Teva Pivot Shoe - Reviewed

Jul 17, 2013
by Richard Cunningham  
Teva Pivot Shoe

Teva’s Pivot is a flat-soled gravity-styled performance shoe with a few innovative features that have been long in coming. The Pivot was co-designed with the help of Jeff Lenosky, who admittedly is a flat-pedal rider. Jeff wanted an all-mountain/trail shoe that felt similar to a flat-pedal style, yet one that possessed a more effective sole for pedaling and with a cleat interface. Teva solved the first hurdle with a molded mid-sole plate to support the foot across the arch. The stub-nosed insert lets the front of the shoe flex to assist walking – which is problematic of all racing type cycling shoes. The cleat interface is designed in the reverse of the conventional style – the cleat is bolted from the inside of the shoe instead of screwed from the outside. The logic is that if the threaded bits are stripped (an occurrence that is relatively common in such a gritty location), they are not integral to the shoe and thus, easily replaced. Teva Pivot shoes weigh a reported 892 grams for the pair and retail for $150 USD. Colorways are black/silver or white/red.

Teva Pivot Shoe - two view

Teva's Pivot shoe incorporates performance-enhancing traits of racing shoes into a true flat-sole all-mountain/DH design.

Teva's dual-compound flat sole (top) has a sticky gripper section
at the pedal interface and deep 'reversed' lugs for hiking traction.
A hook-and-loop instep strap protects the laces.


• Designed for all-mountain/trail/freeride use.
• Tough, ‘PedalLINK’ outsole with inverted lugs for hiking traction.
• Antimicrobial, padded insole.
• Closed-cell-foam padding throughout shoe will not absorb water.
• Reinforced heel cup.
• Hook and loop midsole strap and conventional lacing.
• Shimano SPD-type cleat tunnel will fit Shimano and Crankbrothers pedals (also drilled for Time).
• Midsole plate stiffener for efficient pedaling.
• Aluminum cleat shield for precise adjustments.
• Wrench port on tongue of shoe to access cleat for in-pedal adjustments.
• Sizes: 4 to 14 US with some half-sizes available
• Weight: 446 grams/15.7 ounces.
• MSRP: $150 USD

Technical Notes

Engineered Soles: Perhaps the best aspect of Teva’s Pivot shoe is that it has an internal stiffener to support from the ball of the foot to the heel. That stabilizes the foot and removes a lot of tension from the lower leg muscles that would normally be used to keep the foot in position over the ankle while pushing on the pedal. XC-type shoes typically have stiff, curved soles specifically for this task. Teva, however, molds the shoe with a generous ‘rocker’ at the toe box and terminates the stiffener just ahead of the cleat interface to allow some flex there. Both features act to make the Pivot very walkable – a must for anyone who will be pushing or digging. By contrast, stiff-soled XC-type shoes can be a pain to walk in.

Flat-pedal friendly: Teva’s dual-compound sole is flat to ensure that a missed cleat entry will not prevent a rider from powering out of a corner or completing a technical climb. The center of the sole is a tacky material with a closely-spaced texture intended to grip flat pedals should the rider choose to skip the clips. Deep grooves at the heel and toe hold fast to irregular ground and loose surfaces.

Tough uppers: Heavy rubber reinforcements at the toe should ensure that the shoe will last a while should you count yourself among the new crop of drifters and mesh uppers keep the Pivot breathing on hot days A pronounced plastic reinforcement at the heel cup stabilizes the foot to direct power in line with the pedal circle.

Teva Pivot shoe cleat attachment details

Teva's reversed cleat attachment system uses a threaded nut-plate (left). The two screws that fixt the cleat are accessed through a flap inside the shoe (center). A small window in the tongue of the shoe (highlighted) allows access to the screws. Teva's design allows the cleats to be adjusted with the shoe clipped into the pedal.

Cleat installation: To install a standard Shimano or Crankbrothers cleat, the insole is removed, which allows access to a padded flap inside the shoe. Open the flap and the slotted holes of the aluminum cleat engagement plate are exposed. Teva includes double-threaded inserts that nest into the cleats and replace the oval washers that are in the stock cleat kits. Using a pair of screws that Teva includes, the cleats are attached from the inside out. A clever door in the padded tongue allows Allen-wrench access without unlacing the shoe. The advantage of this arrangement, beyond protecting the threads, is that minor adjustments can be made by clipping the shoe to the pedal, slightly loosening the screws, and moving the shoe exactly where it needs to be. Shoes with conventional cleats require the user to remove the shoe, loosen the cleat and guess how far to move the cleat, then refit and repeat.

Easy lacing: Standard laces mean that the Pivot can be snugged to a variety of foot shapes – high or low insteps are non issues. A hook-and loop-strap protects the laces from abrasion and further secures the shoe.


Mounting the cleats and dialing them in to our pedal circles was an easy job. Not having to tweak and try – over and over again – to achieve a correct foot position over the pedals is worth a fourth of the Pivot’s retail price. Care must be taken, however, to center the cleats in the shoe’s engagement tunnel, otherwise, the sticky rubber sole will hang up on the pedal and create some difficulty while engaging and disengaging from the pedals. Both Shimano and Crankbrothers cleats can be tuned by adding shims beneath them to obtain the perfect release action, and shims are included with the Teva kit to this effect, but shims can compromise the security of the cleat interface, so we try to avoid using them.

Teva Pivots feel like a good pair of flat-pedal shoes should - grippy and flexible, and easy to walk on. The cleat interface is well padded, but it can be felt while walking, and sometimes when pedaling. This is not what we expected, because the first question that comes to mind after learning about Teva’s internal attachment system is, “Will I feel the hardware through the padding?” One would expect that Teva would have gone out of its way to make the internals disappear, but they are apparent.

On the bike, however, the cleat system is rarely noticed, but the pedaling effectiveness afforded by the Pivot’s mid-sole plate certainly can be felt. Sprints and climbing are made easier and more powerful when compared to the most popular softer-soled flat-bottomed shoes. For this, Teva gets its highest marks. Cleat engagement is not as easy of a task as it is for a dedicated XC/trail shoe, mostly due to the fact that Teva’s Pivot is has a flat bottom. The deeply curved, XC-style shoe presents the cleat to the pedal with greater accuracy and from a wider range of foot angles. That said, the Pivot shoe’s ease of engagement is on par or better than the Five Ten and Giro shoes we have been on in recent times. We did get some shuttle time on flat pedals and can report that the spikes did not interfere with the Shimano SPD cleats, and that the feel and security of the Pivot shoes on flat pedals were about the same as a dedicated DH shoe.

One of the benefits to a molded flat-sole shoe is that the best ones are well padded in the heel cup area. Teva has a gel insert, as well as molded padding in the upper and sole to minimize bad landings or planned ejects. Speaking of the heel cups, Teva designed a trick looking hard-plastic support that wraps around the rear of the shoe to stabilize the foot. It seems to function quite well.


Teva covered the bases with the Pivot, and although we found a few talking points for improvement the Pivot shoes have maintained their coveted location below the hydro-pack and helmet, ready for the next ride.
• Instep strap: The stiffness and placement of the Pivot's wide instep strap caused our feet to fall asleep on longer rides unless we took care to set the tension just right - or made a mid-ride adjustment. Tucking the laces under the strap may exaggerate the discomfort - although we found that tucking the laces between the two layers of the strap alleviated the point-contact aspect of the lumpy knots and lacing. Take the time to get it right.
• Cleat plate: The Pivot's bolt-through cleat retention system is a plus for getting the adjustment spot on. When walking, the molded stiffener insert flexes comfortably as promised. The steel cleat plate inside the shoe, however, can be felt with each step, which is a bother - not a deal breaker - but enough of an issue to make us prefer the Pivots for riding and not so much for all-day walking around.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesTeva's first cleat-specific shoe is a worthwhile investment for those who want more performance from a flat-sole mountain bike shoe than sticky rubber and an image that conforms to the AM/DH/Enduro crowd. Its molded and reinforced sole is noticeably more efficient under power and more comfortable over an extended trail ride. We use them for every kind of riding from casual XC/trail on the carbon 29er, to weekend DH shuttles on the big bike. Like most molded rubber flat-sole shoes, Pivots weigh a lot - 890 grams a pair, with an extra 75 grams for cleats - so there will be a slight step-down in performance for those who will be switching from Sidis to Tevas. For riders upgrading to clip-in shoes from flat pedals, however, Teva Pivots will make a noticeable improvement in your game. - RC


  • 22 6
 Ugly shoes with an akward solution to an un common problem. No thanks. If im cliped in it gonna be a stiff shoe. Otherwise ill wear flats. I can tell you why that shoe is no good for digging, itll get packed with dirt and mud i dont care how flexy the toe box is.if your gonna Be pushing your bike or trail building flats are the best anwser. I wear clips and flats and shoes like this are the worst of both worlds
  • 4 3
 great response
  • 2 2
 Amen Brother!
  • 1 2
  • 26 11
 "For riders upgrading to clip-in shoes from flat pedals, however, Teva Pivots will make a noticeable improvement in your game. - RC"
I'm sorry but clips are not always an upgrade, it depends on the individuals preference and type of riding. I like both, but sometimes I like the freedom of not being locked in to one position on the pedal among other reasons, and their are quite a few damn good flat pedals out these days.
  • 8 13
flag scapegoat2010 (Jul 17, 2013 at 5:08) (Below Threshold)
 im looking to get new falts. What is recommended!? I like the spikes from spank.
  • 4 9
flag finalgear (Jul 17, 2013 at 5:24) (Below Threshold)
 htae03 loads of grip.
  • 6 4
 @scapegoat - I run teva links and spank spikes and absolutely love them! My feet are glued to the pedals but no so much so that I cant rotate them without lifting up. Ive tried a friends 510's with the spikes and didnt like how hard it was to reposition my foot if I had it in a bad spot. Teva's are great, there not as sticky as 510's, but still pretty damn sticky. They also have great grip hiking as well, dry REALLY fast, and fit my dead on. Im normally a size 10.5 (american size 10.5), ordered a 10.5, its a little snug at first but once you wear them for a few rides, they really fit great.
  • 5 2
 I got the Straitline AMP Ti with Giro Chamber shoes and when running SPD a pair of CB Mallet with 5.10 Minnar
  • 5 3
 thanks for the reply(s)! I like both of the pedals and have looked at them both, but also at their price :-/
Ill see what I can do Smile
  • 8 3
 scapegoat- dmr vaults are the greatest thing I've ever put my feet on
  • 3 3
 @scapegoat2010 I just got some new Nukeproof Neutrons to go with my 510 Freerider Pros. I haven't had a chance to get them on the bike yet, but they have a nice big platform, good pin placement, a good amount of concavity, and the price won't make your wallet hurt.
  • 3 5
 My dad just got new Redline pedals. He loves them and so do I...
  • 1 3
 Spank spike pedals and 510 hi-tops. hands down
  • 1 2
 @finalgear loads of money, but I like them. Now its a decision between the spike's and the ht ae03's
  • 2 8
flag mnorris122 (Jul 18, 2013 at 5:33) (Below Threshold)
 Nukeproof Electrons and Kona Wah-Wahs are both sick pedals at a stomachable price
  • 4 0
 Mnorris122 - I wish i could double down props that comment.
  • 6 0
 This guy needs a good nutting
  • 2 0
 @rickyretardo Richard probably said that because he needs a little help keeping his legs attached to the bike... he doesn't know what he's missing Wink Don't take it personally and keep rocking your flats.
  • 2 2
 dmr vaults with danny macs freeriders...insane
  • 1 3
 dmr vaults will give insane amounts of grip to the shittiest shoes you can imagine
  • 2 2
 cant go wrong with 5.10s!
  • 3 3
 is this article about an spd compatible shoe or flat pedals?
  • 1 1
  • 3 1
 i don't really care, it just seems that the comments section in almost every article gets completely off topic within 3 comments.
  • 3 2
 and Dan255 what did you contribute? besides criticism?
  • 1 0
 is that so?
  • 1 4
 rickyretardo, its ironic that the comment you just made was complete criticism, but if you insist on a legitimate contribution to a completely off topic conversation, then here ya go. I feel that the aluminum cleat platform Teva is using will greatly extend the life of a clipless shoe, as with only a half a season on my 510s, the platform is extremely worn from use with Times. Bam.
  • 1 2
 ok DUDE
  • 5 0
 I was looking at getting these last week, but decided on the AM45 instead.

