When I received the call for a new project lasting two and a half months, I decided to get myself a new pair of shoes able to last the long twelve to thirteen hour days. More than anything, I needed shoes able to help me survive the long days of running around on varied terrain. At the time, I had no intention of writing about my experience, but after a few hundred miles, both on and off trail, I decided my experience with the shoes warranted some attention.
I have all but stopped wearing hiking boots for a couple of years now, so they were out of the question. Hiking boots don’t offer me the flexibility and articulation I want for outdoor activities. In their pursuit to provide ankle support, they actually compromise and often mitigate ankle movement. [I digress]
When I stopped into REI, I wasn’t sure what I would find. All I knew is I wanted something light and cushioned. I could have gotten some New Balance, but being an REI member, I was more than happy to take advantage of their member return program. After pawing some of their different shoes—twisting, bending, squeezing—I finally settled on a few contenders. Unfortunately, after trying them on, I wasn’t convinced. They either didn’t have the cushion I thought they did, or felt pressure on certain points of my feet, and wasn’t convinced the points of pressure would ease after some break in time. The clerk must have been frustrated pulling boxes from inventory over and over again, but I do credit him with showing patience. As I was getting ready to walk out, in a last ditch effort I grabbed the TEVA Arrowood off the display and proceeded to give it the press, twist and bend test. While it wasn’t the most flexible shoe I had handled that day, I did immediately notice how light and cushioned it was. “What the hell,” I thought, so I asked the clerk to retrieve my size from the stock room. I honestly had no expectations and was almost dismissive about them, but when I put them on, I was floored at how comfortable they were. There were no pressure points, and the padding was great. I looked at the clerk and without hesitation said, “These are it.” And off I went to pay.
The first few days of my long days project I was hyper aware of the shoes, trying to gauge my foot fatigue and what not. Just like in the store, towards the end of my days my feet felt fine. I never developed soreness or blisters. The TEVA became my EDW (everyday wear). I wore them on and off the trail, with my daily average being around twenty thousand steps. When I would go on my hikes I would immediately reach for the TEVA. And even after thirteen or more miles over varied terrain my feet felt great.
When, I decided to do my sixty mile backpacking trip, I almost went and bought a new pair of shoes, but decided what the hell theses are still intact and functional. Though the traction had been a bit worn from all the other use they had already seen, they still performed exceptional. And even after hiking forty miles non-stop, spanning eleven and a half hours of continuous treking, my feet never developed blisters, or were sore for that matter.
If I had to give them one negative it would be they are waterproof, so that meant the sweat build up in the feet was more than a non-waterproof shoe. That said, they definitely have their place, because I’ve walked through grass covered with morning dew, wearing non waterproof shoes, and my feet were soaked coming out the other end of the field. In addition, they are nice to cross creeks where the water is lower than ankle high.
All in all, I am thrilled with this shoe and will definitely buy another pair.