Teva’s riding fan base has rocketed since they launched the Links shoe last year. It’s been a popular choice out on the trail, and the Mid uses the same sole and design as the original Links, but with a revised ankle shape.
Although named the Links Mid, Teva’s latest mountain bike specific shoe is practically a high-top – a shoe with an almost boot-like ankle – and designed to give greater support. And it’s not just more of a boot than a shoe, it’s a clumsy, heavy boot that makes you feel as though you’re going out chopping down woods rather than riding through them.
The fit is snug and there’s no doubt you’re well supported, but they feel vaguely restrictive – like you’re wearing ice skates. That said, with Teva’s Spyder365 rubber soles, there’s no chance of slipping over.
The compound is tacky without feeling like your feet are glued to the pedals, allowing for movement and adjustment when needed, which we like. They strike a really good balance between super-grippy stiff soles (from competition like Five Ten) and the slightly skiddy freedom of movement you get with skate-style shoes. Perfect, then, for the majority of us who aren’t racing.
Riders with dodgy ankles will benefit from the extra support the Mids offer, and a heavy build promises plenty of protection if things go belly up.
In winter weather they gave surprising protection against the cold but although splash proof, were disappointing in the wet. Wear with merino waterproof socks, though, and they become a fortress for your feet.
If you go down more than you go up then these are well worth a look, but most trail riders will prefer the freer movement you get with the standard Links.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.