The Teva Links shoe is a flat pedal specific shoe. Any shoe entering this market will have the reputation of Five Ten to deal with. Five Ten are renowned for their tenacious levels of grip which some riders feel is almost too grippy when coupled with a decent pair of pedals. Any shoe hoping to take a slice of the action then would have to be really well thought out and Teva seem to have done just this.
Looking very similar to skate shoes and available in two different colourways they appear far less clumpy than the downhiller's favourite; the Five Ten Low. We have the purple or ultrasonic colour scheme but they are also available in a grey/blue yellow combo. These shoes feel almost too light to be a proper riding shoe as well which was a nice surprise. On closer inspection though, these shoes are far more involved than their looks might suggest.
The sole of the shoes is arguably the most important part and Teva have thought this out brilliantly. The design is divided into three main sections; toe, heal, and ball all made of their Spider 365 rubber. The toe and heel areas are designed to help keep grip whilst walking the usual steep muddy trails. The ball of the foot is designed to marry up with the pins on your pedals. Whilst this sole isn't as grippy as Five Ten's offerings, they do a great job in most conditions and allow you to move your foot on the pedal much easier.
Ion Mask is another thing that is worth noting here. The Ion Mask treament on these shoes stops the fabric soaking up water. Despite this don't expect to keep your socks dry, these are not waterproof as such. What this actually means is the shoes feel much warmer than a pair of Five Ten's when storming through puddles. They notably dry out very quickly once back home again as well. I've also found it makes cleaning them a breeze also as the mud just seems to rinse back off them.
To sum up then, these shoes haven't de-throned the ever popular Five Ten's in the ultimate downhill grip stakes. What they have done however is produced a brilliant alternative flat pedal shoe that looks a whole load better, keeps your feet from feeling sodden and grips your pedals really well whilst allowing you to re-position your foot far easier. We like these a lot.