TEVA RIVA EVENT HIKING SHOES
TEST SERIES BY MIKE CURRY
INITIAL REPORT - November 15, 2009
FIELD REPORT - January 28, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - March 23, 2010
5' 11" (1.80 m)
220 lb (99.80 kg)
I've been backpacking, climbing, ski-packing, bushwhacking, and snowshoeing throughout the mountains of Oregon and Washington for the last 25 years. I'm an all-season, all terrain, off-trail kind of guy, but these days (having small kids) most of my trips run on the shorter side of things, and tend to be in the temperate rainforest. While I've carried packs (with winter climbing gear) in excess of 70 pounds (32 kilos), the older I get the more minimalist I become.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|TEVA Riva's after a few days use
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.teva.com
MSRP: US $135.00
Listed Weight: None Listed
Measured Weight: 2 lb 6.7 oz (1.1 kg)
Right Shoe Weight: 1 lb 3.6 oz (560 g)
Left Shoe Weight: 1 lb 3.1 oz (540 g)
Style #4105 Riva Leather eVent (the other testers received Style #4103, the Riva eVent)
Size Tested: 11.5 US
The Teva Riva Leather eVent hiking shoes arrived in a typical shoe box, which in addition to the usual markings included a label describing the waterproof eVent material used in construction, as well as a notation that the box was made of recycled materials and all packaging was recyclable.
The first thing that struck me about the shoes was how nice they looked. My immediate thought was "wow, I could wear these with slacks!" While clearly designed as hikers, with deep lug Vibram soles, a reinforced rubber toe guard, and heavy duty laces, these were some great looking shoes.
In looking over the shoes, the materials appear to be very high quality. The sole is a black and brown Vibram lug with a fairly aggressive tread. With the exception of rubber reinforcements around the heel and toe, the upper is a very supple brown leather. The lining is marked "eVent," except at the top of the tongue and the foot opening, where a tan leather is used. The insole is removable, and has moderate arch support. The stitching and materials all appear to be of very high quality. The only markings other than Teva and Vibram are on the heel where a brown wedge along the side is marked ShocPad.
TRYING IT OUT
First, I believe a description of my feet may be helpful. My feet are average width except at the toes, where they are fairly wide. Shoes that are narrow or tapered through the toe don't usually work for me. A wide toe box is usually a necessity. I have fairly high arches and a very high instep.
I'm happy to report that I slid the Teva Riva Leather eVent hiking shoes on to find them a perfect fit. Not only in length and width but also in the toe box, which is just wide enough to accommodate my toes without feeling sloppy. The fit was so good, in fact, the only boots I can really compare the fit to are some work boots I had custom made for me years ago!
My first few steps in the Riva's were also quite positive. The shoes have very good underfoot padding, and while stiffer than shoes I've used with synthetic uppers, the leather was far more supple than most boots or dress shoes I've owned. My first impressions were definitely good.
Having worn the Rivas for almost a week, I will add that the break-in period for me was approximately two days of wear around the house and office. The few slight pressure points and stiff spots were gone by day three. They continue to get more comfortable every day, and I wouldn't hesitate to wear them for long days on the trail now.
The other thing that has impressed me these first few days have been the Vibram soles. The lugs do very well on slippery wet boards, wet grass, mud, and every other surface I've encountered. They also seem to be very effective at self-cleaning. I haven't had to pick any mud out of the lugs at the end of the day, which is nice. They also clean up easily . . . after getting them fairly muddy one day, a quick swish in a clear puddle cleaned them right up, and allowed me to confirm there were not leaks.
The Teva Riva Leather eVent hiking shoes are a stylish pair of shoes that are equally appropriate for the trail and my office. They appear so far to be very well made using high quality materials, and are an exceptionally good fit with a roomy toe box. After a couple of days of breaking in, they are quite comfortable.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have worn the Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes every single day during the test period. Twelve days they served as my footwear for backpacking/dayhiking, and the balance of days they were worn for daily footwear at home and work. Field conditions have seen heavy rain, snow, ice, and sunny skies. Temperatures have ranged from 10 F (-12 C) to 60 F (16 C). Surfaces have included concrete, asphalt, grass, dirt, gravel, rock, and mud. I have worn the shoes with cotton dress and athletic socks as well as wool and wool blend hiking socks, and on several occasions with no socks at all.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Overall, I have to say that the Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes are among the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. They have a spacious toe box yet securely hug my foot providing excellent arch support and shock absorption. I can honestly say I've only owned one other pair of shoes in my life that were this comfortable, and they were neither as nice looking nor as durable as these Tevas. On two occasions I've been forced to wear the Riva's without socks, and they continued to be amazingly comfortable (more so, in fact, than when I wear old cotton socks with them). The lining of the shoe and the surface of the insole feel great against bare feet, and all the inside seams are flat enough that they are not felt at all, and cause no chafing or pressure.
