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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Teva Wraptor Shield eVENT > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

Teva Wraptor Shield Event Trail Shoes

Side views
Initial Report - March 20, 2008
Field Report - May 27, 2008
Long Term Report - July 29, 2008


Tester Information:
 
Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  50
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  165 lb (77 kg)
Normal Shoe Size:  US women's 9 M
E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background: 

Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking four years ago, beginning with day-hiking and single overnights.  Currently I’m mostly a ‘weekend warrior’, hiking and backpacking mainly in the hills and valleys of West Virginia, but have started a project to section hike the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 200 mi (300 km) in the last two years.  My usual shelter is a hammock, but occasionally I use a tent. In general my backpacking style is lightweight and minimalist and I try to cut as much pack weight as I can without sacrificing warmth, comfort, or safety.


Initial Report - March 20, 2008


Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Teva
Year of manufacture:  2008

Tested size:  US men's size 7
 
Advertised weight:  approx. 14.5 oz (411 g) per shoe

  Measured weight:  25.4 oz (720 g)/pair
Right shoe 12.6 oz (358 g)
Left shoe 12.8 oz (362 g)
 

  Website: www.teva.com
MSRP:  $140
 

Toe section


Product Description:

Wraptor strapping system closeupThe Teva Wraptor Shield eVent shoes are light weight trail runners with integrated softshell gaiters.  The shoes use the Teva Wraptor system which consists of a nylon webbing strap that begins at the inside edge of the heel, wraps across the instep, passes through a slot in the shoe's sole, wraps once more across the instep forming an X shape, and buckles to a shorter piece of webbing strap that attaches to the outside heel section.  According to Teva's website, this serves to secure the foot directly over the cushioning platform for support and stability. 

These shoes are quite different than anything I've ever worn, or for that matter, seen.  The gaiter portion of the shoe covers the entire outside, with reinforcing leather-like materials sewn over the toe and heel areas, which appears to help provide additional support.  Five small stripes of reflective silver accent each side of the toe area. 

A small rubbery toe cap about an inch (2.5 cm) wide extends over the top of the toe at the center, and features an embossed orange spider symbol and the words SPIDER XC.  A small section of webbing runs directly from the toe cap to the base of the zipper opening on the softshell material.  The black softshell material has orange swirls imprinted in a decorative pattern at the heel and toe sections, using a material that feels like that of an iron-on T-shirt transfer.  On each side of the shoe, under the Wraptor strapping system, is a stiff vinyl-like support piece that extends to within about an inch (2.5 cm) of the center zipper.  A vinyl like tab is fastened with hook and loop across the top of the zipper, and there is a webbing finger loop at the heel.  The softshell material has a smooth, elasticized outer face.

Sole viewThe sole of the shoe has a moderate lug, with small V-shaped lugs arranged in a straight pattern across the center of the forefoot and larger V-shaped lugs around the outer edge following the curves of the sole.  The heel has a diagonal pattern of lugs.  Two grooved channels are located in the forefoot, and one long groove bisects the heel area.

When the Wraptor system is loosened and the softshell gaiter unzipped, the orange colored interior of the softshell is visible, and it is has a waffle-weave appearance.  Also visible is the grey colored interior portion of the shoe, which has the appearance of a soft fabric sneaker.  The inner shoe is sewn to the gaiter along the lower sides, and also fastened to the gaiter by a stretchy tab at the back of the heel.  Nylon webbing support straps cross the instep area of the interior shoe.  Similar to other trail shoes, the tongue is sewn in.  The shoe is lined with white fabric imprinted with the eVent name and logo, with a tightly woven orange mesh fabric lining the top of the inner shoe.  The insoles are removable, and appear to be foam on the bottom and a fleecy material on the top. 

The inner shoe was a cord lacing system that tightens by sliding a small pull toward the foot.  The laces pass through small triangular plastic grommets at the top and thread through two sets of webbing loops before passing through small holes in the outer gaiter across the toe section.  Due to the way the sewn in gaiter and the Wraptor system limit access to the lacing area, it appears it would be impossible to replace the laces.

