TEVA MEN'S RIVA SHOE
TEST SERIES BY MATT MIODUSZEWSKI
April 07, 2010
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Mattanuska AT gmail DOT com
5' 8" (1.73 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I did small weekend trips growing up in Michigan. In 2007 I hiked most of the Appalachian Trail during a 5 month hike. I live in Portland, OR and frequently hike in the Columbia River Gorge and OR and WA, Cascades. I generally do day hikes, and weekend over nighters, with 5-15 lb (2.3 - 6.8 kg), but carry 25-30 lb (11.3 - 13.6 kg) on multi-day trips. I enjoy doing steep climbs, 2000-5000 ft (610 - 1524 m) over 1 to 4 miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) of distance. I have begun to do winter hiking with traction devices, snowshoeing, snow camping, and mountaineering in 2009.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.teva.com
MSRP: US$ 130
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2.14 oz (985 g)
Shoe size 9
Color: Charred (The shoe is light brown in some areas and darker brown in others. Under certain lighting it has a green hue)
The Teva Riva arrived in a typical shoe box with no instruction sheet. Inside top of shoe box has stickers which promote Teva "Terrain" line of footwear and eVent waterproof membrane.
Out of the box the shoe looked both functional and fashionable. Specifically the Vibram sole seemed very sturdy and robust, which contrasted with my impression of many trail running shoes I have seen. In addition to the sturdy, deep treaded sole, there is a rubber toe rand which comes over the top of the toes a little bit. This is an area where shoes often show the first signs of wear. The toe rand imparts an impression of strength allaying fears of 'scuffing up' new shoes. Also, the shoe seems to be a bit of a wider shoe, at least as far as appearances are concerned.
The rest of the shoe seems both functional and stylish with nubuck and suede-like panels in different shades of brown. I like leather on shoes as it seems to hold up longer than synthetic fabrics. It also offers some natural water repellency. The inside of the shoe has a smooth leather lining where the eVent liner is not present. I found this to be a great touch of detail as the insides of shoes also get a lot of wear and leather handles extensive friction and rubbing very well. In addition, the footbeds are removable and are much thicker than your standard shoe insert. The insoles are of a robust foam that seems to have some impression memory when it is compressed.
One thing of question that I noticed and will pay more attention to is that the lacing system does not seem to have much play. As in the tongue of the shoe is more of a panel and not gusseted, there is not much 'gap' to tighten between lace holders on the left and right side of the tongue. I worry that tightening the shoe very securely might be difficult.
The final feature of this shoe is the eVent waterproof , breathable liner. I have a coat made out of eVent which I feel breathes very well. My previous shoes had a Gore-tex insert which caused my feet to sweat a lot. I am hoping for more breathability with the Teva Riva shoe.
TRYING IT OUT
This shoe fit me great and felt like a perfect, comfortable fit right out of the box. I had no impression that these would need to be broken in. The Teva Riva looks a full half-inch shorter than my other trail and day shoes, but my toes have plenty of room. I do find it a bit uncomfortable if I am sitting and stick my feet straight out. The top of the heel digs into the back of my heel a bit when I do that, but that is the only discomfort I have found so far in wearing the shoes for 5 days. I was able to tighten the laces enough for practical use around town but never felt like I could dial in the tightness down around the midfoot. I will see if being unable to do this impacts usages that require a snug fit (like hopping on rocks).
So far I have wore this shoe on a casual Friday to work and it looked great. Today I wore it with business casual brown pants and a button down shirt and it looked great. As goofy as it may sound, I really want a shoe that can double as something I can wear when jumping out of the car and hopping a short distance down to a water's edge, when on a day hike, or into the office when I don't need to wear full dress shoes, without looking like I have some sort of obvious outdoor footwear on. I can easily find shoes that are great for either of these categories of use, but finding the sweet spot that meets both demands can be difficult. So far the Riva has been fine for around town, at work, and doing yard work. It will be tested when I go climbing after work at the local crag this weekend, and in the weeks ahead, on trails and rocks, wet and dry, and maybe some light snow.
1) is it anatomically comfortable? Does it fit well? Can I wear it around
town and at the local crag, in addition to day hikes or single-night
2) does the shoe perform well, maintaining traction
3) Does the eVent lining perform as well in a shoe as it does in my RAB
jacket made of eVent? I have very sweaty feet, VERY sweaty. Will I be able
to notice a difference compared to my Gor-Tex lined trail running type
4) how does the shoe wear? do threads and stitching fray, rubber sections
separate from one another? does eVent maintain it's waterproofing and/or
breathable properties after rugged use?
