Teva Links - Jeff Lenosky Signature Shoe - Reviewed

Aug 24, 2011
by Simon Paton  
Pinkbike.com review
The Teva "Links" Jeff Lenosky Signature Shoe

Teva Links Shoe
The Links shoe is a flat pedal, mountain biking shoe made by Teva and was designed and developed by Jeff Lenosky with twelve months of serious input from him. We hooked up with Teva at the Fort William World Cup where they were displaying a full line of adventure shoes, as I would call them. Understandably, a performance shoe designed by the Godfather of urban freeriding would be great looking as well as engineered to excel at the local jump trails, skate park, BMX and of course, urban street sessions. Teva’s Links shoe sells for $100 USD, or £85.00 if you’re U.K based.

Montage
Teva Shoe Tech Points: (clockwise from upper left) The Links' sole tread is made from Teva's Spider 365 sticky rubber, molded with directional wedges and triangular dimples designed to keep the pedal centered on the shoe. Teva's shock-absorbing heel stabilizer is a great bonus with solid rubber panels and a tough external frame that ensures your heel is very well supported and protected. "Flexible Armor" located on the front and side areas is a fine rubber mesh layered over the shoe to protect from sharp pedals and all things nasty.

Jeff Lenosky wall rides a tank in New Jersey
Jeff riding the new Tevas during a street photo session in New Jersey. Having a shoe that sticks to the pedals really helps, as does Teva’s padded heel when you have to make it back to the pavement without the bike.

Colorways
Teva Links shoes come in 2 colorways with the high performance "Flexible Armor" and one in casual black without the rubber armor.

Teva Links Details
Shoc-Pad heel: Teva was sharp to design a shock absorbing heel cup into the Links shoe (think Nike Air Max, but without the visual bubble) to provide some cushioning should you have to throw the bike mid-jump. While some may question if a heel cushion is needed on a MTB shoe, the answer is ‘yes’ for those who will be collecting air miles, and ‘no’ for those who plan on staying near the ground. All said, the feature is prudent insurance for that moment when you are bailing, mid pack through the trails and a big hole awaits.

Intelligent sole design: Teva’s 365 sticky rubber sole compound ensures that your foot will stay put, and for added control, the sole's main pedal contact area has over 100 three-millimeter-deep diamond shaped holes which are perfect spots for your pedal’s pins to locate. Near the front of the sole is a wavy wedge grip that helps center the pedal for climbing. The rear of the Teva sole has similar shaped wedges aligned in the reverse direction to get you down the hill safely.

Ion-Mask Technology: Teva originally developed their shoes around water based activities, so water resistance is a theme that prevails throughout their lineup. Ion Mask keeps most of the water out of your shoes, while allowing the material to breathe a little. If you keep the Tevas submerged, or ride wet conditions all day, water will eventually make it to your socks, but Teva’s Ion Mask treatment is perfect for splashing around for two to three hours in the rain. Would you really want to go out and get them dirty though?

Weight: For those who are interested, my US size-eights weigh in at 440 grams each. A Shimano AM41 in the same size is 20 grams lighter.

Jeff Lenosky (right) puts his purple Teva's to task against Dave Smutok during an dual-stunt competition.
Jeff Lenosky (right) puts his purple Teva's to task against Dave Smutok during an dual-stunt competition.

The Performance
Before you go throwing away your 5.10 stealth rubber soles, hold fire hardcore gravity racers, these Teva Links will not be your first choice for dropping out of the start gate at the Fort William World Cup Downhill track. I know some riders personally think the 5.10s are too grippy, as once your foot is planted on the pedal it's there for good. The Teva Spider 365 rubber is grippier than the Vibram soles you see on the likes of Shimano offerings yet it still allows for slight adjustments on the fly, mid pedal stroke.

Pinkbike's Take
Our only complaint about Teva and Lenosky's great performing freestyle shoes is that we hate to get them dirty. So, if you spend most of your time at the jumps and you can live with yourself after trashing such a nice looking shoe, then the Links is your next MTB purchase. Pop these on Sunday morning, drive to the trail center, wear them out on the bike all day in comfort, and then hit the cafe after for a bacon sandwich in style. I've been running Teva Links shoes for three months with no failures and I haven't taken them off. Can someone tell me if they still sell Odor Eaters?


