Bottom of the boat for these amphibious shoes
July 3, 2009
I’ve been pretty pleased with the Salomon products I’ve used over the years, so I thought it would be a no-brainer when I bought a pair of shoes for my river adventures.
Under the gun to find a good pair of sandals for a 3-day trip down the Colorado River in Utah, I went to a local store and picked up a pair of Salomon Techamphibians. The company describes them as sandals, but I beg to differ.
I grabbed them because the price was right – they were on sale for $39.99, down from $80. Thank God I didn’t pay full price.
Those shoes ended up being a nightmare for the whole trip. The company describes the shoes as “extremely comfortable” and “lightweight.” They were neither.
As soon as they got wet, they became heavy bricks on my feet, despite their breathable, open-mesh sides.
They were supposed to be a multi-purpose shoe that doubles as a sandal with a collapsible heel. It’s a good thing that the heel was collapsible because when I went on a hike, the back portion of the shoe rubbed the back of my feet until they bled.
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I compensated by collapsing the heel, but that didn’t give me much stability for steep, rocky hills and large boulders.
The shoe-lacing system was the classic Salomon style, which ended up being my biggest nemesis. The system involves tugging up the tongue of the shoe, and then squeezing a “latch” at the top that makes the laces stay in place.
But there is nowhere to tuck in the excess laces, so I had about three inches hanging from both shoes. I tripped over one of them and nearly fell into a 20-foot-deep crevice.
Salomon also describes the Techamphibians as having “cleverly concealed smooth internal stitching that allows friction-free, comfy transition, no matter the activity.”
The only activity that I enjoyed was pitching them in the bottom of the boat, never to be worn again.
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.