Teva Links Shoe
The Teva "Links" Jeff Lenosky Signature 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.
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 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.
Teva Links Details
Teva Links shoes come in 2 colorways with the high performance "Flexible Armor" and one in casual black without the rubber armor.
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.
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.