There's an old joke – OK, really more of a saying because it's true – about the difference between labrador retriever dog breeds: a golden will run around a wall to get into water. Black, chocolate and yellow labs will jump over the wall. And Chesapeakes… Chesapeakes will run through the wall.
Teva has given us the Chesapeake Bay retriever of shoes. If you're looking for a road shoe, the TevaSphere Trail is not for you; if you're looking for a minimalist shoe, it's not for you. And if you're looking for a mid-foot striking shoe, well… it's not for you. If you're the kind of runner who believes that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, no matter what lies between, you're in luck, because this is your shoe.
The TevaSphere Trail eVent is a medium-weight, bombproof, waterproof (in the eVent version we tested) shoe with two features to offer the hardest chargers: a rounded heel for more efficient heel-striking, because you know you're stretching it out, and two small wings under each instep to provide additional stability. Seriously, it's almost impossible to roll an ankle in the TevaSphere shoes. The design rewards, indeed forces, a flat foot placement. And no minimalist shoe worries about a branch or rock poking your foot; theses things laugh at sharps.
Bonus: the laces are smooth and solid, unlike some recent shoes we've tested where the laces frayed after just a few weeks of reefing. The only concern we had was the stiffness of the opening around the ankle. It didn't matter so much because your ankle won't roll much, and after a while they softened up anyway so no harm, no foul. Frankly we were prepared to make fun of this shoe given it's unusual look, but after a month banging them over trails and even on construction projects we really came to appreciate the tough construction and unsurpassed stability. Overall the TevaSphere Trail eVent is a great shoe for those whose style it fits. Hell and high water, here we come.