Recently, I attended a fascinating class given in San Francisco by fellow ITS Tactical contributor and author of the Red Teams... View ArticleView Article
Footwear for women can be challenging. Most of us want comfort and modern style, but have to forgo one for the other too often. Finding a picture of a boot that’s appealing is easy; finding a boot that looks good, is comfortable for hours on end and has ample traction, are other factors that aren’t always part of the deal.
In September of last year, the Teva De La Vina boot caught my eye at REI. It was rugged, stylish, claimed to be waterproof and wasn’t clunky. After debating the pros and cons of trying it on, I opted to put it back on the shelf and walk away, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a few weeks. So, I eventually looked it up online at REI and saw they didn’t carry a womens size 5.5, which led me straight to Teva.com. My size was available, but I was still a little thrown by the $180 price tag. Fortunately, I found a 20% coupon online and placed my order for the De La Vina in Bison. UPDATE: Here on Amazon, these boots are much more affordable and just a little over $100! By the way, Bison is actually more reddish-brown than the yellow color shown in Teva’s pictures, hopefully that can be seen in our photos.
I had high expectations for these boots. Each year when we cover SHOT Show, I like to wear boots instead of regular shoes. Let’s face it, there just aren’t too many sexy, practical options when it comes to needing to walk (sometimes run) all over a convention center. Having shoes that remain supportive and comfortable all day, yet are versatile enough to go from gravel roads to carpeted convention centers, are ideal. This also helps me pack light and not have to worry about toting around extra shoes when we have to venture from one place to the next. Plus, I want to look like I have a bit of style while traipsing around.
It was the end of October 2013 when I purchased the De La Vina boots and began wearing them in November. They quickly became part of my cooler weather uniform, even on rainy days. The upper portion of the boot is made of a waterproofed leather that really kept my feet dry and warm while out in the elements. The leather also dried without spotting or staining after each time they got wet.
The inside of the boot is lined with a very soft material, so on the few occasions that I wore the boots inside of pants instead of on the outside, my legs didn’t sweat or stick to the lining. Teva advertises in the product description that the sole “is a Mush® Infused Insole [which] brings the absurd comfort of a flip flop into a shoe” and I completely agree, it felt almost like wearing comfortable flip flops. Many times, even after wearing the boots all day long, I would forget to take them off when I got home and would just get started cooking dinner.
It’s worth noting that an extensive amount of time and research has gone into designing the Mush® Insole/rubber sole that together provide so much comfort and stability. Teva has their T.I.D.E. Lab “where we apply our 25 years of experience working and playing in water to create some of the most advanced footwear available in the outdoor market.” The Mush® technology began with sandals, but was added to other shoe designs for the ultimate comfort experience in Teva shoes and boots. The Spider365 rubber sole is what gives the De La Vina boot the excellent traction and durability that I experienced in multiple environments.
Another thing I noticed about these boots was that they age well. Sure they get scrapes and scuffs on them, but because of the type weatherproofing the leather has been through, the scuffs and scrapes fade and get absorbed into what became the natural patina of the leather. It’s worth noting that Teva recommends treating the boots annually with a non-silicone based water and stain repellent specifically designed for leather to keep the leather protected for the long term.
Range Day 2014
For anyone not familiar with the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club range just south of Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s worth noting that the terrain is a bit rugged. The walkways are gravel and the rocks can be rather large and dense in some areas. Standing and walking on this type of ground can really be a pain if you’re not wearing the right shoes. There were also a couple of steep hills that were a mix of gravel and packed dirt to climb up and walk down, in order to move from one area of the event to the other. Without proper traction these hills could potentially cause a slip. We ended up walking more than five miles in the rugged terrain and I was able to maneuver in my Tevas without slipping or feeling any discomfort in my feet, legs or back. The leather was easy to wipe down after we got back to the hotel and the boots looked good as new for the next day of work.
SHOT Show 2014
Total walking time around the convention center each day of SHOT Show varied from the just over four miles, up to about seven miles, depending on where we needed to be. We were on our feet most of each day from 7:30 a.m. until around 5:30 p.m. Depending on which vendor booth we visited, there may have been some additional padding that we could stand on, but for the most part we stood and walked on concrete floors with a thin layer of commercial carpeting to help absorb the impact of each step.
Overland Expo 2014
I also took my De La Vina boots to Overland Expo this year. The terrain out at Mormon Lake Lodge was moderately grassy, but we mainly worked on dry, packed ground. Walkways were lightly graveled and dust was everywhere. I quickly found out that walking around in boots all day is a heck of a lot more comfortable than just standing around in a vendor booth. Overall my feet, legs and back didn’t ache from standing, but my toes definitely felt the impact since the toe box on this boot isn’t as wide as other boots. That’s a trade off I’m willing to make though, since I’m not on my feet all the time and this situation was out of the norm for me. The slender width of this boot is one of my favorite features since so many performance boots are wide and clunky.
Details that Deliver Superior Performance
- Spider365 Rubber sole provides traction in all kinds of environments
- Waterproof leather and sole
- Leather Upper
- Adjustable straps offer a custom fit
- Mush® Infused Insole brings the absurd comfort of a flip flop into a shoe
- Zipper on the inner side of the boot provides quick in and out
- Total weight for both boots 16.9 oz
This has definitely been one of the best footwear investments I’ve made since I’ve been a part of the ITS Crew. Having gear that can function in multiple environments is essential. For me, part of that functionality must include comfort, durability, style and longevity of the product. The Teva De La Vina boots have worn amazingly well for me over the course of the past seven months and the many miles they’ve carried me through. After giving them a thorough dusting off and adding more waterproofing to the leather, I’m confident they’ll be ready for the next season of wear.
Are you getting more than 14¢ of value per day from ITS Tactical?
Please consider joining our Crew Leader Membership and our growing community of supporters.
At ITS Tactical we’re working hard every day to provide different methods, ideas and knowledge that could one day save your life. Instead of simply asking for your support with donations, we’ve developed a membership to allow our readers to support what we do and allow us to give you back something in return.
For less than 14¢ a day you can help contribute directly to our content, and join our growing community of supporters who have directly influenced what we’ve been able to accomplish and where we’re headed.
Figured my wife would live these, so I got her a pair and whamo, she loves them! Bloody expensive to get in Canada though, but she says they are worth it, nicest boots she's ever owned (and believe me, she has a lot....)!
Thanks, kind of... ;o)
Nice boots, great article, and that's one big hole in the ground. The Meteor Crater was surprisingly more interesting than I thought it would be.