Teva, famous for adventure gear, is upping its efforts with a new running/trail shoe with the Tevasphere Trail eVent that brings a new twist to trail running while retaining some of the company's heritage in doing what it knows best: keeping your feet dry. Pocket-lint went for a run to find out.
There are two striking features of the Tevasphere Trail eVent shoes. The first is the huge stabilising "wings" on either side of the shoe, while the second is a ball-shaped heel to encourage you not to heel strike.
"Some people avoid obstacles, while others prefer to go right though them" - that's what Teva is gunning for and in practice they are right. That's achieved mainly by those "wings", which are designed to give you the upmost stability and which allow little room for over or under-pronating. We are sure there's a more marketing friendly word for them, but if you think of them like training wheels on a bike you'll get the picture.
Running on the road and it’s a rather uncomfortable experience because, regardless of how your feet fall, they will be corrected to land flat; there really is no other option for them as the shoe creates such a wide berth. Once on the trail, however, we can, and have, felt the benefit.
That's because every foot fall is flat regardless of what you step on, giving you plenty of protection. You aren't going to turn your ankle wearing these shoes. That's not something a "barefoot" style minimalist shoe can promise.
The second big feature of the Tevasphere Trail eVent is the spherical heel that supposedly allows runners to "transition through their stride in a natural way without expecting the consumer to change".
The idea here is that while we all know that heel striking is bad, we all still do it (supposedly) so rather than let us hit a solid corner, Teva believes that by rounding that heel the transition will be cleaner and therefore the propulsion greater without losing energy in the strike.
If it sounds bonkers, it partly is, but not as much as you might think. If you are a mid-strike runner then you aren't likely to benefit - in fact it was only when we purposely heel striked with a large stride did we notice any difference.
It is not just about giving you greater acceleration though, but also, yes you guessed it, greater stability - your heel is physically closer to the ground.
As you can imagine all that stability, stability, stability mantra means the shoe isn't the lightest on the block (it's 366g per shoe), or the most responsive, and if you looking for a minimalist trail experience you aren't going to get it here.
No, this is a shoe which as, the company says, will let you run through the obstacle rather than needing to run around it.
Combine that with the company's water sealing but breathable membrane upper and you get a dry run too, while still being fairly breezy.
As we found, if your runs are a cross between road and track we suspect you'll struggle with the Tevasphere Trail eVent. On flat surfaces - be it the road or a compacted path - the experience isn't that pleasant, with the shoe giving too much stability for our liking, and creating too much of a slapping noise (it seems trivial, but it was annoying).
But on the trial, which is what they are designed for, the Tevasphere Trail eVent offer lots of stability, allowing you to tackle most things in your way. The only worry is that you'll just bulldoze through what's ahead, rather than perhaps pick out the best route for you.
The Tevasphere Trail eVent is available now, exclusively at Cotswold Outdoors in the UK.