Want more info on Teva or where to buy the Links shoe? Click here for Teva's website. While you are at it, give Pinkbike your thoughts on this new freestyle/jumping shoe.





68 Comments

  • + 29
 i feel like there needs to be more ranking, like test 5 shoes from 5 different brands and see which was the best. same on other sutff, cause that would really help my shopping!
  • + 1
 I agree, and they also need to come in bigger sizes. i don't know what im going to ride in when when they ware out or get too small.
  • + 1
 and smaller... they don't come in girl friendly sizes for the most part.
  • - 5
flag dgraham (Aug 24, 2011 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 get a pair of Etnies and call it a night!
  • + 2
 for street, or dj's, or park Globes are the way to go, for freeride, xc, or DH i would like to have these tevas or the shimano shoes but i just use my old aarron ross signature shoes, they work really well just arent stiff. im also a roadie so for biking i really like and am used to carbon soles, really nice and stiff!
  • + 17
 That was a review? Did anyone actually use the shoe? Too many "product spotlights" are being called reviews.
  • + 2
 I have the pinners (black ones) and they're the greatest shoe I've ever worn. Better than any Nike 6.0, and more comfortable than Garmont shoes. They pretty much tie my keen sandals in comfort level! which is reeally high on my scale.
  • + 3
 I have had 510 for 8 years since the intense shoes, they have not really changed in all that time they still look ugly, are heavy and take forever to dry. 4 months ago finally someone released a shoe that I thought I would try and it was a big decision getting away from the 510 as the only thing going in there favour was the sole. I havn't worn the 510's since, Teva Links are incredible, I do find them a little narrower than the 510 which is a bonus as I have a little bit more space on the pedal to move my foot around. Maybe not so good for a person with a wider foot though. They are light, dry very fast , look better, shed the muck better, waterproof and it seems every bit of the shoe has been designed including the sole pattern unlike a 510. Sorry 510 but you have just lost a customer, As for competing with DC, Etnies,510 etc etc I don't think they will have a problem doing that as Teva are probably one of the bigger outdoor footwear companies out there. They have also done heaps already for mountain biking, supporting crankworx to start as well as many others, when was the last time 510 supported any event that big? Everyone will have there own opinions but thats mine, all the companies are great at what they do so don't trash until you have ridden in a pair you may be surprised, I was blown away, I think there an amazing shoe
  • + 1
 5.10 supports tons of events, and you must remember that just because one company threw down the money to get their name on one event doesn't mean that they are necessarily more committed to a sport than another. If anything that money is basically under advertisement. Also 5.10 has more models of shoes geared towards biking, I think that speaks more of a their commitment to mtb.
  • + 2
 I have the Teva Pinners and I LOVE them. I don't ride with them because I ride clipped but for my job at the bike shop (which involves riding quite a few bikes) these shoes are awesome as well. I didn't need the armored ones obviously, but I'm still thrilled with the quality of them.
  • + 2
 i have the blue and gray ones, they are by far the greatest shoe i've ever used!!! and it is true that you can make adjustments on your foot placement while your riding. and one other thing is they forgot to mention that if the dirt is dry it pretty much sheds the dirt right off!
  • + 1
 I may be wrong on this but I'd wager that the rubber they use on these shoes is a 5.10 product. I have a set of Teva sandles from way back that came with 5.10 "spider" rubber on them. They were geared towards rockclimbers and rafting folks. So the two companies have had a relationship in the past. 5.10 makes different blends of rubber that vary in durability and stickyness. The "stealth" you see on 5.10 shoes is what is used on climbing shoes. The teva's may have the other, less sticky, "spider" blend.
I think the colored ones look like Bruce Lee's cousin...Uggh Lee. The Black ones look good though. It's always good to have more companies jumping into the market and bringing more choices to the consumer. Good luck to Teva. Hope to see you guys succeed with the mtb goods.
  • + 1
 Actually the rubber that is used on most 5.10 biking shoes is either Phantom (their non marking rubber), or S1 which is made to absorb more shock. The "original" stealth rubber is C4 which is widely used on their climbing shoes and is "stickier" but it will wear down much faster than Phantom or S1.