Interior views

Trying them on:

I found the Wraptor Shield eVent shoes very difficult to get on.  First the quick release buckle must be unfastened, and the Wraptor webbing pulled through the channel in the sole to loosen the webbing as much as possible.  Due to the webbing being one piece, a strap remains in place in front of the zipper.  Due to the hook and loop attached to the webbing, which will not pass through the channel, I get only about an inch (2.5 cm) of  space under the webbing to work with.  Then I unfasten the hook and loop at the top of the zipper.  Next the softshell portion is unzipped, which takes a bit of maneuvering due to the webbing strap being in the way.  When I let go of the zipper at the bottom, the hook and loop at the top usually partially fastens again.  So, I unfasten it again, exposing the inner shoe, and then pull the plastic tab on the laces as far loose as possible, pull the tongue out, and spread the shoe as wide apart as possible in order to insert my foot.  The webbing strap in place across the instep again limits how far I can spread the shoe apart.  Since the inner shoe and the gaiter are both soft fabric, the upper edges of both shoe and gaiter tend to want to fold inside, so I need to try to hold the fabric taut as I slide my foot inside.  Sometimes I still end up with a fold in either the inner shoe or the outer gaiter, so I have to reach inside the tight area to pull the offending area straight and finally, smooth out the tongue.

Hook and loop at zipper topThen I'm ready to fasten the shoe.  First, I pull the laces tight and slide the plastic tab down the laces to secure them in place.  Next, I zip the zipper up about half way till the webbing strap stops my fingers.  I then reach under the webbing strap to pull the zipper the rest of the way up, fold a gusset of material that extends behind the zipper head out of the way, and finish zipping to the top.  I then fold the zipper pull down, and fasten the hook and loop tab across the top of it.  Finally, I pull the webbing strap of the Wraptor system tight through the channel in the sole, and fasten the quick release buckle, and the procedure is complete.

As the manufacturer website indicates, the shoes fit snugly in the heel cup and across the instep area, and has a roomy toe box.  The inner shoe has what I would consider a normal sneaker style cut, while the outer gaiter extends to just cover my ankle bone.  The top of the gaiter fits very snugly, and the vinyl-like hook and loop fastener that covers the zipper feels a bit stiff in the front of my foot.

The shoes seem to fit properly with sufficient length and width, while providing a lot of support across the instep area, the forefoot, and the heel cup.  They feel very stable on my foot, with no real lateral movement.

Preliminary Impressions:

Heel viewThe Wraptor Shield eVent shoes appear to be well made with even stitching and quality materials.  Considering the technical appearance and materials, my impression is that these shoes have been designed with performance in mind.  The soles of the shoes feel cushiony for comfort, yet supportive and stiff enough to prevent rocks and sticks from being felt through the bottoms of the shoes.

I like the light weight and apparent breathability of the materials, although I have not yet had the opportunity to test their waterproofness or to put them through a hard enough workout to test just how breathable the material is. 

The only real concern I have at this point about the shoes is the cumbersome method of putting them on and taking them off.  While this would not seem to be a problem with short day trips, I often like to air my feet during lunch or other long breaks on backpacking trips, and considering the time it takes to take the shoes off and put them back on, I may find this burdensome.  Although I sometimes take Croc shoes along for camp and water crossing shoes, on some warmer weather trips I like to leave spare shoes behind, relying only on my trail shoes.  I have some apprehension about the feasibility of getting the Teva Wraptor Shield eVent shoes on quickly enough for those inevitable middle of the night bathroom trips, so I wonder whether it will be possible to rely on them for my sole shoes on a trip.

Summary:

The Teva Wraptor Shield eVent shoes are unique in design and from the type of materials used and the design that stabilizes the foot while providing support and comfort appear to be built for performance.  However, putting the shoes on and taking them off is cumbersome and could use some simplification.

This concludes my Initial Report.

Field Report - May 27, 2008

Shedding rain near DamascusField Conditions:

Over the last two months, I have worn the Teva Wraptor Shield eVent shoes on six short dayhikes of around 3 mi (5 km) in western West Virginia in temperatures around 30 F to 70 F  (-1 to 21 C).  These hikes were taken on old semi-maintained dirt and lightly rocked county roads that are often quite muddy.  I also wore them on a longer dayhike of about 11 mi (18 km) in the Damascus, Virginia area.  The trail in this area was mainly smooth single track with gentle ups and downs; only a few rocks and roots and one long steeper descent were thrown in for good measure.  A light rain or mist fell most of the day.  I also wore them for a short exploration hike in the nearby Backbone Rock area the next day, when the weather was overcast but dry.

I wore them on a short (around 3 mi/5 km) overnight backpacking trip in mid-April in the North Bend State Park area in central West Virginia.  Temperatures on this trip ranged from around 50-60 F (10-15 C) with pleasant, partially cloudy weather.  The trail was dirt interspersed with roots and rocks, with relatively mild elevation change other than one steep ascent.

