A new addition to my travel wardrobe in 2020 is the TropicFeel Canyon in core black. Based on the spec’s these all-terrain shoes should be a versatile addition to my kit so let’s put them to the test and see how they really perform in daily travel life.
Table of Contents
- Who are TropicFeel?
- My Tropicfeel review: Putting the Canyon through it paces
- What I like about TropicFeel travel shoes.
- A few of the limitations we’ve noticed
Who are TropicFeel?
TropicFeel is a company that I first came across in 2019 and immediately felt an affinity to the brand. Like us it’s inspired by travel, by caring for our environment, the great outdoors, discovering new places, venturing off the sealed path and creating a positive impact.
When I placed my order they offered 2 shoe styles, the Canyon and the Monsoon. Both are essentially all-terrain sneakers, equally at home in the water or on land and with a look that’s not out of place in daily life.
To look at they are similar to a streamlined sports shoe. They have a similar profile sole and appearance to my Nike Air Zoom Pegasus that I also favour in black so they blend easily with the rest of my casual active wardrobe.
Where they come into their own is that they combine the advantages of a casual travel shoe with:
- adequate support and comfort for walking
- a non-slip sole for a variety of surfaces and conditions, and
- the quick-dry features of an aqua sock
When you want to travel light and reduce what you’re carrying finding functional multi-purpose gear is a priority. The TropicFeel Canyons are super light to tuck in your suitcase and they come with their own breathable bag with a clip that attaches to the outside of your day pack so you don’t need to put them in with your clothes and electronics when they are still damp.
The non-slip sole makes them an ideal boat shoe and the quick-dry feature makes them perfect for exploring rock pools, tropical coral beaches or kayaking like this fabulous day on Fitzroy Island off Cairns.
They were in my bag earlier this year when we headed across to New Zealand. Some activities on the itinerary for this trip were a day at the Waitomo caves, plenty of hiking, Hobbiton, a visit to an island wildlife sanctuary and exploring the beautiful Lake Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty by kayak. Sadly 2020 had other plans and we returned early with not all the items checked off our list but the shoes got a good work up and performed well.
The area around the lake is stunning with the surrounding native bush, glow worm caves and hot springs but while pumice stone in the shower might keep your feet soft and smooth it gets pretty darn uncomfortable underfoot when you’re hopping in and out of a boat so some sort of aqua shoe is perfect.
My Tropicfeel review: Putting the Canyon through it paces
If I’m going to put any reliance on a review I want to know that the product has actually been used as intended, in a variety of conditions and put under some level of duress. Not worn for a photo and reviewed on spec’s alone.
On the other hand, when writing a review it’s necessary to share information in a way that is both timely and meaningful. To balance this I like to be really upfront with the extent of my testing and use of the product.
I’ve had the TropicFeel Canyons for around 3 months as I write this. During this time they have been worn regularly but not exclusively. To provide a more intense test and to more accurately replicate a travel situation, I wore them consistently as my casual shoe for a period of 3 weeks. If I went out in a dress (not that common) I wore sandals, otherwise, I wore the Canyons. That included my daily walks, shopping, the beach, brunch, things I’d normally do both at home and travelling.
My lifestyle and daily style are generally casual so I was able to make this work relatively easily. I also took them to New Zealand for 12 days but due to our varied itinerary they weren’t the only shoe I packed for the trip. More recently they’ve also made several other trips out around Queensland’s Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
What I like about TropicFeel travel shoes.
Lets me minimise what I pack
The versatility of the shoe both in function and appearance meant I could wear it with a variety of outfits from active to casual and feel comfortable. That I could wear it to the beach, walking, putting in some miles around the city and to a relaxed but delicious cafe for lunch makes them very versatile.
Lightweight to wear and carry
The Canyons are incredibly light to wear which makes them comfortable when you are on your feet all day exploring a new destination.
A nod to sustainability and environmental concerns
Besides function, the other reason I wanted to give the Tropicfeel products a try is the brand’s position on sustainability and the environment. They select their supply partners to ensure that the materials they use are sustainable, traceable and where possible, recycled. This foam made from algal bloom is a key component and its production not only reduces harmful chemicals from foam production ending up in our waterways but it removes and uses algae that otherwise has a detrimental impact on water quality.
Constructed and treated to be quick drying
We spend a lot of time around the water, I like that these really are quick-drying and are still comfortable to wear when wet.
Quick to slip on and off
The shoes are quick to put on and take off. They are a good comfortable fit when they are on and don’t slip around but that bit of ‘give’ in them means you pull them on easily with the tab at the back and the no-tie laces are held in place with a spiral so you can tighten or loosen them but you don’t need to tie them, and they don’t come loose.
They resist slipping
The sole is non-slip, to look at it’s very similar to a sports shoe. This makes them comfortable to walk on a normal path and also clambering over rocks at the beach. On sharper surfaces like beaches with coral, pebbles or pumice they offer much more protection than the typical aqua sock.
Breathable design and construction
In a sub-tropical climate, I find the breathable net fabric really comfortable. Wearing normal sneakers or running shoes could be a bit hot so they are a good compromise with far more support than an open shoe.
Helps prevent smelly feet
Ok, yours never smell but it is a thing. Bacteria multiply fast in a damp warm environment, sports shoes typically provide the ideal environment and that is what causes feet and shoes to become smelly over time.
This is made worse if you wear the same shoes throughout the day, and day after day, and when we travel that is what most of us do. It’s not practical to take half a dozen different pairs of shoes to alternate through.
There are a few things we can do to avoid problems. Always dry your feet well, if wearing socks technical fibres are best for wicking away moisture and now treated fabrics can help too.
TropicFeel treats their shoes with AgION, an anti-microbial agent that works to combat odours caused by bacteria.
My shoes now have about 3-months of use so it’s a bit earlier than I’d want to comment on this conclusively but as I’m around water a lot I mostly wear them without socks and so far … so good.
A few of the limitations we’ve noticed
They’re a shoe for warmer climates.
As the name ‘Tropicfeel’ implies these shoes are designed for hot climates. If you’re travelling lite and taking your Tropicfeel shoes as your only enclosed shoes then be aware that the fabric is designed to breathe and will not keep your feet warm in colder climates.
This isn’t a negative as such, it’s just too early to give a real assessment on this one. I haven’t noticed any issues at this point but to be successful as an everyday shoe for extended travel it needs to be rugged and long-lasting. At this point, it seems to be.
After the first couple of wears, I did notice a loose thread at the top of one shoe. I cut it off as a precaution to avoid it snagging but it doesn’t seem to have unravelled any further in the following weeks of wear.
At the end of my trial, in a variety of urban, beach and light trail conditions the Canyon travel shoes aren’t showing any significant signs of wear .
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If you have any questions I’ve not covered here please feel free to ask in the comments section below. I’d be happy to answer anything I can.