After teases and early looks, Teva’s first clipless shoe is finally here. Called the Pivot, the shoe features a 3 piece sole and a few trick details that will probably launch the shoe to the head of it’s class from the start. Designed with input from Jeff Lenosky, Eric Porter and 20 other athletes, the Pivot was designed from the ground up in order to be comfortable, stiff, flexible, and grippy all in the same shoe.
What makes the Pivot click? Find out next.
In order to get the power to the pedals, the shank and sole design was crucial. Reducing the overall size of the shank (the red piece), allows for the toe and the heel to be flexible yet offers a super stiff interface where the shoe transfers power to the pedal. In the middle of the sole, you will find an EVA foam insole which offers cushioning not normally found on clipless shoes. Underneath the EVA is a Spider365 rubber outsole that has been carefully trimmed to provide excellent grip without excess rubber which would add to the weight.
On the bottom of the EVA pad is a plastic coating that mates with the rubber outsole to make a durable traction surface. Around the cleat space is the same diamond shaped tread pattern found on the Links to gain traction on the pedal especially if not clipped in.
One of the really trick features of the Pivot is the ability to reverse the mounting hardware for the cleats. Often times, if you walk with your clipless shoes a lot on rocky terrain, the heads of the bolts can become damaged making removal difficult.
To counter this, Teva developed their own cleat mounting system that allows for the cleats to be installed from the inside of the shoe. In order to do so, a threaded plate that fits Shimano and Crank Brothers cleats was developed that replaces the cleat washer that is typically used under the bolts. In order to install the cleats, the tongue opens completely allowing you to remove insole and open a door in the bottom of the shoe access the hardware. Once the bolts and cleat are in place, final adjustment can be done with a special wrench that drops in through a port in the tongue. This method allows for the shoe to be actually clipped into the pedal while adjusting the cleat which should make cleat positioning simpler. Everything needed for the reverse cleat mounting like the wrench and the plates are included with each pair of shoes and the hardware is crafted from high grade stainless steel with Torx fittings.
Of course, if you’re running a pedal that isn’t Shimano or Crank Brothers, or you simply do not want to use the alternative mounting method, the Pivot is compatible with standard cleat mounting as well. Simply replace the inner plate with the standard threaded offering and you’re good to go. You’ll notice in the picture on the left, the cleat mounting surface is an aluminum plate which offers a good bite to the cleat while remaining durable enough for repeated cleat installs. Illustrated by the very first picture above, Teva worked very hard to get the pedal interface just right so that nearly any pedal system would fit perfectly with the Pivot without having to modify the sole for proper fit. Pedal manufacturers have been touting the advantages of wider pedal bodies for improves performance, but if your shoe doesn’t actually rest on the wider part of the body the point is moot. All of the pedals on display had a snug fit between the sole and the pedal, yet were easy to clip in by hand.
The Pivot will be offered in two color options, black and grey/red with both featureing a full lace up design with a fat compression strap/lace keeper. Teva jokingly mentions that one of the main design goals with the Pivot was that it had to look terrible with spandex, and it looks like they succeeded. With that said, we are digging the Pivot at first glance and should have a a long term review sample in shortly.
In addition to a few new colors of the Links, Teva also introduced a casual riding shoe called the Carbon. Interestingly, there is no carbon to be found as it is clad in what I’m assuming is faux leather and tweed. Decidedly upscale compared to the Links, the Carbon still features a Spider Rubber sole with PedalLINK design for excellent grip with flat pedals.