5) Does the design look good? Can it be worn as business casual. Is it
In addition I will pay attention to the robustness of the rubber toe rand, and the capacity to modify and tease a perfect fit for various activities based on the lacing system concerns I mentioned previously.
I look forward to wearing this shoe and am happy my initial impressions are confident about it's construction, functionality, and appearance. Thank you to Teva and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test this shoe.
FIELD LOCATION AND CONDITIONS
I've used this shoe a lot for business casual, around town, and for day hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood National Forest, and running around on Mt. Hood a bit in some light snow.
I first used them on Coyote Wall/The Syncline in the Eastern Columbia River Gorge for a day hike. It was damp out, but this area of the gorge tends to be drier, and the wind was blowing a bit to dry things out. It was around 40 F (7 C), with occasional light rain. This hike is about 6 miles (9.6 km) round trip.
I also used them on the Gumjuwac Trail near Mt. Hood. I hit spots of snow and temperatures were probably no higher than 40 F, (7 C), and I believe they got to around 32 F (0 C) later in the day. The Gumjuwac Trail goes to the Gumjuwac Saddle at about 5,000 ft (1,524 m). There was 2 to 5 inches (5 cm to 13 cm) of snow on the upper parts of the trail to the saddle, though some spots had more than this, and others were bare.
These shoes served as my footwear during a trip on Mt. Hood where I was running between a lodge and my vehicle in heavy snow. It was around 25 F (-4 C) with winds around 30 mph (48 kph). Snow was easily over 3 ft (1 m) deep.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
This shoe has only been adequate during field testing. The biggest issue I have had is that the sole delaminated from the left shoe during the first few weeks of wearing it. It delaminated on both sides of the heel of the shoe, and around the very front, under the rubber rand. Teva customer support suggested two different types of glue to fix it, and also offered to send me a new pair of shoes and a shipping label to return the old ones. However, they did not have the Teva Riva in stock and thus if I wanted to replace that shoe, I would have to wait up to two months for a replacement to come in stock. For an interim solution I cleaned the shoes and used gorilla glue with some vice grips and clamps to get a tight bond with the glue. The glue has kept the front of the sole securely connected with the shoe, however, within a month and a half, the sole has again come off the heel. Also the toe rand has peeled up a bit on the right shoe. This overall is the biggest disappointment, though I am inclined to think this is an anomaly, given the amount of shoes I have owned and the degree to which the sole delaminated.
The secondary issue that I have found is that I am unable to tighten the shoe to my liking. It could be that I have a slightly smaller volume foot than it was designed for, even though the shoe length fits well. The tongue is sewed to the shoe, all the way up to the topmost lace eyelets. This creates a water blocking seal but also keeps the tongue from being as mobile as one would find in a running shoe, for instance. For me, the shoes fit like a slip-on shoe with the addition of a slight bit of tightening at the top of foot. This fit, or lack thereof, feels like I have less control or nimbleness than with a shoe that I can dial-in the fit exactly.
However detrimental the previous facets may seem, the shoe has performed well in some other areas. The grip of the sole has been excellent on wet rocks, wood, and in mud. It picks up a fair bit of mud, but also seems to give good traction, which would be expected if it was getting a lot of mud into the Vibram pattern.
The shoe is definitely waterproof from rain and snow! I have definitely been impressed with how well this shoe kept the water from soaking through. The only way these shoes have gotten wet inside is because snow or water came in around the ankle. I found the sizeable rubber rand at the front of the shoe to give the toe-box some rigidity which was nice when stepping in and kicking snow.
In addition to providing total waterproofing for the shoe, the eVent liner breathes pretty well. My feet sweat a lot, even in sandals, so there is no way for me to completely avoid over-heating in a shoe. That said, the Teva Riva is much less clammy around my foot than other waterproof shoes I have worn. This has held true even though the shoes have gotten dirty a handful of times now and eVent says to wash often for maximum breathability.
Aside from the sole delaminating and the slight peeling of the rubber rand on the right shoe, the leather and rubber has held up remarkably well considering the rocks, sticks, and concrete that have abraded the shoes so far during my use. They still look very snappy and show no outward signs of material degradation.
