Last Updated on January 31, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Teva. If you are like me, the name invokes fond memories of those Velcro strappy sandals, and even fonder memories of informing your dad that it was totally uncool to wear crew socks with his shorts and Teva sandals. I loved my Teva sandals back in the late 90’s, but unfortunately, I haven’t thought about them, or the brand, in quite some time.
(And FYI, it is pronounced “Teh-vah”, not “tee-vah”. I asked!)
About a month ago, however, I was contacted by Teva, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their new outdoor cross-training shoe, the TevaSphere. I love when a company who truly has their roots in the outdoors (no pun intended) takes their adventures in a new direction. I was not only happy to review the shoe, but even HAPPIER when the introduction letter that came in the review package mentioned that the inspiration behind this shoe came with the increase in participation in non-traditional outdoor sports, such as adventure racing, obstacle courses, and mud runs.
You had me at adventure, Teva, and sealed the deal with mud runs.
TevaSphere Trail eVent Trail Running Shoe
A little background info: The TevaSphere, designed for non-traditional outdoor sports, was created to be a compromise between barefoot/minimalist footwear, which according to Teva is unsupportive, and built-up athletic shoes that are stiff and unnatural. TevaSphere technology provides a solution by offering users the benefits of natural movement, without sacrificing stability.
I was sent the TevaSphere Trail eVent®model to review.
TevaSphere Trail eVent Review
Specs for the women’s Trail eVent:
- Synthetic and Mesh Upper.
- Weight: 9.0 oz
- MSRP: $140
TevaSphere Trail eVent Fit
The most immediate concern I had was that the upper of the TevaSphere was stiff, and caused a significant amount of discomfort around my ankles. This would have absolutely turned me away from purchasing them in-store; however what is most important in buying running sneakers is not immediate comfort, but actual performance.
I was very pleased that on my second run in the TevaSphere’s, the upper had become significantly more flexible and completely comfortable. I have not had an issue with any discomfort since. The TevaSphere fits very snugly, and has a much smaller toe box than I am used to running in more minimal sneakers.
Running in the TevaSphere Trail eVent:
I truly believed the spherical heel and pod-arch system would be cumbersome, however, it wasn’t that bad. I was concerned I would feel the pod system below my arch. While walking, the arch is somewhat apparent, but while running I could not detect it at all.
I tested the TevaSphere on a variety of terrain, including flat, hard packed trail, heavily rooted and rocky trail, shale riverbed, and even mud. Without some sort of way to accurately measure stability, it is hard to give an exact statement on the effectiveness of the stabilization of this shoe. Admittedly, 90% of my running is currently done on trails, and as a result my agility and lower leg/ankle strength is far greater than it used to be.
That said, I did feel as though there was far less ankle inversion and eversion as I navigated the uneven terrain, due to the shape of the pods. And a bonus measurement: I didn’t fall. A rare feat for my clumsy self. I’m not sure if the shoes are to thank or if I just had a lucky day, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
|photo: GoPro Hero 3|
Is theTevaSphere Trail eVent Waterproof?
The TevaSphere Trail eVent® features eVent® breathable waterproof membrane. Waterproof sneakers, in my opinion, are a horrible idea. As anyone who has done an ultra-marathon knows, you are more than likely going to run through a deep puddle that will without a doubt fill your sneaker with water.
And mud runs? Chances are you will be either waist deep or completely swimming in water.
On my first run in the TevaSpheres, I ran through a riverbed with maybe an inch of water, and the waterproof feature was great, as it kept my feet completely dry. However, on the next run, I took them out on a rainy day and hit every mud puddle I could find. The water that entered my sneaker did NOT escape, due to the waterproof membrane, and thus I spent the rest of the run with a significant amount of water in my shoes. (It should be noted that the TevaSphere Speed and TevaSphere trail do not use the waterproof materials.).
