The not-so-minor details
Teva Pivot Clipless Shoes
Lightweight. Durable. Velcro keeps laces out of trouble. Comfortable on and off the bike. Grippy sole.
Mud magnets. Reverse cleat mounting system is a pain.
The Pivot is Teva’s first entry into the world of shoes for clipless use. Given the brand’s reputation for radness it’s unsurprising the shoe is oriented towards the all-mountain and downhill market and Teva are adamant that the Pivot ‘looks terrible with spandex’ (their words, not ours).
There are a growing number of these more casual-style clipless shoes now – Shimano, FiveTen and Vans also have similarly positioned shoes that don’t look overly ‘bikey’. But Teva bring a lot of experience to the game, and it shows, as this is a fantastic first effort.
The weight of the Pivot’s is a real highlight, coming in at 450g per shoe (size 42), which is a load lighter than the industry standard Shimano DX shoe. It’s nice not to lug so much weight around every pedal stroke, especially if you get wet feet (which you will with these shoes, as they’re not all that waterproof). The Velcro strap serves not only to give you a snug fit, but also restrains the loose ends of the laces.
Protection is more than adequate, with plenty of reinforcement for rock kicking fun, and the durability after three months of very regular use (we’ve been running these shoes for nearly every ride) seems to be excellent too. The Spider365 rubber sole is ideal for tramping, and with a more pliable construction than most clipless shoes you don’t get sore feet should you need to do a bit of hike-a-bike. Even with this extra flexibility, there’s enough support underfoot: we’ve used these shoes mainly with Shimano’s XT and XTR Trail pedals, but even with other pedals that provide less shoe/pedal contact they’re sufficiently stiff so you won’t feel as if you’re standing on a golf ball.
Downsides? They’re a pain in the butt to keep clean, thanks to the highly textured finish of many of the materials used and for one of our testers the toe box was a little cramped. Teva tried to be a little too fancy when it comes to the cleat mounting system; their ‘reverse’ cleat mounting (ie. the cleat bolts are accessed from inside the shoe, and screw outwards…) is so fiddly you’ll want to cry. Fortunately you can mount your cleats in the traditional fashion (i.e. bolt heads on the outside), which is what we did.
We really like the large range of cleat positioning possible with the Pivots. For all-mountain and downhill riding it’s nice to be able to move your cleats further rearward so there’s less leverage on your ankles when landing hard. Top marks here, as this is something other shoes in this category sometimes miss.
We’re really happy with the Pivots and it’s no exaggeration to say they’ve become the go-to shoe amongst the Flow staff for just about every time we hit the trails. The price ain’t cheap, but we feel they’re worth it.
Life can be an uphill battle – especially on a mountain bike, so we designed our first-ever clipless shoe to help ease your ascent.
It’s light, comfortable and supportive through the full pedaling motion – and it works (and looks) great off the bike, too. The cleat attachment is compatible with all major 2-bolt attachment systems, and you can quick-adjust it through the sole from above (so you can do it while it’s attached to the pedal). A hook and loop strap keeps your laces out of the chain, and its sneaker styling means it looks great with shorts – and terrible with spandex.
This is a men’s model with extended sizing for women and children. We recommend women order 2 full sizes down, e.g., women’s size 8 should choose size 6.