The Teva Junior Mountain Racing Team gets the latest gear each year and runs the World Trophy Race with them...this year it is in Switzerland with some steep trails, rocks, and rugged terrain. We thought it was awesome that the Teva Wraptor could hold up and perform with the Junior Team but the real question for us was could the Wraptor Stability Event SURVIVE THE TRASK. If you're wondering, the Trask is not only our favorite cross country course but we also gave it the title of Gnarliest Cross Country Course in the U.S. a few years back....and it hasn't gotten any easier. The way this course goes is that you
start on a flat but bumpy field and bottle neck onto a gravel road that takes you up a hill and then through a swift running stream that in some years is up over your waist and full of boulders and rocks. Once you get through the shock of the cold water and run down the side of the stream you realize that you have to cross over again and this time runners start going down into the water. Now it's back onto the road where the shoes are now soaked and you're treading on gravel, past the start and then onto some real terrain....depending on the weather we're talking hard packed clay or 12 inches+ of mud. With some shoes you'd better have them duct taped on or you're running barefoot. The Wraptor held on just fine.and the Teva continuous strapping system which goes completely around the foot no doubt helped out. Once on top it's a hard left and almost straight down to a ravine with a creek....the course volunteers damn up the creek so it's a good 3'-4' deep. If it's a dry year they water down the hill so that about half the runners slide down and are submerged in the water. If you don't go down there's a pack of onlookers ready give you a push.
If you're lucky enough to be standing you then have to climb your way out of the creek and up the hillside which is severe, muddy, and slick. You can't get up without grabbing onto sticks and branches to pull yourself up. We've tried this course with many shoes and with some brands it's basically hopeless...the tread on the Wraptor gave us a fighting chance to get a grip in the slime and get up the slope. On the top it flattens out and you think you can relax but right way you go through two mud bogs...well, partially mud....in the summer these are horse trails and that mud gets kind of green. Now we're through some fairly flat mountain trails...when you come out of the trees you face what they call the Assault...which is a quarter mile uphill....and a killer. After reaching the summit, it's pretty much straight down and when you reach that slippery slope again you can't stand up to walk or run down, it's like a water-mud slide down...it get's interesting...back through that creek, up through the mud and back to the finish.
What we put the Wraptor through was hard surfaces, gravel, rock, submersed them in water four times, and caked in mud...too many times to count. The Teva's stayed on well while other runners lost their shoes in the mud bogs. When we got through the final water crossing they actually cleaned up which was pretty amazing considering that a bunch of runners came through the finish covered in mud.
Features: The Wraptor features eVent® waterproof and breathable lining, SpiderXC™ rubber for traction and durability, and Wraptor™ Fit technology for quick on and off and fast adjustment on the go. A new lower profile midsole is supposed to keep you closer to the ground for extra control and stability, and the shoe is designed to provide just the right amount of protection, cushioning, and flexibility while running. A wider toe box allows the front of your foot to expand as you run while keeping your heel secure.
Runner's Comments: The shoes seemed to repel much of the mud as I was running, and by the time I was finished with the race my shoes were completely clean, while everyone else's shoes were caked with mud. I did not slip at all while I ran, despite the slippery, unstable, and muddy trails and rocks in the river. The shoes did not come off and the quick adjusting feature came in handy. The water cycled in and out, even after the shoes were completely submerged and they did not weigh down. The shoes were also well-ventilated and felt surprisingly lightweight. There was plenty of room in the toes but not too much. I just had two minor complaints-there was not a lot of arch-support for pronators as myself, but the shoe is only designed for mild to medium pronation. The heels also hurt a bit as you break them in.
Best Uses: Trail running, other unpredictable or unstable running conditions
Bottom Line: Good trail running shoes, works for hiking, okay for street running but not the best
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend. For more information: www.teva.com