I think it is a far better idea to utilize quick drying (and fast draining) materials, rather than waterproof, which ends up being more of a hindrance than helpful.
|photo: GoPro Hero 3|
TevaSphere Trail eVent Outsole & Traction:
The outsole is composed of Spider365 Rubber that according to Teva, provides supreme traction on various terrains. Again, I was skeptical, as the tread doesn’t appear as aggressive as many other trail shoes do.
That said, I had absolutely no issues with traction on various (and even wet) terrain. A notable feature to mention is the toe bumper for added protection. I kicked a few smaller rocks on purpose, and it didn’t hurt.
|Note, in the top left photo, you can see how the pod is actually concave, and not flat as it appears in the bottom photo.|
Overall Thoughts of the TevaSphere Trail eVent Shoe:
I think Teva is on the right path. I genuinely appreciate that someone has stepped up and created a shoe that addresses the needs of athletes who stray FAR off the beaten path…much further than simply “trail running”. I love the general concept, however, the TevaSphere Trail eVent’s aren’t quite what I am looking for in an obstacle course racing or trail shoe.
While I know that my preferences are not the same as the average runner, I personally like a slightly more minimal shoe. The TevaSphere Trail eVent was just slightly more stiff and built up than what I typically prefer. While they were sufficient for trail running, I feel as though they might be a little too burly for racing, especially when faced with obstacles such as wall or rope climbs. I hope to see this line evolve to include something with a bit more flexibility, allowing better proprioception and feel with ground contact.
On that note, I do think this would be a great shoe for someone who needs that extra stability and support when it comes to trail running.
In addition to the TevaSphere Trail eVent, the line includes the TevaSphere Speed, TevaSphere Trail, and TevaSphere Trail Mid eVent. Check out the line at the Teva website, or the entire TevaSpherecollection available on Amazon.
*UPDATE: My boyfriends mother is a kick butt woman who, at the age of 60, tackles trails and outdoor training with us. Conveniently, she and I share the same shoe size, so I can often not only pass shoes on to her, but get her feedback as well! “Jimmy” (as we like to call her) has run a few trails in the TevaSphere Trail eVent’s now, and has a differing opinion than mine. She LOVES the stability of this shoe, and the design of the sole helps her to traverse the trails without too much leverage in the ankle. So if stability is your thing, these shoes are highly recommended by Jimmy!
*disclaimer, I was provided with a pair of TevaSphere Trail eVent sneakers at no charge, however,all opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.
Thanks for this review! I’m looking for another shoe to put in the rotation with the pair I use for races now so all the information about potential options seem great. Would definitely be interested to see how this one stacks up!
Would love to try a new shoe. I always have difficulty finding something with enough cushion for my large body 🙂
I’d like to try them because I have no trail running shoes, and I’d like to start running more trails.
Thanks for the review! I’m looking for another trail shoe to put in the rotation with the one I’ve been destroying at every race. Reviews like this are way more helpful and more importantly – relevant than looking it up on Amazon. 🙂
I need a pair to rotate with my Pearl Izumis – these look interesting!
Great review! I’d like to try them because my current trail shoe, innov8 roclite 285 are great for short runs, but I am looking for more support for longer runs. I am interested in a shoe that drains and is NOT waterproof though, so maybe a different model than you reviewed. Thanks!
That’s an awesome review. Very informative. I would love to try them on trails here and in VA and when I drive 20 mins south for the trails in NC. I have been looking for a good trail shoe.
I would love to try a shoe built for rough trail runs. My regular running shoes just don’t cut it. Great review.
I need a new pair of trail shoes the WOMENS TEVASPHERE SPEED look great and I love the color combos.
I would love to finally get a good pair of trial shoes like the TevaSphere Trail eVent. Plus ones that have waterproof elements ….sign me up! And lets not forget the cute colors.
I would love to have a pair of shoes for mud runs and trails that were not minimalist. I like to have a bit of rise and think this might be exactly what I am looking for!
Thank you for the review. I’m new to running and am currently using a cheaper pair of NB. I’m very interested in trail running. I’d like to try a new pair of shoes.
I have weird feet and am always looking to find a show that my be THE one. I would like to give the TevaSpheres Trail sneakers a shot hoping a snug fit might be my answer.