My most significant use of the Wraptor Shield eVents was during a 3-day, 2-night backpacking trip in the Canaan Mountain area of the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia, covering around 27 mi (43.5 km).  The first day was cool, with temperatures in the 50 - 60 F (10-16 C) range, dropping to just above freezing (around 33 F/1 C) the first night.  The second day was warmer, with night temperatures only falling to around 52 F (11 C).  There was no precipitation during the trip.  The trail was a difficult mixture of roots, rocks, and mud bogs (lots of mud bogs!), with a few small stretches of gravel forest roads.  I would have to say this is probably one of the more challenging areas I have hiked as far as the quality of trail footing.  There was some elevation change, mostly in one steep uphill.  The photo below shows the Teva Wraptor Shield eVents just before stepping into the muddy trail section shown to the side, which was actually one of the more mild boggy areas.

The trail was a slogfest

Use and Findings So Far:

This has been an interesting and somewhat conflicting test so far.  On the one hand, the Wraptor Shield eVent shoes have proven to be very waterproof and breathable.  Even on the slogfest I experienced on the trip in the Canaan Mountain area, the shoes remained totally dry inside.  I didn't even have socks that were damp with sweat, so the breathability has proven as good as the waterproofing.

Leaf litter and debris clinging to strapHowever this does not mean that I haven't experienced a few problems with the shoes.  First, they still are very cumbersome to put on and take off.  This is even more noticeable when I am tired and there isn't a good place to sit.  On backpacking trips I typically just slide my feet into my shoes when I get up in the mornings, tie them up, and I'm done.  This is something I can usually easily accomplish while standing up, which is nice when I've already packed up before changing from camp shoes.  With the Wraptor Shield eVents, I really need a place to sit to put the shoes on because it is too difficult to balance on one foot while I get the hook and loop open, the zipper spread apart, the tongue up and out of the way, and then maneuver my foot through both the upper eVent portion and the inner shoe while hampered by the strap across the top of the shoe.  I simply cannot balance long enough to accomplish all this.  Then there is the process of tightening up the laces, moving the plastic tab that holds them to a comfortable spot, struggling with the zipper under the strap (a three-step process - zip it as far as I can, move it under the strap, then zip again), and finally fastening the hook and loop top.  All this is much easier to accomplish while sitting down, so I have to remember not to pack my sit pad before changing my shoes.  On colder mornings I also need to remember not to remove my camp shoes and put the Wraptors on until I have removed the base layer pants from under my hiking pants so that I don't have to go through the cumbersome process more than once.

The Wraptors have proved quite comfortable - for around the first 3 mi (5 km) of a hike.  On my shorter day hikes, near the end of the hike I've noticed some mild soreness of my feet in the area of the hook and loop fastener, which is also noticeable the next day.  In fact, on the North Bend overnight trip and while exploring Backbone Rock after the longer day hike in the Damascus area, I found I had to leave the zipper open about 1 in (2.5 cm) and the hook and loop as loose as possible to relieve pressure on this area of my feet.  On longer hikes I've found that shortly after 3 mi/5 km, I begin to experience some tingling or numbness in various areas of one or sometimes both of my feet.  Sometimes it is my left toe cramping up, as was the case on the Damascus hike, when I actually took the shoe off because I thought I was getting a hotspot.  This happened again on the first day of the Canaan Mountain trip, but I just worked through it because I knew from my prior experience that it was not a hot spot.  Sometimes it is the right foot, where the tingling is usually on the upper right side of my foot, although I have also had some mild tingling in the toe area on this foot.

After about 5 mi (8 km), I often start to experience an ache in the upper right side of my right foot, running from just below the bend of my foot nearly down to my toes.  This ache usually grows steadily, remaining at the 'ouch that hurts but it isn't debilitating' stage for the remainder of the day (including after I am finished hiking).  At around 6 mi (10 km), the bottoms of my feet begin to feel very tired and sore, and I notice myself getting slower and stiffer.  This was especially noticeable on the rough Canaan Mountain area trails, where I was often balancing on uneven rock or roots for long distances.

My feet seem to be getting somewhat more used to the stiff top of the shoe where the hook and loop is, since I was able to fasten the zipper completely and close the hook and loop securely all three days of my most recent trip.  I did, however, notice a slight soreness in that area, as well as the top right side of my right foot the next day.  I also had to loosen the arch strap around 1 in (2.5 cm) the last day, as my feet had apparently swollen a bit.

