TEVA SKY LAKE MID EVENT WOMEN'S BOOTS
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
April 4, 2012
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
|Manufacturer: Decker Outdoors Corporation|
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.teva.com
MSRP: US $120.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 22 oz (624 g) - pair
Sizes Available: 6-11 Women's
Size Reviewed: 8 Women's
Colors Available: Chocolate Chip
Color Reviewed: Chocolate Chip
Features: Teva Innovative Design Elements (T.I.D.E)
* T.I.D.E. GRIP - Spider365 outsole & Nylon shank
* T.I.D.E. HYDRO - eVent® waterproof breathable membrane
* T.I.D.E. COMFORT - Women's specific last/Compression molded EVA midsole/Encapsulated Shoc Pad™/Mush® Infused Insole
|Picture Courtesy of Teva|
Warranty: Teva's one year warranty applies to defective materials and workmanship. However, footwear more than one year old from date of purchase may still qualify at Teva's discretion.
"Chocolate Chip" is an apt name for the color of my Teva Sky Lake boots! The body of the boot which is mostly constructed of a mesh fabric with nubuck leather wrapped around various parts is a warm dark brown very reminiscent of the chocolate chips in my favorite cookies! The leather borders the outsole of the boot, forms semi-circles at the midstep and marks the top two lace holes before cupping the heel. Looks sort of like a "frame" for the boot's support system. Thin blue accent webbings at the toe and heel as well as the lace loops and two small matching blue Teva logos (side and tongue) complement the overall good looks of the Sky Lake boots
|Teva Sky Lake Boots at Rest|| |
A traditional lacing system employs a smooth round lace which winds its way up the boot. Unlike many of my boots, it does not have a top "quick-lace" hook nor is there a loop on the tongue of the boot for the lace to thread through. Just above the midstep of the boot, the holes for the lace are positioned a bit farther apart for additional stability and support in the midstep.
According to Teva, the Spider 365 outsole "scores a 3 on a 1 to 5 scale for durability" and "a 4 in stickiness". The tread is not very deep, but is nicely designed with channels to funnel water and debris outward while center "nubs" look to provide grip. The outsole wraps up in the rear a bit but does not sport a real toe rand to repel toe stubs.
Inside my Sky Lake boot is a black suede-like surfaced insole with "Teva - Mush infused insole" stamped in gray at the heel. The T.I.D.E. Comfort "Mush" insole is nicely shaped and conforms to my foot with the Shoc Pad heel wrapping upwards to cradle and protect my heel from bruising on trail obstacles, like sharp rocks.
About 1.5 inches (4 cm) from the insole, the T.I.D.E. Hydro eVent lining is visible. This lining continues downward wrapping under the footbed of the insole.
As a mid-height boot, the Sky Lakes measure 3.5 inches (9 cm) from the insole footbed to the back top of the padded collar. A nice touch is the blue webbed "pull" at the back of the collar to help me with putting on the boots.
FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE
A Bit of Background First
Last July after a brutally hot, 32 mile (52 km) round trip backpack, I came to the realization I would have to retire my much-worn and beloved Teva Ossagon Mid boots. The soles began to delaminate on the return hike and I had to "flap" my way back the last several miles/kilometers.
Immediately after I unpacked my gear, I contacted Teva Customer Service via e-mail with a request for suggestions for repair and/or a referral for a repair facility. I knew the Ossagons were way out of warranty (3 years old almost). Customer Service suggested "Barge Cement" to re-attach the soles. I purchased the glue and was able to patch up the Ossagons.
I, publicly, thanked Teva for the Barge tip on a social media site and was contacted by a Teva rep privately. The rep informed me the Ossagons delaminating was a known problem and the Ossagons had been discontinued as a result of that problem. Even though my Ossagons were out of warranty, I was offered a free replacement pair of my choosing. WOW! Great customer service! I chose the Sky Lake Mid eVent Boots.
On to My Experiences
Locations and Weather Conditions
|Over the last 8 months, I've put a lot of miles/kilometers on these boots.|
I was able to wear these boots in Utah last August for a couple of day hikes (under 3 miles/5 km each) and on a mid-September trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming as well as a 2-night snowshoe at Rocky Mountain National Park at Christmas.
However, most of my day hikes and short overnights (1-2 nights) were spent exploring the Bureau of Land Management wilderness that abuts our northern property line. There are thousands of acres/hectares of the Rocky Mountains between us and Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. This land ranges in elevation from 5400 ft (1600 km) to 14,000 ft (4300 km) at Pikes Peak. I'd say that average elevation for overnights is around 6000 ft (1800 km).
As would be expected, the rough terrain is often very rocky with lots of limestone boulders for climbing on and around and granite slopes to slip on. However, I'm almost just as often in very dusty, powdery dirt and there are large tracts of broken up shale in exposed areas.
Vegetation in the mountains is very typical of the high desert of southern Colorado - heavy old-growth juniper, pinon pine and cactus, both cholla and prickly pear with the odd small barrel cactus thrown in. The valleys between the ridges have been especially dry this past year, so the floor is dusty and sparsely populated with scrubby grasses.
