A quick early look at the new mid-cut version of Teva's Links flat-friendly mountain biking shoe.
These just landed on the OM doorstep - they're a sample of the new Teva Links Mid, which is due out for autumn 2012, so in the shops late summer, and is a higher-cut take on the brand's first mountain biking shoe, the Links, which launched earlier this year.
The original Teva Links is a low-cut shoe designed to be compatible with flat pedal, treated with the ion.mask water repellent nano-technology and using Teva's semi-sticky Spider Rubber sole to give good grip on pedals equipped with pins.
Our take on the Links, and the general consensus too as far as we can see, is that it's a supremely comfortable shoe and scores points over the ubiquitous Five.Ten alternatives by being much faster drying thanks to ion.mask, but isn't quite so sticky underfoot, which means you don't feel quite so planted on the pedals.
That said, it's still pretty damn good and actually suits riders who tend to move their foot around on the pedals as they ride. And the sole is about the right level of stiffness too.
So what's with the Links Mid? Well, doh, first of all it's a mid-cut version of the Links and appears to use the same sole unit and chassis complete with rear-foot ShocPad. That higher ankle has loads of comfy internal padding along with a tough outer PU layer, which should give good protection for your knobbly ankle bones if you're as clumsy as we are...
In fact the entire upper is quite comprehensively reinforced with that PU stuff along with a rubber toe bumper and it looks like it should be both protective and durable. The second plus of the combination of PU and mesh overlaying what looks like perforated EVA - viz, it has holes in - with added ion-mask should be seriously water repellent and fast drying.
All in all, that could well make for an ace, fast-drying, flat-pedalling, winter mountain biking boot. They're moody in black too, though they also come with colour co-ordinating turquoise extra laces if you're a bit of a trail tart at heart.
Anyway, they're not out until the autumn, but we'll endeavour to get them wet and muddy and see how they survive. Shouldn't be too difficult if the summer carries on in its current vein of rich, soggy, form...
More Teva information at www.teva.com.