Teva to Stop Producing Mountain Bike Shoes - The End of One Story, But Not of the Adventure 19

All good things must come to an end, or so they say. Such is the case with Teva’s bike program. After entering the market as a serious contender during the summer of 2011, Teva will cease production of its mountain bike line and support of athletes and events in 2014.

At less than three years old, the Teva Links are destined to soon become classics.

But why? The team behind the lineup certainly has an incredible amount of passion for the sport - the crew here at Vital can vouch for that. In the end, though, it was strictly a business decision. Keep in mind that Teva is owned by Deckers Corporation, a publicly traded company, and at times decisions can’t always be based on passion.

When we were informed of the decision late Friday afternoon, we immediately sent a list of questions to Teva so we could share the details with you. When we awoke this morning, the answers to the questions were in our inbox. The timestamp said 1AM. Fresh off the clock, no doubt exhausted and excited for her weekend, Teva’s PR manager Jaime Eschette spent what remained of her Friday evening behind the computer to tell the story. That’s commitment we can relate to. “I wanted to really express to you guys the real thoughts the team has around this change. I know some might think it’s corporate speak, but those of us that know the people behind the curtain know the sincerity in all of this.”

Kurt Sorge helped take the brand to great heights, winning Red Bull Rampage aboard Teva in 2012. - Photo: Sven Martin

You guys went from zero to heroes in the bike scene in just a matter of a few years. Obviously you were busting your butts to produce some top notch shoes. Who/what can you attribute the success to?

When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. So, you tend to tinker and play and ask questions and continue to innovate – every day. Building the bike collection was certainly like that for our team but we didn’t come to all the answers alone. We knew early on that we wanted to not only produce the best shoes on the FMB market but also appreciate and support the lifestyle that surrounded it. Through our athletes, our partners and our community we never stopped listening and learning. Collectively, we ended up with something pretty awesome to be a part of.

Not long after Teva released the Links shoes, Cam McCaul sat down with a pair for a lighthearted "Around One Fern" interview. The man is quite possibly the most entertaining mountain bike rider on the planet.

We’re definitely bummed to hear the news that you’ll no longer be in the bike game. How did this come about?

Undeniably it was a hard decision for all of us. In the end though, it all came down to a hard look at our available resources against our plans entering our 30th anniversary year. The shift allows us to have laser focus that will not only strengthen and grow the brand today but also allow us even greater opportunities in the future.

Hop in a jetboat, strap your bike on the back and step into the shoes of Kelly McGarry as he heads out to ride some lesser known freeriding spots around the Queenstown Lakes District, New Zealand.

Obviously Teva has a long and rich history in other outdoor markets, will you be refocusing your efforts to some of those areas?

Entering our 30th anniversary year, the team will be aligning all of our resources towards celebrating our iconic silhouette, the original sport sandal. We’ll also be working on projects that help bring to life the adventurous, traveling and inspired lifestyle that the brand has embodied for the past 30 years.

Is production stopping soon? Should we stock up on Links and Pivot shoes asap?

The existing collection will be available through Spring 2014 and while inventory is available. Some casual bike styles will still be available in Fall 2014.

Cam McCaul and Kurt Sorge blast some hits and boost some hips in Virgin, UT in this fun Teva edit.

Your shoes featured several never before seen innovations. What’s the one you’re most proud of?

Easy - the look! Have all the bells and whistles you can name but if it’s hideous then who seriously is going to rock a pair? I think the team would be most proud to have delivered a shoe that performed at the highest level (with all the features you’ve come to know from us) but also was fun to wear off the bike.

Back in 2012, you the audience helped Cam McCaul have an epic day by choosing his activities through the Vital MTB and Teva Facebook pages. This is how that day went!

We’ve got to know, was there anything in the works that you now won’t be able to introduce?

Unfortunately we had two projects that will remain prototypes: our new gravity shoe, The Virgin, which we previewed at Interbike, and a new women’s specific all-mountain flat petal shoe that had yet to be unveiled.

Teva had a hard-shredding squad, but how did they stack up in the ultimate challenge of MTB trivia? Find out as Jeff Lenosky, Paul Basagoitia, Cam McCaul and Sam Pilgrim get Quizzed.

Your videos were nothing short of incredible - great destinations, phenomenal riding, adventure, and of course your stellar lineup of pros. What was your favorite bike adventure?

Oh man, with a team like ours it’s hard to say. We were honored to work with not only some incredible athletes but much more than that, some truly incredible human beings. Our team rocks! Outside of some of the more recent Teva Mountain Games (for those of you who got to join us, you know which ones I’m referring to) I think the most recent road trip to NZ really captured the magic behind what made our crew, well, the Teva tribe. Just a bunch of friends gathered together through a passion for two wheels. Needless to say it was an epic adventure.