The Teva Riva is waterproof and breathes very well. However, for my foot, the shoe has a bit too much volume and thus feels lacking when it comes to foot nimbleness. In addition, the sole has delaminated in multiple locations on the left shoe. I believe this is an anomaly in the manufacturing process and Teva's outreach to remedy this problem was above and beyond, except for the delays in availability. The shoes look great and other than the sole issue, wear well.
I may try to replace the shoes if I can do so quickly at this point, otherwise I will attempt to re-glue the sole back on. I look forward to taking these shoes out to Smith Rocks this spring, and trying them with my water-repellent gaiters to keep rain or snow out of the ankle area.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have worn the Teva Riva quite a bit over the past few months. Aside from business casual to work and other urban wear, I wore the Rivas during an over-night backpack trip in the Mt Hood National Forest, day-hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, and a hike along the Oregon Coast. I covered approximately 25 miles. The shoes saw hard-packed trail, mud, small patches of snow, and rock.
The over-night trip was 12 miles round trip and temperatures were between 38 F (3.3 C) and 50 F (15.5 C) with lots of rain. This was the only trip that I carried my over-night backpacking weight (approximately 20lbs (9.1 kg)). It rained for most of this trip on the first day, the ground was muddy, and the shoes did eventually get water in them.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As mentioned in the Field Report, this shoe suffered from sole delamination shortly after I started wearing it. Teva customer service told me that they would not have a replacement in stock until after January 1, 2010. Thus, shortly after the new year I contacted Teva customer support and initiated the return process. It was straight forward and easy, as they provided me with a pre-paid shipping label. Approximately 3 weeks later I received a replacement pair of Teva Riva shoes.
I believe the sole delamination was an anomaly, as it started and progressed within a week of wearing the shoes in a casual setting. Teva customer service informed me that they were unaware of any chronic problems with sole delamination and suggested that indeed it was a rare occurrence.
Other than this singular event, I have found the Teva Riva to be a very durable shoe. I have scuffed it numerous times and it still looks great, with no noticeable gouges or scrapes on the large rubber toe rand. I have used a damp paper towel or rag to clean the shoes as necessary, and find that mud comes off quickly and they are ready to go for a business casual look.
The deep lugs on the Vibram sole have provided ample traction on a wide variety of surfaces: slippery rocks, mud, hard-packed dirt, grass, black-top, and unconsolidated snow. The sole self-cleans at a moderate level, I have had shoes that are magnets for chunks of mud and others that do not seem to hold much at all.
I continue to find the eVent membrane to be the most effective waterproof-breathable I have ever had in a shoe. This was especially high-lighted when I used them during the backpacking trip. Eventually the shoes got wet, though it was not due to water entering through the shoe body, but instead coming through around the ankle, likely from flowing down my rain pants as I hiked. While eVent is great for keeping the water out, this was my first experience observing how quickly it dries. I have had trouble drying boots and shoes with other waterproof-breathable membranes. They have taken a long time to dry out. However, the Teva Riva dried out within 3 hours while I hiked with them, the next day when it was not raining.
One issue that I continue to have with the Teva Riva is that it seems too 'big' across the bridge of my foot. I am aware that another tester felt the shoe had too little volume for his foot. I cannot but help offer a contradictory experience in that I felt my shoe was too high volume for my low-to-average volume foot. The length is appropriate, as I would not have wanted my toes to be closer to the tip of the shoe, but not having it snug along the top of my foot did not imbue confidence for a secure fit. I tried different lace tightening options but was not able to rectify the issue.
Aesthetically, I am extremely pleased with these shoes. I am impressed with how well they can serve dual-duty, from stylish in a business casual or urban setting, to functional and effective on day hikes and short, light, backpacking trips. I find this to be a rarity in shoes, as these two functions often work in competition.
The Teva Riva is a stylish, durable, and waterproof light hiking shoe. It has a demure appearance that belies a tough toe-rand, excellent Vibram sole, and top-notch eVent waterproof-breathable membrane.
Things I like:
Use of leather in design, including around inside areas of the shoe
Sizeable toe rand to protect toes and shoe from scuffs
Things I dislike:
shoe volume seems large
limited number of lacing eyelets, does not allow for dialed in adjustments
I will certainly continue to use the Teva Riva shoe, even though the fit is not perfect. I almost always wear a waterproof shoe, even in the summer, as I find there always seems to be dew or rain on the brush, a small stream, or alpine snow. I love the fact that they function for business casual, and will continue to use them for that as well.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Thank you to Teva and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me the great opportunity to test the Riva shoe!
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Read more gear reviews by Matthew Mioduszewski