I’d love to try a pair, would like to have a pair of shoes for running about and getting muddy that have support and I don’t also overlap with work shoes! I’ve had good experience with Teva products having a generous toe box/front end for wide feet like mine.
DisneyBride (DB) and DisneyGroom (DG)
Oh I need these! This summer I am doing trail runs almost exclusively. The Teh-Vahs would be awesome to try out.
I would love to try anything from the line. I badly want to do more trail running and currently don’t have a pair of trail shoes.
Nice review and interesting yet crucial point about the Spider technology. I had a pair of Teva water shoes that weren’t the least bit designed for OCR or trail running, yet I wore them religiously (until their untimely demise) on quite a few runs and races. The tread was nothing great, but they were indeed sticky. Wish I could find them, discontinued…But, I think when I have the extra cash, I will give a pair of these (non-waterproof) a shot.
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie
I really want to start running off the beaten path.
Thanks for this honest review! These look very interesting and I would love to try them out!
OOH I LOVE ME SOME TEVAS and have for decades
Id love to try these out on the woods of california 🙂
Absolutely would like to give these a try. I am really new to trail running and want to find a pair of trail shoes. Your review was very thorough and very informative. Thanks Kara L.
Presley @ Run Pretty
Maybe these would get me off the road a little more! 🙂
I’d love to try a pair of Teva’s because I just use my regular running shoes to run on trails right now. Wet feet/shoes during a run is bad enough but add muddiness into that and its not that fun. Especially since it can be slippery when they aren’t meant for trails! A pair of trail shoes that are waterproof would be amazing!
I’m in need of a good trail shoe!
Would love to try these. Currently looking at a new pair of trail shoes to replace my Mizuno Ascends!
Jody - Fit at 55
Love the look of these & I NEED STABILITY in general!!! These would definitely get me out of my comfort zone & into nature! 🙂
I’ve been looking for something to try barefoot/minimal trail shoes. These look awesome! Being waterproof for OCRs are a plus!
I use to trail run in WI all the time before I moved to NC- now I don’t NEARLY as much… which is CRAZY talk since I live so close to so many trails. These would be an awesome incentive to get me back out there!
I love all the color combos and I think the speed version would be great for me
I want to get more into trail running, so these shoes would be good for me!
Danielle @ It's A Harleyyy Life
I’ve never heard of this type of shoe before. seems neat. It could help my collection.
Would love to try Teva as my current shoes are treadbare and I definitely am in need of a new fantastic supportive pair! Thank you!
I’ll be doing a lot of hiking and camping this summer. As a runner, I’ve never had a good trail shoe. I’m already a long time fan of Teva sandals. I am also traveling overseas this summer and need a comfortable but sturdy shoe.
I too sported the velcro Tevas back in the day. In fact, that was pretty much all I wore for my entire 6 year tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan. Back then SCUBA diving was my sport of choice and I LOVED Tevas for being out in/near the beach. So I’d love to try out a pair of their trail shoes! Pick me! 🙂
I’d like to try the Tevasphere Trail as a true trail running shoe. I didn’t even know that they make shoes specifically for obstacle course runs now! Thanks for the review!
I’d love to try this shoe – and I won’t be stuck in my bed forever, so sign me up for this! 🙂
My shoes are 5 years old and definitely worn out! Would love to try a Teva for my next 5 year model! LOL! 🙂
Sounds like they have fabulous comfort and support!
Love to try these on the trails!
Love to try these on the trails!
I would love to try these since my feet have been killing with my current running shoe
I would love to give these shoes a try.
I used to have a pair of Teva running shoes that were teal green and closed with Velcro. They were so comfortable that I purchased a second identical pair. Then they disappeared from the market and although I have tried many other brands, have found nothing like those shoes.
Please tell me where I can find teva sphere. Best shoes I have ever had, black and pink size 6 1/2. they are wearing out and I can not find them except $350 at amazon. I have sciatica and they are easy on my back. Please help !!