Small bit of wood caused the buckle to jamOne positive I noted is that the smooth exterior of these shoes sheds water well and dries very quickly, which I hope may help keep the shoes waterproof longer.  The grip of the sole seems to be very good.  I have not slipped on any surface; which is good considering the number of notoriously slick river rocks (some submerged) I stepped on during my last trip and the slick muddy areas I've day hiked.

Another positive has been that the shoes seem to be very stabilizing.  On the Canaan Mountain trip, a wrong step caused my ankle to turn to the side on one rock, however I quickly recovered my balance without suffering the consequence of a strained or twisted ankle.  I believe the good support of the Wraptors was responsible for keeping me from injury.

On the minor irritant list, the hook and loop fastener on the arch support strap picks up a lot of leaf litter and bits of debris and the strap itself holds some.  This makes sliding the strap through the slot in the sole a bit more difficult when the shoes are muddy, as they often are in the areas I hike.  I also had one buckle completely lock up and refuse to come unfastened on night 1 of my Canaan Mountain trip.  I managed to get the shoe off that night and on the next morning without having to unfasten the buckle, but it was more of a struggle that way.  Later on day 2 at camp I performed minor 'surgery' with a pocket knife, scraping and digging the dirt away from the inside of the buckle and finally managed to wriggle it free.  The photo to the left side shows a tiny piece of wood chip on the right side point of the clip that had worked its way into the inside of the buckle and apparently prevented it from opening.  I think if the Wraptor Shield eVents had a more solid buckle without the small open areas it might prevent this type of problem.

Summary:

So far, the Teva Wraptor Shield eVents are proving to be waterproof, breathable, supportive, and grippy.  They are wearing quite well so far, with no noticeable deterioration. 

On the down side, they are very difficult to put on and take off, to the point of being frustrating, even after two months of use.  I have also been experiencing foot fatigue and soreness on longer hikes.  The design of the buckle allows small bits of forest litter to enter, which can cause the buckle to jam shut.

More to come:

This concludes my Field Report.  During the final portion of the test, I plan to replace the stock insoles with after market memory foam insoles to see if this decreases my foot fatigue and soreness. 

Long Term Report - July 29, 2008


Field Conditions:

In late June, I wore the Teva Wraptor Shield eVents on an 11.4 mi/18.4 km day hike on the Appalachian Trail in the southern part of Shenandoah National Park.  The weather was humid and hot (in the 80-90 F/27-32 C range) for the most part, although a moderate storm kicked up toward the end of the hike, cooling things down a bit, and we ended up hiking about 2 mi/3 km in varying amounts of rain.  Most of the trail was a single width dirt path interspersed with roots and rocks, with a couple of small sections being wider 'jeep trail' type roads. 

In early July, I wore them on a day hike of about 5 mi/8 km in western West Virginia, but with the temperatures again approaching 90 F (32 C).  The trail was mostly single width dirt with some rocks and roots, and a small section of weedy 'four wheeler' path.  It did not rain during the hike, but had rained previously in the day (and a few times in the prior days) and the trail was wet and muddy with standing water in some areas.

I have also worn them on eight different 3 mi/5 km hikes on old narrow dirt county roads that are semi-maintained.  Temperatures ranged from 60 to 90 F (16 to 32 C), and conditions ranged from dry to a moderate rain.

Use and findings:

Condition at end of test

During this portion of the test I removed the stock insoles and replaced them with an inexpensive pair of memory foam insoles.  Even though the new insoles did not look thicker than the stock models, I found they made an immediate difference in how my feet felt in the shoes.  I no longer experienced any cramping, burning, or soreness in my feet and they felt less fatigued, even after the 11.4 mi/18.4 km hike on the Appalachian Trail.  This was a great relief, since there is nothing more miserable on a trip than feet that are tired and hurting.

I wore the shoes with a variety of socks, and found the most comfortable (for summer hiking at least) was a pair of light weight wool crew socks.  The shoes also worked equally as well with heavier wool socks and thin nylon socks.  I'm happy to report that my feet remained blister-free over the course of the test.  I did continue to experience a few small calluses on the sides of my big toes and the tips of my second toe, which is normal for me when I hike a lot.