New Zealand's majestic South Island. Five friends and nothing on the agenda but fun and adventure. Join Cam McCaul, Sam Pilgrim, Chad Kagy, Kelly McGarry, and Kurt Sorge as they explore the South Island of New Zealand on the ultimate mountain biking road trip.

If you could say anything to your riders, what would it be?

Once family, always family. This crew taught all of us more than we could have ever imagined about adventure, passion, guts and humility. We were honored you chose us and will remain your biggest fans.

Clockwise: Kurt Sorge, Sam Pilgrim, Chad Kagy, Cam McCaul, and Kelly McGarry were heavy hitters in Teva's crew. Absent are Paul Bass and Jeff Lenosky. Jeff helped develop the shoes from the ground up. - Photos: Sven Martin

Any regrets?

In Mr. Pilgrim’s words, “YOLO.” No regrets from this side. We’d do it all again in a heartbeat if we could. I guess all good things come to an end at some point… We’re just glad you all allowed us to ride. It was one hell of one journey and we’re so thankful for the experience.

YOLO indeed. - Photo: Sven Martin

Keep living awesome stories, Teva, and thanks for contributing so much to the sport in such a short period of time. It’s been a wild and fun ride!

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19 comments
  • joss002

    11/12/2013 2:20 AM

    A real shame,I have the Link,Pinner and Crank shoes,love them,think it will be the Vans Gravel next !!

  • bikeluvnfoo

    11/10/2013 4:54 PM

    bumming man...links rule...over a year of riding skate parks, bike parks, trail, and road, still in great shape.

  • Big Bird

    11/10/2013 9:07 AM

    There's still the Vans Gravel shoe for those of us who think that 5-10s are ugly as hell.

  • Dogboy

    11/10/2013 6:30 AM

    "Easy - the look! Have all the bells and whistles you can name but if it’s hideous then who seriously is going to rock a pair?" Well there you go. Turns out people do want a shoe that performs rather than something that looks good. Not that the Teva's really looked that good.

  • chris.leoleis

    11/10/2013 5:18 AM

    sux.......

  • charging_rhinos

    11/9/2013 11:11 PM

    I had heard rumors of this after Paul B mentioned that he and a few others were being dropped very suddenly. Sad to see them go

  • petemc

    11/9/2013 10:52 PM

    I have the answer for you guys-watch my video of the new Deva Stinks shoe
    https://vimeo.com/62667539

  • scott.link.507

    11/9/2013 6:22 PM

    Bummer

  • T-Dawg

    11/9/2013 5:54 PM

    After many years I've come to the conclusion that the BEST shoes for mtbing are the soft soled $20.00 skate shoes , tho they only last two months........Just Not worth it to buy 90 $ shoes that last 3 months , esp if you do tricks that tear shoes up in weeks

  • Varaxis

    11/9/2013 5:31 PM

    Still using their original Mush flip flop, even though the bottom has been chewed up. Love it! Been using the same 5.10 shoes for over a year now and only recently noticed the sole coming unglued.

  • onenerdykid*

    11/9/2013 11:20 AM

    whelp, that was sadly quick... 5.10 has a strong grip on the flat pedal shoe market so dealers were probably going with Giro shoes for their non-5.10 options instead of Teva. Teva most likely had a really hard time to get into enough shops despite making good product and having lots of big name riders on their product.

  • uros.langus

    11/9/2013 11:11 AM

    I always "stuck" to 5.10 but it's sad to hear that a shoe program that was so successful is being canceled. The only real competition to the 5.10 lineup and I might just buy a pair of links if I can still get my hands on them

  • freddyrayos

    11/9/2013 10:56 AM

    i seriously dig their omnium sandal but could never get behind any of their other stuff. that chair 5 boot is a cool concept until you walk in it and find out just how loud/squeeky it is. i was looking forward to trying on their clip in shoe

  • TheHermit185

    11/9/2013 10:45 AM

    why? because 5.10's kick so much ass.

  • Karabuka

    11/9/2013 11:20 AM

    Well, 5.10 dominates big part of the market and has huge financial background; try competing with that as newcomer...
    Kinda same thing happened with go pro and competition: sony can remain in game due to strong background, but it will take long long time (if ever) to balance the market.

  • tbox

    11/9/2013 1:03 PM

    Teva wasn't a newcomer. They made ugly bike shoes with hard lousy rubber and they were expensive. They could have penetrated the market if they kept the cost down used good rubber and made them not look like neon shit.

  • Archie_Tamayo

    11/9/2013 1:45 PM

    make 5.10s lite and have better soles. other than that they r lousy

  • SpokeApparel

    11/9/2013 4:41 PM

    The rubber was not up to snuff.

  • bturman

    11/9/2013 9:50 PM

    For what it's worth, the Links were designed as a freeride/dirt jump/slopestyle shoe. They weren't meant to be overly "sticky." The new shoe they were working on was meant to fill that void.