And speaking of dry, that about sums up the weather conditions these boots have seen - lots of dust, little moisture and that moisture was only in the form of snow on a couple of short, early winter snowshoe hikes. Looking over my notes, not once did I encounter rain though I did cross a few very small streams.
Right out of the box, the Sky Lake boots felt as familiar as my everyday trail runners! Since I've worn Teva brand footwear in the past, I knew if the Sky Lakes were "true-to-size", a women's 8 would fit me fine; they are and they do!
Built on a women's specific last (design), the toebox of the Sky Lake boot is roomy enough without being overly wide and clunky and the boot itself is average-to-narrow throughout the entire body. For me this works out great as I have a relatively "normal" foot/bone structure. If I had a wider foot, I don't think the Sky Lake boots would be as comfortable. As a matter of fact, the boots are a bit more difficult for me than most of my other boots (Teva brand included) to initially put on. I have to open the laces quite a lot and then "wiggle" my feet into the boots. I prefer a snug fit though and once on, the Sky Lakes fit and feel great.
The arch supports, thanks to the "compression molded EVA midsoles" of the Sky Lakes, are flexible but supportive enough to keep my feet happy even while wearing a backpack up to 32 lb (15 kg). I did try a pair of after-market insoles on an overnight in Yellowstone National Park and while they were ok, I felt they added too much volume to the Sky Lakes. I use these particular insoles with my trail shoes with no problem, but with the Sky Lakes, the arch of the insoles felt like they were too far back and I was conscious of their presence. And when I'm on the trail, I don't want to be aware of my feet! Whatever is in the "Mush infused" insoles of the Tevas works just fine for me.
The Mush insoles along with Teva's "Encapsulated Shoc Pad™" in the heel for shock absorption, plus my usual mid-to-heavy-weight wool or synthetic socks give me sufficient cushioning even when wearing my heaviest pack.
My heel is cupped firmly but not constricted by the contoured Mush insole. When laced properly, there is very little up/down movement of my heel which helps to keep friction blisters at bay. And while on the subject of blisters, I've never had a one as a result of the Sky Lake boots.
I've worn the Sky Lake boots in temperatures up to 109 F (43 C) and down to 31 F (-1 C). I credit the extensive use of mesh in the uppers of the boots with keeping my tootsies cool in the hottest temps. The mesh material coupled with the eVent breathable membrane allows any heat to dissipate fairly effectively, keeping my feet dry.
While I've not encountered any rain - Colorado is really suffering from drought - I have worn the Sky Lakes in snow and for the short time they were submerged in the white stuff, no damp penetrated the eVent to wet my socks. I can't really say how extended contact with damp snow would affect the boots as during the coldest winter months, I switched to another pair of boots.
| ||Right up there at the top of my wish list for the perfect boots is TRACTION! Comfort is absolutely a must in boots along with good support, but without traction, a boot is just an outdoor slipper (pun intended!). The Teva Spider 365 outsole is a rubber compound purported to provide excellent traction on multi-surfaces. On slick surfaces like granite slopes, I found the Sky Lakes to give me good grip. I did not think they worked as well on scree though as the tread is not that deep so as to "bite" down. I'm not the most graceful hiker and I tended to slide on loose gravel if I wasn't careful. Still, for such a lightweight boot, the outsoles of the Sky Lake did a pretty good job for me.|
Despite the careless treatment I have given these boots, they still don't show any adverse signs of wear. I have, on more than one occasion had to pull cactus spines out of the mesh uppers and there are no pulls or holes. Even the laces have held up to all the prickly "hitchhikers" found in the desert terrain.
My careless tripping over rocks and tree roots - junipers are notorious for sprawling across my path and snagging me - hasn't gouged out any bits of the nubuck leather. Dirt brushes off easily and I've even given them a quick "hosing" to spruce the boots up without detriment. Even the outsoles of the Sky Lakes show barely a sign of wear and that's after easily 200 miles (300 km).
Last on my list of things to look for in my hiking boots is good looks. I consider comfort and function way above fashion. In the case of the Teva Sky Lake boots, I get both function and fashion. The dark brown color of the mesh fabric is very attractively accented with the blue striping and the women-specific design makes my feet look small and almost dainty - well, as dainty as boots can be anyway! I like 'em. I really, like 'em!
1.) Light weight yet supportive even with a 25 lb (11 kg) backpack.
2.) Keeps my feet dry both from external (rain/snow/river crossings) and internal (sweat) moisture.
3.) Great traction on hard surface granite.
1.) Give me a bit, I'll think of something!
Like my late, beloved Teva Ossagon boots, the Teva Sky Lake Mid eVent Boots have earned a front and center position in my gear closet. The light weight and great cushioning in the soles construction make them a joy to wear, especially in the hot, dry, desert conditions I'm most often found backpacking. I've yet to suffer a blister or even a hot spot from these boots; they fit superbly without any rubbing of pressure points.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
I've sort of had them on hold for most of the winter months while I snowshoed in my Teva Women's Forge Pro Winter Mid boots, but have lots of plans for the Sky Lakes starting NOW - it's Spring!
Thank you, Teva Customer Service for providing me with a worthy successor to my Teva Ossagons!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters