The Teva Cherry Bomb Water Shoe Review

The Teva Cherry Bomb is a new river shoe for 2009. It's not named after semi-illegal fireworks, or a John Mellencamp song. Cherry Bomb is a long, tumultuous rapid hidden within the depths of Upper Cherry Creek (California). The rapid itself is a steep, complicated drop in a near vertical walled granite gorge. The Cherry Bomb shoe is aptly named because it has the capabilities of sticking to wet rock, similar to the granite slabs that Cali is know for. Check out this You Tube video of Rush Sturges' high water Cherry Bomb gnar session. If it weren't for his super-human paddling ability, he probably wouldn't have made it out of the rapid safe and sound.

The Specs:


  • SSR rubber outsole provides unequaled traction on wet rocks.
  • Toe protection and perimeter wrap keeps your foot from sliding around on the platform.
  • Stretch neoprene upper with gusset allows for easy entry and a tight seal.
  • Instep and forefoot straps keep your foot secure for additional performance.
  • 14oz / 395g
  • These are unisex shoes displayed in Men's sizes - Women should order two sizes down e.g. women's size 8 should order size 6


  • Awesome protection and grip. The high top design will keep your ankles protected.
  • Instep and forefoot straps help to get the shoe tight and comfortable. The Cherry Bombs have superb torsional stability. You don't have to worry about losing a booty in a swim. Once you get them on, they are not coming off of your foot.
  • SSR climbing rubber is great on loose, slippery rocks. The toe and heel area have lots of rubber too.
  • The heel strap is a great help when putting on the Cherry Bomb. They are a from fitting booty, and the heel is a little tough to get on your foot. The strap makes life easy.
  • The neoprene and rubber reinforcement also make the Cherry Bomb a warm shoe.
  • This is a great rafting and duckying shoe too. It's got tons of support and will stick to slippery surfaces.
  • Reinforced stitching and seams.
  • They look cool.
  • Oh yea...The high top neoprene back of the Cherry Bomb looks like it would work really well for drinking beer out of. If you swim, make sure that someone in your group has a pair. When we try it, we'll let you know how it works (and tastes).


  • The shape of the heel is narrow and rounded (like a climbing shoe). This gives them less overall stability compared to a river shoe like the Gnar. On the other hand, they have a low profile design that will fit into more boats than the Teva Gnar. They are also way better in sketchy, rocky hikes/climbs.
  • The high top design is a tight fit. It takes a little bit of effort to get on(more so than a zippered shoe). The strap on the back really helps to pull the shoe over the ankle. I have wide feet, and had no problem once I used the strap. If you want a shoe that slips on easier and is not a high top, try the Sling King.

The Verdict:

Teva has a few new river shoes in their lineup for 2009 including The Cherry Bomb, Sling King and Gnar. The Cherry Bomb will probably be a popular shoe because it is useful for a few different types of paddling(rafting, creeking, river running,etc). They have very sticky rubber on them that excels in demanding portages, protects your feet and ankles well, and have superior torsional stability. The overall size will fit inside of kayaks ranging from large creek boats to most free runners (JK Funs for example). If you are looking for a high performance, bomber river shoe that will not come off of your foot in any situation, try the Cherry Bomb.

Here is one more video worth taking the time to watch. The footage of Cherry Bomb gorge (3:30 or so) is awesome. Scary, but awesome.

Upper Cherry Creek 2008 from Powder Monkeys, Inc. on Vimeo.

Here's the link to their trip report from Upper Cherry Creek.

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