The things I don't like about these are the price and that they don't have the extended inner part to protect your ankle bone from the crank arm.

I like the metal bit on the bottom, and the look. I don't think the reverse bolt pattern thing will make any difference. If they seize, drill the heads off and change the dogbone bit inside. Simple. Who changes cleats anyway?
  • 6 0
 good choice man I love my AM45s, don't think I'll be grabbing the pivots anytime soon
  • 1 0
 shimano has it right with the MP66 and AM45 designs. inner ankle protection, lace cover, good outsole. and in twenty years of riding bikes i've never had a problem with stripped cleat bolts.
  • 2 0
 The last time I had SPD shoes were the Shimano M110s. I bought them when I was 15 and my dad made made me get a size too big for me to "grow into". Ten years later they still worked fine when I gave them away because I emigrated.

I changed the cleats once. Just drilled the heads off and changed the dog bones. Simple. Great shoes those shimano ones.

I'm looking forward to the imminent delivery of my AM45s and mallet DHs.
  • 5 0
 No ankle protection in an am/fr shoe is a deal killer for me.
For the price point i'd rather spend a litte more for the Mavic Spree.
I've been happy with my shimano am45 for the last 2+ yrs.
  • 3 1
 I hear you on the ankle protection. You live in Hebron? I grew up there! What's your real name? You can PM if you want
  • 4 1
  • 3 0
 When I first saw the Pivot I was excited, but I keep seeing these shoes received with a lukewarm review. Teva pulled them from their lineup due to some kind of manufacturing issue. Word is they will be available later this summer. I'm a bit skeptical at this point, even though I love Teva.
  • 2 0
 My thoughts too
  • 2 0
 Looks like promising AM shoes and I like Teva, but think I will stick with my proven Shimano AM-55's that can be had for about 1/2 the price of the Pivot and lasts a long time. Nice idea Teva, but bring the price down to $100 at least and think you would have a winner!
  • 1 0
 I like the way shoes are going theses days. I dig the clip-in with walkable sole. My choice is the Specialized Rime with Vibram soles. Best shoes I have owned so far. They could be stiffer (coming from carbon soles), but they are a vast improvement over busting my @$$ while on the hike a bike sections.
  • 2 0
 If you don't want to use the top loading feature, teva offers the ability to load the traditional way from the bottom.

Also the shoes color options are black/silver or white/red* not orange.
  • 4 0
 The last three weeks I have and they are fantastic, I recommend it
  • 1 0
 What shoes were you using before?
  • 4 2
 I know these aren't expensive in the world of mountain bike shoes but that $150 price somehow hit me really hard lol idk why
  • 2 0
 The ability to adjust the cleats without removing the shoe from the pedal has my attention.
  • 1 2
 As far as I'm concerned these are not Enduro MTB shoes. The sole is a laugh! As mentioned before it WILL clog up with mud and won't provide enough grip in slippery conditions. Besides I really don't think that sole will last long enough if used on hardpack. Lacing are just stupid and won't win with velcro or buckle/clamp. Also they don't stabilze foot and tend to wear out quickly.

If you want a real boost in riding performance just go for real SPD XC style shoes. They are stiff, well ventilated with agressive sole that will grip in any condtions.

Teva's creation are good for going shopping and nothing more.
  • 1 0
 What size are they going to go up to? I need 'canoe' size US14 or 15 which is always a pain in the ass.
  • 1 0
 4 to 14 US
  • 3 1
 who was in charge of style... the NHS?
  • 4 2
 Oh good, a shoe and pedal discussion in the comments, just what we needed
  • 1 0
 too bad about the foot bother from breaker for me seeing that I do not suffer from that problem with my 45s
  • 1 0
 Well getting hold of a pair of them from my LBS is proving a bit tricky, no stock at suppliers, so guess they are popular!
  • 2 2
 I don't get why so many shoes need that Velcro strap. It looks like a piece of duck tape.
  • 1 0
 get these on jenson for 59.95 not a bad deal
  • 3 3
 gator don't play no shit
  • 1 0
 RC is Gator??? "gators hoes better be using jimmies!"

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