Gear Guide 2012: Teva Forge Pro Mid eVent Leather Shoe

All-leather, waterproof, and comfortable, these shoes offer a roomy fit that enhances its overall comfort.

[all-day comfort]

Skip the camp shoes: Even after hiking in them all day, these all-leather waterproof midcuts still feel comfortable. The magic ingredient is Teva’s Mush insole (the same material used in the company’s famously comfy flip flops): a 7-mm-thick slice of spongy EVA that conforms to your foot as you wear it. The midsole is fortified for backcountry trekking with a stiff, arch-shaped nylon shank that runs from heel to ball and a high-rebound EVA pad under the heel and forefoot.

“The cushion, shock absorption, and forefoot flex make for a quick, easy stride,” says one tester who wore the Forge Pro on dayhikes in the rocky foothills outside Boise. A roomy fit, especially in the toebox, also enhances comfort. “On steep, rocky downhills, my toes didn’t jam like they often do in boots,” reports a tester who hiked the Forge Pro along Washington’s rocky coastline and in Mt. St. Helens Wilderness. A padded cuff snugs around the ankle to protect against sprains and rolls, and the sticky rubber outsole holds firm on slimy rocks and logs.

The leather upper (full-grain along the toes, sides, and ankle for durability, and split-grain across the instep/top for weight savings and breathability) shielded our testers’ feet from sharp lava and rocky Pacific coastlines, and the eVent liner breathed exceptionally well: “My feet stayed dry and didn’t feel clammy even when hiking in muggy 70°F temps with lots of rain,” raves one tester. Fit favors high-volume feet. $160; 1 lb. 15 oz.; m’s 7-14, w’s 5-12;