Technical hiking and walking boots are great, they are superb out on the trails and in the mountains. On more casual terrain or in the town however, they do look a bit un-cool. One day, a few weeks ago in town I got caught in a flash storm and totally soaked. Running down the puddle filled streets I was totally drenched. Finally, getting back to the van and jumping inside, my coat had kept me dry but my jeans were soaked through and my shoes had let all the water from the puddles inside and my socks were sodden and my feet cold.
Driving home, with wet feet and possible trench foot setting in, I decided that I needed to sort this out and get some decent shoes.
I did some research looking for casual looking shoes with the technicality and prowess of a quality hiking boot. After a while came across a new boot by famous outdoor sandal maker Teva, called the Arrowood. This shoe is designed to fill the gap in the market which I had found. There are four different colours to choose from and a ladies version to choose. I ended up going for the blue version as I thought it looked the most like the trainers I was replacing.
Aesthetically they look awesome, much, much cooler and more casual than any hiking boot I’ve seen. I’ve warn them for weeks now and have had several compliments on them purely based on their look, without knowing the technical qualities of the shoes. The materials and manufacture of them are brilliant and can be seen from a distance. The soles are a clean white colour and are speckled with subtler shades so they look more natural.
The grip of these boots are strikingly similar to that of a hiking boot and over the last month I’ve warn them for miles and miles on outdoor terrain and urban terrain and they’ve stood up really well. On even slippery conditions like wet rocks, the super gripy soles stuck well. Obviously, they’re not up for scrambling up mountains but on everything else, they’re brilliant.
The upper part of the Arrowoods is full grain premium leather. This makes the boots really strong and has meant that after daily wear for over a month, they look almost the same. It’s easy to see that they are going to wear really well, especially when you compare them to a normal pair of casual shoes which don’t even last one year. I think this alone justifies the price of Teva’s shoes as although they might be a bit more than a normal pair of shoes they are going to last a lot lot longer and give you so much more during their life.
My absolute favourite part about the Arrowoods is not their aesthetic but the way they feel and what it is like to wear them. They are super light and wearing them for a whole day is effortless. I’ve worn them for 12 hours at a time and my feet always feel comfortable at the end of the day. This is down to the Float-Lite midsole and outsole which makes the boot super light weight and gives you a very soft walking base. The orange coloured, lining fabric is super soft is one of the parts which make the shoes so comfortable to wear.
The original problem of mine which led me to be hankering for these boots was my wet feet. I’m always a bit cynical of ‘waterproof’ boots so I’ve really tested these out. I’ve been out with them in the rain and they held up fine. I was still suspicious though as it wasn’t a real drenching. Wanting to give them a proper test the next time it rained I purposely walked through puddles and really tried to get these things to leak – again however my feet were totally dry. The waterproof upper and lining, honestly do really, really work. Just what you need over winter.
This week I’ve been to Thorpe Park for their Halloween Horror Nights where the park is open from 10am – 10pm. I decided that 12 hours of queuing and walking around would definitely require the Teva Arrowoods. They were the perfect pair of shoes to wear on a day like this and they look really good and cool and go really well with jeans and a casual top. Anyway, the point of this story is that on Tidal Wave and the other large water rides there were unavoidable, 2 inch deep pools of water in the bottom of the ride’s carriages. Everyone groaned as their socks and feet were drenched through. Mine however, to even my surprise were totally dry even after riding all these rides and the rest of me getting totally soaked.
Care and attention has been clearly given when the designers have come up with these shoes. The laces have been made so they use the same colours from the different fabrics in the shoe and match in. I really like the simple lacing system which borrows heavily from the technical hiking world and is far more advanced than a standard trainer’s eyelet. It has webbing loops which keep the laces from impacting on the top of your foot and make the tongue a lot more comfortable. It then finishes with a pair of hooks which is an excellent way for firming off before making a knot.
I really think these are an awesome pair of boots which bridge the gap between casual trainers and technical walking boots. Lots of thought and consideration has gone into these boots and they make fantastic shoes for anyone who wants a shoe to wear out and about on a daily basis but expects more from a shoe than a standard trainer.