After my decade old boots left me with wet feet when trekking in Wales it was time to look for new comfy mid-high hiking boots. Check out this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP to see how I got along.
I already own a pair of Teva Arrowood lightweight walking trainers, which I really like. I also own some Teva sandals and Teva mountain biking boots both of which have lasted many years. This influenced the decision to get the Teva Arrowood boots, as although the £150 RRP is fairly steep I knew the fit would be good and they’d be well made.
To test the boots I wore them in the winter snow of Lapland, the spring mud of the UK and for wet weather days out on the trail. They have encountered deep snow, minus 30 degrees, big puddles, two days of walking in rain and lots of mud.
So did I find the Teva Arrowood Riva to be comfy mid-high hiking boots?
Getting them out of the box they look sturdy and well made – like boots that will last. The black leather looks good and functional with tidy stitching that’s doubled-up in key places. There is also a rubber toe cap and an extra layer around the heel to improve durability.
The rubber outer sole is by industry leader Vibram®, so I expect it to be durable and to provide good grip. However the actual tread looked a little shallow to me – to be honest I’d expect a deeper tread to provide better grip in rugged terrain. So this was something I kept an eye on throughout this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP.
The other thing I noticed straight away is the boots are fairly light. They weigh significantly less then my old ones, which admittedly are over ten years old and were not particularly expensive when I bought them.
The first time I tried the Arrowood Riva boots on I thought these feel too big. However I’d made the classic error of wearing normal socks. When I tried them with hiking socks the fit felt great. Although I did notice they have a lot less padding than comfy mid-high hiking boots I have previously owned – something else to monitor.
Lacing them up I noticed that the top threaded lace really keeps your heel into place by pulling on a chord (yellow bit below image) that wraps around the inside of the heel of the boot. I can’t find anything about this in the literature, but my Northwave snowboard boots have similar feature called a 360 degree heel retention system.
To review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP I needed to get hiking, but first I wanted to wear them in. So I wore them for short walks such as taking the kids to school and nipping to the shops – nothing more than a kilometer or two. With no problems I then ramped it up to walking to town and back which is more like four or five kilometers.
It’s been a while since I had new boots. But I remember the first few walks in every previous pair being pretty uncomfortable. New boots always felt unwieldy to me and I often got blisters. In contrast the Teva’s were comfy mid-high hiking boots from the first time I pulled them on.
The Teva Arrowood boots still broke in over the first few walks to become even more comfortable. However, avoiding the seriously uncomfortable phase was a nice bonus. I think this is because the boots are not as rigid as other hiking boots I have owned, in particular the waterproof leather is very supple so they mould to your foot quicker.
Having found the boots very comfortable for short walks it was time to test them properly with a spot of hiking. I started small on a two to three hour hike on mostly flat terrain and found them very comfortable. I particularly liked the responsive PU insole/footbed which feels very cushioning.
In places the trail was very muddy so I could test the Vibram® sole. I was a little worried about the fairly shallow tread but I needn’t have been. While people in less appropriate footwear were slipping and sliding the Teva’s were as sure footed as a mountain goat.
Having passed their half day test I needed to take this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP to the next level with some full day hiking. For this I spent two days walking in the South Downs National Park in wet weather covering around 25 kilometres a day.
The combination of the weatherproof leather with the eVent waterproof and breathable membrane kept my feet perfectly dry. Even when slothing through deep puddles not a drop of water got through. I also did not get any build up of sweat on the inside showing the boots are very breathable.
It is when walking further that I began to appreciate the Float Lite EVA foam midsole and PU high rebound heel pad. Both are a lightweight forms of extra cushioning that make a difference. From heel to toe my feet were comfy even after two days of walking for more than five hours – usually my feet would feel sore by then.
In previous boots I have had problems with slight heel lift resulting in blisters. No such issues were encountered during this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP. I think in part because of the heel retention cord that runs from the laces around the heel area of the boot that almost sucks your heel into place and keeps it there.
The South Downs National Park is hardly the most rugged of terrain I’d expect to hike. So it is worth noting that I haven’t tested the Tevas on anything really difficult such as uneven and/or slippery rocks, scree or anything jagged underfoot.
As the upper provides less support than other boots, difficult terrain may be the Teva Arrowood’s weakness. Extra support helps you to avoid slipping and injuries such as twists and sprains. So although I have found the Teva’s supportive enough so far it’s hard to know how they will handle really tough trails. Overall more hiking is required!
Over Christmas I visited Lapland for a Ruka family adventure holiday. We tried all sorts of activities including dog sledding, snow hikes, horse riding and snowmobiling. Being on the edge of the arctic circle the temperatures dropped to minus thirty!
Spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow I took these comfy mid-high hiking boots as my go to footwear. I found the Teva’s did an excellent job of keeping the snow out and their grip on snow and ice was exceptional.
However I did find them pretty cold. On the first day with one pair of hiking socks my toes were incredibly cold after an hour – but we were stood around feeding reindeer in -26°C. I then went up to two pairs of socks and eventually to three pairs – which just about fit – and my feet were still chilly.
So they are great boots for most things, but they don’t have enough padding or insulation to be worn in excessively cold temperatures. But they don’t claim to be snow boots and overall they did a good job in Lapland during varied activities in very tough conditions.
Personally I would say the lack of padding and insulation makes them ideal for warmer weather hiking. I have hiked in the tropical jungles of Borneo in big insulated boots and my feet were so sweaty it was like walking in boots full of water. I think the Teva Arrowood Riva would have been far more suitable.
Overall I really like these boots. I have found them to be very comfortable for hiking long distances. The waterproof works exceptionally well, even when walking through ankle deep puddles. But they are also very breathable so your feet don’t get sweaty.
The boots are more supple and less supportive than others I have owned. This is mainly an advantage as they don’t take much to wear them in and they conform to your foot really well making them exceptionally comfy mid-high hiking boots.
However, less support could be an issue in difficult terrain. I have yet to test this but I think they’ll be OK. For short difficult sections I certainly would not worry, but if the entire trail was known to be difficult under foot I might prefer something more supportive.
I was also worried about the grip as the tread is not very deep. However I found in both muddy and icy conditions the Vibram® rubber outsole provides very good grip. Where more tread might be useful is again on very difficult terrain, but as long as tough conditions are only part of your hike I think the Teva’s will suffice.
To conclude this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP I’d say they are well worth the £150. If you are looking for some comfortable multi-purpose boots for travelling or for hiking they are ideal. They are fine in the UK year round, but would also be good in warmer environments.
I hope you found this review of Teva Arrowood Riva Mid WP useful. If you want to get yourself some comfy mid-high hiking boots they come in brown or black and cost £150: www.teva.co.uk