Teva P2 Wetsuit Boots
25th Aug 2011
The first thing you notice about the Teva wetsuit boot is that it is a split toe design. The split toe design is commonly found in surfing wetsuit boots as it helps prevent the foot from rolling in the boot when the surfer pops up to catch a wave. This design is great for kayaking as it means the boot feels very secure on the foot when walking to the river with your boat on your shoulder and clambering down tricky river banks. The draw back I found with the split toe design and these boots for UK kayaking is that it is freezing in the winter and I often wear socks inside my boots to prevent my feet from turning into blocks of ice. This isn’t practical with the split toe design without taking a pair of scissors to your socks. It would be fine if Teva lined the boots with thick brushed wetsuit (5mm maybe) but they don’t and these boots just aren’t sufficiently warm for UK winter paddling – the neoprene is only 3.2mm. They are squarely aimed at the paddler enjoying the warmth of Southern California! So I would suggest that these boots are the perfect spring/summer/autumn boot, but not recommended for the UK winter.
Modern kayaks (particularly playboats) have very little room for your feet and it is sometimes impossible or extremely uncomfortable to squeeze into your boat wearing wetsuit boots with chunky soles. The option in the past was to wear boots with no or very flexible soles, but this means that they are a liability when scrambling over sharp rocks. The soles on the Teva however allowed me to comfortably fit my feet into my kayak but are solid enough to scramble over sharp rocks when accessing my favourite playspot or portaging. The high friction SSR outsoles (similar to climbing boot rubber) are also fantastically grippy on wet and normally slippery rocks which is a must as you precariously scramble down to the put in of that waterfall you are about to shoot. And they are even stickier on dry rock.
Drainage in the soles was good, preventing the boots from filling up allowing me to swim easily in them. The drainage also meant the boots dried well in warm conditions. However, this does mean the boots leak when wading in the shallows which is another reason why I would recommend them as a boot for warmer days and not for the depths of winter.
One negative design flaw with the boot is that they don’t have a more robust arch or ankle strap to secure the upper part of the foot and keep water from rushing into the top of the boot.
Overall these boots are excellent, they fit well and the split toe design securely holds your foot in place preventing foot roll. I would definitely recommend them for kayakers looking for a boot for milder days in the UK but suggest you look elsewhere if looking for the ultimate in winter warmth. What makes these boots stand out from the rest, however, is the astonishingly sticky sole that makes scrambling over wet rocks an absolute breeze.
What Teva Say
The Teva P2 water shoe / bootie is the ultimate in hardcore water footwear for the outdoor professional. The low-profile P2 was designed to excel from the portage all the way through the rapids. Shoe features split toe construction for increased lateral control, 3.2-mm neoprene and synthetic upper, 3D Internal FT pad protects lateral ankle, and multiple drainage ports.
Reviewed by Dan Webber.