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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Teva Steep XCR > Jennifer Williams > Long Term Report

Long Term Report: Teva Steep XCR Hiking Shoes

TESTER BIO
Name: Jennifer Williams
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.6 m)
Weight: 120 lbs (56 kg)
Shoe size: 10 women (US)
Email: jensmail78 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Date: November 3, 2005

Backpacking Background:
I grew up camping and snowboarding, but I just started backpacking about two years ago. All of my trips have been one or two night stays. My trips normally range from coastal trails in the redwoods to mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada. I tend to hike where I encounter rain and dampness. This year, I am looking forward to making some longer trips in northern California and gaining more experience. I am not a lightweight backpacker yet, but would like to reduce my current pack weight significantly.

PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Teva
Year of manufacture: 2005
URL: www.teva.com
Listed weight: not given
Weight as delivered: 1 lb each (0.5 kg)
Size: Women's 10 (US)
Color: Grey
MSRP: $110 (US)

Advertised Features:
* Adaptive Heel technology
* Gore-Tex XCR lining
* Dual-density EVA midsole
* Nubuck and High Abrasion mesh upper

FIELD INFORMATION

Central and Northern California Coasts:
I have worn the Teva Steep XCRs on multiple day hikes around the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in the Lake Tahoe region. However, during the initial testing phase I determined that these shoes were not supportive enough for me to wear them while backpacking. I did not notice differences in performance during the different hikes. Thus I will highlight three of the longer hikes that I went on during this test period. For all of the hikes I wore SmartWool light or medium weight hiking socks and carried a small CamelBak pack weighing 5 to 10 lbs (2 to 5 kg) when full.

I went on a 9-mile (14.5 km) day hike in Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail was well-maintained dirt and some loose gravel with elevations ranging between 50 and 400 ft (15 - 122 m). Conditions were dry and warm with temperatures around 80 F (27 C).

I also wore the Tevas on a shorter 6-mile day hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This trail was comprised of loose, damp dirt with a few large rocks to scramble over. The weather was foggy at first and then cleared up for a sunny hike in 70 F (21 C) temperatures. Elevations were around 1000 ft (305 m) and there were very gradual elevation gains.

Toward the end of the test I used the Tevas on a 10-mile (16 km) hike in Tahoe National Forest at an elevation of about 7000 ft (2100 m). Temperatures were around 65 F (18 C) and the trail consisted of dry rocky conditions with occasional sandy sections and a few steep elevation changes.

FIELD TEST

After the Field Report phase I began testing a new pair of Spenco Day Hiker Footbeds and consequently changed from the SuperFeet Green Footbeds that I had been using. The new footbeds did take up more volume in the shoes and I felt that this actually improved the fit slightly by making the shoes fit more securely.

During the initial hike at Point Reyes the Tevas performed well but had a couple uncomfortable spots at the end of the day. The trail had a few gradual elevation gains and the shoes were comfortable while hiking up and down the hills. I did not develop any blisters and the shoes felt secure without any slippage. It was a pretty warm day and my feet did feel a bit hot but quickly cooled off during breaks. I did not feel like they were excessively sweaty in the shoes. At one point I misjudged the tide on the beach and a small wave caught my feet. The water made my feet feel cool, but the shoes stayed completely dry inside. The outer material looked wet for about 10 minutes and then quickly dried. On the way back I noticed that I had a sore spot on the top of each foot above the arch. Upon returning to the car I took the shoes off and the top of each foot had a red spot where they were sore. These spots did not develop into bruises but it did take a few hours for the redness to go away and a day for the soreness to go away. My small toes also felt a little sore from being cramped in the toe box but this went away soon after removing the shoes.

For the next hike near Santa Cruz I tried lacing the shoes differently to try to prevent the pain on the tops of my feet. I made the laces around the arches of my feet looser than the laces closer to my ankles. I also tried to secure the tongues of the shoes under the centers of the laces to try to prevent them from shifting to the outer sides of my feet. This new technique felt fine at first but the tongues shifted after about one mile (1.6 km). This trail had a lot of dew on the foliage and the Tevas got wet from brushing against it, but they stayed dry inside and only the cuffs of my socks got a little damp. After the tongues shifted, the laces felt a little too loose and my heels started to slip a little. I re-tightened the laces and adjusted the tongues again. This made the shoes feel more secure, but then the soreness on the tops of my feet returned.

During the hike near Lake Tahoe the Tevas performed very well while I scrambled over rocks and through sandy sections of the trail. I felt like I had very good traction and the shoes were light enough that I didn't get bogged down in the loose dirt. They held up against a few substantial scuffs on more jagged rocks without any tears or fraying. This trail had a few steep sections and my feet did not slip much at all going uphill or downhill. However, towards the end of the hike my toes began to feel cramped against the sides of the shoes. I was wearing thicker socks on this hike, but my toes didn't feel cramped until later in the day, so it might be the result of my feet swelling a bit. As with the other hikes, I developed a sore spot on the top of each foot.

SUMMARY

Overall I feel like the Teva Steep XCRs are durable, well made shoes that handle various aspects of the trail very well. The waterproof lining is very effective and does not seem to hinder the breathability of the shoes. The shoes have been easy to care for and clean and appear to have a lot of miles left in them. The Adaptive Heel Lacing is effective in locking my heels into the shoes with very minimal slippage.

However, these shoes simply are not that comfortable for my feet. In order to get the Adaptive Heel Lacing tight enough to prevent slippage, I have to tighten the laces to the point that I develop sore areas on the tops of my feet. This problem does not seem to be caused by the Adaptive Heel Lacing, but instead by the tongues of the shoes. The tongues shift to the outside of the feet no matter how loose or tight the laces are. Once there, there is a seam on the inside of the tongue that rubs the tops of my feet. I would like to see Teva redesign the tongue to eliminate this seam and add a loop on top of the tongue so that the laces could hold the tongue in place and prevent shifting.

Additionally, these shoes have a narrow toe box that does not provide enough room for my outer, small toes to spread out, particularly after they have swelled a bit towards the end of a hike. If the toe box were more rounded and a little wider my toes would feel fine.

I will likely continue to wear these shoes for day hikes, but only on shorter hikes and trails with little elevation gain so that I can leave the laces loose and not worry about heel slippage. I will not use them for backpacking as I do not feel that they provide enough support for my feet under my typical pack weight of about 25 lbs (11 kg).

Likes:
*Adaptive Heel Lacing
*Waterproof Lining
*Lightweight

Dislikes:
*Tongues shift and cause pain
*Toe box is too narrow

Thanks to Teva and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this gear.

Read more reviews of Teva gear
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Williams

Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Teva Steep XCR > Jennifer Williams > Long Term Report



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