Teva Links Mid, £90
Teva’s Links Mid is essentially a high-top version of the Links shoe that was launched last year. With improved ankle protection and an extra rubber bumper around the toebox, it’s designed to appeal to ‘big mountain’ riders — riders like Kurt Sorge, who won the 2012 Red Bull Rampage with his feet securely mollycoddled by a pair of Links Mids.
But what of mere mortals, people like you and I? How do the Mids perform when you’re not throwing yourself off a 30ft cliff in the desert? In terms of protection and support, they feel like a big improvement from the low-cut versions — enough that they’d be our first choice if we regularly rode in areas like the Lake District or North Wales where high-consequence rock gardens are an everyday hazard. We also noticed the extra support off the bike, but the reduction in flexibility wasn’t quite as welcome when walking.
When we tested the original Links shoe, back in October 2011, we raved about its comfort and fit but yearned for a more tenacious bond between sole and pedal. Although Teva maintains that the compound of the Spider 365 rubber sole hasn’t changed, somehow it felt grippier than the old shoe. It’s a subtle difference, but one we continually remarked upon. We can only conclude that the stiffer upper lets you put more weight through the sole. Danny Milner
MBR rating: 8