The Riva's also excel in terms of waterproofness. I've had these shoes more than once right up to the edge of the top in puddles and just stood there, waiting for that cold telltale sensation that notifies me of a leak. Not once did a drop of water enter. No problems to report at all relating to waterproofness.
|Leather Pulled Away
The Riva's look very much like when I received them, only with minor scuffing of the leather uppers. As casual wear, I think these give the Riva's more character. I've had them caked with mud on a number of occasions, rinsed them off with a hose and wiped them off with a towel and wore them to work the next day. They are easy to maintain, and look good. The soles have exhibited some wear around the heel and toe, but less than I would have expected given the amount of use they've seen. The sole material is definitely tough. The only durability issue I have is shown in the picture to the left. The leather that covers the upper section of the inside of each shoe came unglued when I was pulling them off one day (I hadn't fully loosened the laces, which I think contributed to it). Interestingly enough, though, they lay down flat when I put my foot in, and have never caused me any discomfort, so I've just left them alone. I take the shoes off, they curl up; I put the shoes on, they flatten down. A minor annoyance, but it hasn't seemed to impact performance. With the leather rolled up, I can pull the eVent lining away from the leather exterior, but I'm not certain it was bonded in the first place. Regardless, this hasn't caused any performance problems, and isn't visible when wearing the shoes.
The Riva's get great traction on almost every surface I've encountered. I consider the traction better than average on every surface except ice and smooth, wet rock, where I would consider them average. Part of this is due to the aggressive tread pattern, but part of it seems to be due to the rubber composition, which is very durable, yet "sticky" on a variety of surfaces (like dry rock) where stickiness is a valuable asset. No complaints at all on traction.
I have one, seemingly minor, issue with the Riva's that almost makes me hate them. Two weeks after I received them, the left shoe developed a squeak when I would walk. It has never gone away. It's not terribly loud, but I find it tremendously annoying. The staff at my office love it, as it is impossible for me to sneak up on anyone without removing my left shoe. On hikes, especially on a cold, quiet day, I find it hard to turn my attention away from the squeak. It seems to be coming from under the ball of my foot, and I may experiment with talcum powder under the insole to see if it is just the insole rubbing against the bottom, or something else.
Overall, the Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes are incredibly comfortable strong performing footwear that look great and have been completely waterproof. The two issues I've had, involving the leather coming unglued behind my heel and the squeak in the left shoe haven't impacted performance, but the squeak annoys me to no end.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have worn the Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes almost every day during the LTR period, including over a dozen day hikes ranging from 2-7 mi (3-11 km). Weather conditions have included rain, sun, and snow with temperatures ranging from 25 F (-4 C) to 65 F (18 C). Surfaces have included asphalt, concrete, gravel, dirt, mud, grass, rock, and sand.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Teva Riva eVent shoes continue to perform well, though I am still plagued with the squeak every step I take. The squeak hasn't seemed to change in any way, and I've almost learned to tune it out. Almost. My wife and kids no longer complain about it, but both have said they continue to find it very annoying when I've asked them about it.
The leather behind my heel that came loose inside the shoes hasn't seemed to have gotten any worse. When I take the shoes off at night, the flap of leather is usually nice and supple, so I smooth it down before setting them aside for the night. Even when they have rolled up while I'm walking, they haven't caused any discomfort. The only time I even notice it is when I'm taking the shoes off.
In regards to waterproofness, the Rivas continue to shine. I've walked through many puddles that came almost to the top of the shoes and never once have had so much as a drop of water penetrate. This is far better then my experiences with other waterproof shoes. Usually, after this much wear and use, I expect my footwear's waterproofness to fail. The Rivas have kept going strong.
The other thing about the Rivas that I love is their appearance. Despite lots of use, and getting caked with mud on multiple occasions, a simple rinse or wipe and they're clean again and good looking enough to wear to the office. They are the only footwear I've ever owned that I can wear to a morning board meeting with slacks and bag a peak in during the afternoon. They are truly among my most versatile footwear.
Tread life and grip has proven to exceed my expectations. The rubber formulation is not only very durable (only minor wear has occurred on the tread) but also grips exceptionally well on a wide variety of surfaces.
All in all, with the exception of the squeak and detached leather behind my heel, the Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes have proven to be top performers for times when I don't need above-the-ankle footwear.
The Teva Riva eVent hiking shoes perform exceptionally well in every regard, and are among my most comfortable and best-looking shoes. They have held up to a lot of use exceptionally well, with the exception of the flap of leather behind my heels that has come detached (though this has not caused any problems). The only significant drawback I have encountered is the annoying squeak with each step.
I will likely continue to use the Teva Riva eVent Hiking shoes for daily footwear and shorter day hikes until they wear out. For longer day hikes and backpacking I prefer a lighter shoe, but the Rivas perform very well, and will likely still see a lot of use on those days where I am headed straight from the office to a hike!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
I would like to thank Teva and BackpackGearTest. org for the opportunity to test the Riva eVent shoes. This concludes my report.
Read more reviews of Teva gear
Read more gear reviews by Mike Curry