Published on November 16th, 2012 | by Greg0
Teva Lifty Chair 5: Ultra-Lightweight, Winterproof Boots
When you think of the name Teva, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not wintry weather and skiing down mountains. And when you think of winter boots, the furthest adjective from your mind is probably lightweight. If you've spent any time on the slopes in the past few years, you've no doubt seen pretty impressive materials make their way into boards and coats and even socks- technical apparel continues to improve, and it isn't just marketing. But, perhaps oddly, boots are still pretty traditional and certainly hefty, chunky and clunky.
Well, it doesn't have to be that way. That's the lesson of the Teva Lifty Chair 5 boots- a new product and a new face to a company that is transitioning into making gear for year-round, all-sport use. The specs are impressive: an approximate weight of 1 pound, 3 ounces and temperature rated to -25 degrees F. We definitely had to try them out, and we're happy to report back: this is a great new entrant to the winter arena and should definitely give established manufacturers pause. They aren't perfect- but are the lightest winter boot we've tried, and pack up neatly for easy storage or stowing away in your bag while traveling.
There are a few compromises. This is not a boot that is for serious, all-day winter sports fanatics; those who are planning sessions in deep snow or who are looking for a ski boot. The Chair 5s are solid but can't perform miracles- still durable, they held up to some decent snowfall and near-zero temperatures pretty well for a while, but definitely got a bit chilly after a couple of hours and some sweat. The company justly brags about the "one piece, injection molded EVA outer construction" and "lightweight, rip-stop waterproof lace upper" and we really did like the laces here, as well as the stitching.
In terms of looks, they appear similar to a pair of rubber galoshes or rain boots with a more serious sole. Available in two colors of black and brown, ours were the darker color and featured a bit of blue reflective striping on the upper as well as on the logo. The sole offered quite a bit of traction- though not as much as, say, some hiking boots like those we checked out earlier this year from Wolverine or Lowa. But the Teva Chair 5s performed well on icy sidewalks and trails, preventing us from slipping or sliding around. They don't offer quite as much stability or protection from side-to-side twists or sprains, since the material is much less stiff.
One feature was remarkable: the removable 250-gram Thinsulate LiteLoft liner can be taken out and worn around the cabin as a light bootie of sorts. It was a bit difficult to get in and out of the boot wihtout some fuss, though. Fit felt true, and the multi-part velcro and elastic kept wind and moisture from getting in around our ankles. The area around the mid-front of the boot, above the foot, felt a bit loose and lacing tight created a bit too much crinkling and wrinkling. Which connects to the only other issue we had- they're a bit noisy and squishy! That sounds like a small thing, and it is, since boots are always a bit loud. But these feel so soft and light that the odd sneaker-like sounds made an impact.
For lightweight winter use, these are just the thing- a packable, compact boot that is both very comfortable and quite warm. While we don't think it's the right choice for the toughest conditions or environments, the Teva Lifty Chair 5s do point to a radically new style of boots that don't require a separate bag. We won't miss getting a workout trying to lift our feet, and you won't either. Available now, at $170, and a slightly different women's style (the Jordanelle) runs the same price. For those who aren't sure or would like some more information, here's a nifty video that Teva put together.