I continue to find the shoes a pain to put on and take off, so much so that I only wear them for hiking or backpacking.  Being able to fully unbuckle both straps across the top of the foot would really be an improvement to these shoes in my opinion.  I found it very tedious to try to work the zipper under the strap that doesn't unbuckle, and it also interfered some with loosening or tightening the laces of the inner shoe.  I did not have any further problem with debris getting stuck in the buckle, so hopefully the problem I experienced on my Canaan Mountain trip was just an unlucky fluke.

The shoes turned out to be very easy to clean up.  Not wanting to damage the eVent fabric and compromise the waterproofing of the shoes, I e-mailed Teva with a request for cleaning instructions and received a reply within a few hours.  Here is what they recommend for cleaning:

"Here are some helpful cleaning ideas. We foremost recommend using a mild soap and water and hand wash, please do not machine wash. Also try scrubbing the top sole with a soft bristled brush while cleaning and gently bending the sandal from heel to toe under water pressure so that any dirt in the grooves of the top sole will wash away.

 Another option for killing bacteria is to place the sandals in a sealable freezer bag and freeze them overnight.

 Other options:

   -Mix 1 cup of Listerine (or any antibacterial mouth wash) to 2 cups of water. Soak for 15 minutes and scrub with a bristled brush. Let air dry.

   -Put sandals in a pool with chlorine for 15-20 minutes. Scrub with a hard bristled brush. Rinse. Air dry.

   -Wash them in the shower with Shampoo."

So far, washing the exterior with plain water and scrubbing with a soft bristled brush has worked quite well for me.  The sleek eVent fabric on the outside makes this particularly easy since there are few crevasses for dirt to hide in.  I have not had any problems with foot odor building up in the shoes, so I have not felt the need to try to clean the inside of the shoes.

One thing I really like about the shoes is that they are truly waterproof.  I've worn them through puddles, wet grass, and thick mud, and never had any problem with my feet getting wet.  The water truly does not get in through the eVent barrier.  This has held true even while cleaning them under a stream of water from the kitchen sink.  Unless I splash water too high up the shoe, the inside stays dry while I run water over the outside.

Just as important, the eVent Shields have been very breathable.  My feet don't overheat and my socks don't get excessively sweaty.  The built in gaiter does a good job of keeping out debris, and the interiors of the shoes have stayed very clean.  The shoes have seemed very supportive, with the Wraptor system keeping my foot stable inside the shoe.

The tread of the shoes has good gripping power.  The only time I ever slipped in the shoes was on a muddy trail, and even then it was only in a couple of spots that had loamy soil with a lot of semi-decomposed leaves.  They have performed very well on both wet and dry rocks and in the typical red clay mud around here.  The soles seem to shed mud reasonably well even when traveling through sticky clay.  The tread does not appear worn, and for the most part neither do the uppers.  The only very noticeable sign of wear is on the grosgrain strap, where some threads have become fuzzy and loose.  The exposed portion of the Velcro fastener near the sole of the shoes has picked up a few stray bits of leaf litter or other tiny debris, but this is cosmetic in nature and does not affect performance.  I do wonder if the Velcro strip could be made a little shorter which would allow more of the grosgrain strap to pull through the shoe sole and allow a little more room under the strap to maneuver the zipper and inner shoe lacing system.  As I expected from my early impressions, when the shoes become muddy it can be difficult to pull the grosgrain strap through the sole of the shoes to loosen them up.

The design of the shoe, with the criss-crossed strapping system does seem to make them more supportive.  I have not had any issues with the shoes seeming too flexible, even when wearing them on very uneven terrain with lots of roots and rocks.  In fact, I find that even if a misstep makes my foot flex sideways, the shoes are supportive enough that my ankles don't twist - I simply recover my balance and hike on.

Summary:

The Teva Wraptor Shield eVent trail shoes have proven to be truly waterproof, breathable, and comfortable (after changing the stock insoles).  They grip well on a variety of surfaces, are supportive, and are easy to clean.  There really isn't much more I could ask for in a trail shoe, except for them to be easier to put on and take off.

While the strapping system contributes greatly to the support of the shoe, it makes them very difficult to put on, makes it harder to adjust the inner shoe, and makes zipping them up or down a pain.  In spite of this, I feel the positive breathability, comfort, and waterproofness make up for this downfall, and I plan to wear them for many more hiking trips.

Thanks to Teva and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Wraptor Shield Event Shoes.


Read more reviews of Teva gear
Read more gear reviews by Pamela Wyant

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