The rubber you probably encountered on sandals made for the water was AquaStealth, which is a special formula for water applications.
  • + 1
 Hey largextracheese, do you still have those Teva sandals by chance? And might they possibly be a size 12? I had a pair myself back in the early 90s but we parted ways at some point...
  • + 1
 these are the best shoes i'v ever used! i can get them completely soaked in below freezing and my feet will still be warm! and the grip on the pedals is perfect!!! they'r breathable to! and i'v bashed my feet on rocks and these offer some damn good protection!
  • + 1
 wow^.. anyway i have a pair of Teva Sear eVent's that i prefer to ride with over the normal low cut enties/DC's(skate style shoes), do to added ankle support...
i use them for every kind of riding i do, so after seeing these i may have to go try some on...
  • + 2
 I think pinkbike should be classified as a page for ads, not reviews. I have never read an unsatisfactory product test on this website.
  • + 2
 Do they come in a size 16? i love my 5 tens because they keep me planted. if i have a rough landing i know my feet are going to stay on the pedals!
  • + 2
 you likely won't find they stick as well as the 5tens, but the sole should drastically outlast the stealth system overtime, and still work as a pretty sweet shoe for riding.
  • + 3
 I've seen 5tens last a VERY long time!
  • + 1
 My orginal 'suede' 5.10 Impacts' uppers are still fine. The rubber dots are worn flat. Too bad. Because I've gone through two sets of the current 'leather' 5.10 Impacts and the soles and sides have split. I'll have to re-sole my suedes - the new ones aren't worth it.

The originals were the best, IMHO. Got a set of size US 9.5 in decent condition? I'm buying! Seriously!
  • + 1
 16... blimey! How tall are you?!
  • + 1
 iamamodel: Did you call 5ten about your soles splitting? I did and they shipped me a new pair at no charge...
  • + 1
 6'4" or something like that. it makes getting shoes a real bitch.
  • + 2
 the colorways definitely look 6.0 on the these. anyone ride Vans' Gravel shoe, yet? that would have been a nice comparison in this article.
  • + 1
 im not sure the laces are long enough ;-)......are these available in the uk yet? i cant seem to find them on their site, they do look sweet tho! just may need to cut them laces down.
  • + 3
 got a pair and they work great. i like the feel of them better than the 5 10s
  • + 1
 seriously? I plan to get a platform pedals shoes, still confusing which a better one.
  • + 1
 bought a pair in the mail and had to send them back. the fit is terrible. the toe box is too small! anyone else have this problem?
5-10s fit way better.
  • + 2
 Sounds like you got them too small. I normally wear size 10 and ordered 9.5, I was a little worried but they fit great.
  • + 1
 sooo... is it pronounced Tee-va, or Teh-va? I work in a shop that is a Teva dealer and everyone has their own opinion on the way its pronounced.
  • + 1
 thats what i thought!!!
  • + 2
 nah it's def Tee-Va
  • + 1
 no, watch the teva games, they say teh-va
  • + 1
 Cool shoes, they weren't wide enough for me and I usually can wear most shoes without issue. Design is nice, just wish they fit for me!
  • + 2
 does teva make a mt bike shoe for women?
  • + 2
 pity the black ones aren't armored as well
  • + 1
 When are they going to release the men's colorways?
  • + 1
 i like mine theyre pretty gnarly.
  • + 2
 They are sick!!!!!!
  • - 2
 OMG I LOVE MINES!!! SO much better than the 5.11's I came out of, but the biggest thing... WEIGHT! My feet don't feel as heavy!
  • - 1
 wow, those turquoise ones are the UGLIEST shoes I'VE ever seen.
  • - 1
 they look soooooooooooooooo ugs
  • - 1
 they look crap
  • + 7
 i hate you
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