intact. Except for a need for a cleaning, the Tevas look very good. And while they don't still have that wonderful new leather smell, they don't have a horrible boot stench either!|| |
|Teva Ossagons Boots in Yukon Charlie Snowshoes|
This concludes my Field Report for my first two months of testing the Teva Ossagon Mid eVent Boots. Please see below for the results of my last two months of testing..
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
As stated in my Field Report above, for these two months, the Teva Ossagon Boots continued to be worn at least two or three days a week casually at home and around town. I even wore the boots one day to the Outdoor Retailer Show at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah! The terrain there was flat, and as hard as concrete. It was definitely "dry" and temperatures were easily in the mid-60s to low 70s F (15-21 C). Estimated distance traveled that day was about 5 - 7 miles (8-11 km).
I also wore the boots on various day hikes and overnights, some of which are listed below.
|February 7-8: At night, the trail at the Tennessee Pass was a very pleasant 28 F (-2 C) when we started and a still pleasant 14 F (-10 C) when we stopped. Clear skies, little or no humidity and no wind at all made it a gorgeous trek. We started at an elevation of 10,500 ft (3200 m) and had a slight, but constant elevation gain to 10,800 ft (3292 m). The trail was hard-packed and meandered through a tall growth pine forest. The next day, we were on the same trails, but it was sunny and 32 F (0 C). Still, no wind and very little humidity were present. || |
|Snowshoeing at Tennessee Pass|
|Hiking in Ridgway State Park in Colorado||February 20-21: Ridgway State Park and Reservoir, including the Uncompahgre River trails. Elevation started at 6880 ft (2097 m) and rose to 7000 ft (2134 m). Temperatures were from a low of 33 F (0.6 C) at night to 54 F (12 C) in the bright afternoon sunshine. There was, at most, just a light occasional breeze. Terrain varied from sandy beach shore to medium size rocks to very large rocks at the reservoir's edge, then changed to dry hard packed dirt to mud to icy snow patches in the offshore higher treed sections of the trail. The mileage for the entire east side trail was 7.5 mi (12 km).|
March 3-5: Hike and camp in the Bureau of Land Management properties in the Royal Gorge area of Colorado (Cooper Mountain range, included). Elevation started at 5400 ft (137 m) and gained about 200 ft (5 m). Daytime temperatures were a pleasant 50 to 67 F (10 to19 C) and nighttime temperatures hovered from 18 to 34 F (-8 to 1 C) from Tuesday to Thursday respectively. A pretty steady wind of 10 to 15 mph (16 to 24 kph) was present most of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Wind gusts were plentiful and blew as high as 35 mph (56 kph). The terrain was very dry. We were (and still are) under "red flag" warnings for forest fires. Vegetation was sparse juniper and pinon pine eking out a barren existence on powdery dirt to granite slabs. Desolate, but very beautiful against the brilliant blue sky!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I really can't add much more detail with regards to the performance in the field of the Teva Ossagons than I have reported previously. The Ossagons kept my feet warm in the coldest weather I snowshoed in and kept my feet dry from sweating in the warmest weather I hiked in.
I wore various combinations and brands of socks from wool/bamboo blends to 100% wool to 100% synthetics and combinations in-between. Mostly I wore heavyweight socks but several times I used a lighter weight and a liner. At all times, I had no trouble with the fit of the boots or soreness from a lack of cushioning (with the lighter weight socks). Even with the differences in sock thicknesses, I did not experience rubbing or sliding of my feet that resulted in blisters or hot spots.
The eVent lining and the leather combination kept my feet dry from outside moisture in the form of snow and running water. Despite hours of snowshoeing in deep (or frozen packed) snow, my feet remained protected from seepage through the body and seams of the boots. As I indicated in my field report, I did have a problem with snow entering the boots from the top, however. This problem was easily solved with the wearing of gaiters. As for water, crossing streams isn't a big issue in the winter in the areas I frequent but to test out the waterproof qualities of the boots, I stood in the lake at Ridgway State Park for 4 minutes without wet feet. While I did submerge the boot to water depths over the toe box, I was careful not to go past the top of the tongue gusset. I sure didn't want that icy liquid pouring into the top of my boots!
I can't say the Ossagons gripped slippery surfaces as well as I liked. I had difficulty when on water/ice-slicked granite and gooey expansive-soil mud. This sort of mud is very sticky and with some boots, it will cake up a lot on my feet adding, literally, an inch (2 cm) to the soles and a good bit of extra weight to the boots. With the Ossagons, I found the mud did not seem to cling to the tread as much as some other boots I own. It would clump on, but in a step or two, slough off. It's possible the same feature of the soles that prevented a secure grip on slippery surfaces also prevented the mud's "grip" on the treads.
As for cushioning my feet from the pokes and prods of rocks and such, the Ossagons do a very nice job. For a mile/kilometer or so of the trail at Ridgway State Park, the trail was a veritable mine-field of fist-sized to basketball-sized sharp-edged rocks. It was slow going to prevent a twisted ankle and the pointed broken surface could have played havoc with the soles of my feet. I did feel the rocks, no question about that, but I did not get sore feet. There was sufficient cushioning to protect my feet and though I was so glad to reach a section of the trail which was packed dirt, I suffered no ill effects.
|After all the wearings, the Ossagons could have looked really beat up. After all, I wore them extensively with snowshoe bindings rubbing on them and in lots of snow which could have lead to scraped and darkened leather.|
With the mud and the dirt I've encountered, the Ossagons could have ended up stained indelibly. The near constant contact with cactus and rocks from pea-size sharply-broken shale to hard granite boulders could have totally destroyed the leather and the laces could have become an unraveled tangle. BUT, THEY DIDN'T!
|Teva Ossagon Boots After 4 Months of Wear|
As can be seen in the picture above, after a quick brush-off and wiping with a leather cleaner/sealer solution, one of the Teva Ossagons looks great! Two minutes after I took the picture, I cleaned its mate and now have two nicely polished boots to dirty up again. Whee!
I really like these boots! I still can't believe how light they are for a full leather boot. The leather uppers keep my feet dry and warm and still look great after near constant wear for over four months. While normally, I "put away" my winter-worn boots in favor of light(er) weight summer boots, this year will be different as I have no intention of giving up the Teva Ossagon Boots! I have high hopes I won't suffer undue sweating and I know the eVent lining will keep my feet dry during the random river crossings I encounter.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Thank you to Teva and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this neat product.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Read more reviews of Teva gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters