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Monday Gear Review: Teva, don’t leave for the docks or rocks without a pair

By Robert Morselli:

NOTE: Robert Morselli is the research director for the internationally syndicated television show “How It’s Made.” He can be reached at: 3weight@gmail.com.

Teva Fuse-Ion

Teva Fuse-Ion

Teva is known for innovative outdoor performance, but this time around insisted their designer produce something uber-stylish. Skiff-meisters, boat enthusiast/fashionistas take note: these non-slip shoes lay the competition to rest.

First, the waterproofing: Ion-mask™ technology is a protective layer that is molecularly bonded to every surface of the shoe, including the laces (the treatment is actually an ultra-thin and invisible coating). Its maker, P2i […], claims the ion mask makes materials hydrophobic and stain resistant, while still allowing the shoe to be breathable. That claim bears out: water beads up and rolls off the material, including the shoelaces. Do the shoes dry off quickly? No, because they don’t get wet in the first place. Another impressive claim: the ion mask lasts as long as the material itself and is not compromised by everyday wear (look for a medium-term review in a few months).
The soles were originally designed for kitchen staff working on greasy floors.  The gecko-like traction on slippery surfaces is the result of the sole’s dual rubber compound and a tiny cross-cut design that appears in numerous octagons. The Xs form channels in the octagons themselves, diverting water and increasing the soles’ surface contact. (Teva has posted a video of somebody standing on an acrylic ramp covered in dish soap to show how well the shoes grip. View it, and prepare to be impressed).
Teva Fuse-Ion

Teva Fuse-Ion

I laced up a pair, found some wet surfaces then walked, jogged and came to abrupt stops – the shoes literally feel like suction cups. Traction is nothing, however, if your foot isn’t properly supported: there’s a fine balance to be struck and Teva makes good in that department as well, providing a foot-hugging upper and a snug toe box. The insole is heavily sculpted – with particular attention paid to the heel sink, which allows for your heel to be well anchored. All in all, think hi-tech, amphibious Converse All Star with at vastly improved insole. These are semi-rugged shoes that have a deceptively rugged finish, featuring four different types of stitching.

Additional goods:

Shoes are well ventilated and they drain quickly. They feature a clever, collapsible heel for quick on/off – and easily morph into slipper mode, if that’s your thing (although you’ll sacrifice the aforementioned support while in that mode). The Teva Fuse-Ion: ideally suited for hanging around boat ramps, docks, or on a skiff – and they look good overall, especially if you’re fond of that skater look. Highly recommended. Mens/Womens models available.
$90 to $140 (above $90)

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