Item: Techamphibian Womens Salomon Shoes
Date of purchase: May 2016
Rating: 3 of 5
Pros: Lightweight, breathable, dried quickly, easily adjustable
Cons: not durable, lacing and back strap loosen easily, not a lot of support
I originally purchased these shoes because I was in a bind. I was going on a 15-day white water canoe trip and my previous river shoes had just died on me. At the local outdoor store the Techamphibian were the only shoes that were suitable for what I wanted. My main hesitation for buying these shoes was the adjustable strap at the back of the shoe, right on the heel. On one hand this was convenient because I would easily go up or down a shoe size depending on what socks I was wearing or the type of activity I was doing. The down side was that it could slip and go up a shoe size without me wanting it to.
On the river these shoes turned out to be really good! Instead of regular laces, they have a drawstring and toggle for quickly tying up my shoes. They dried very quickly so everyday I was putting on dry shoes in the morning. On portages they were performing fairly well. I couldn’t tie them very tight and they would loosen quickly so there wasn’t much support. This wasn’t a huge issue and I was still satisfied with my purchase.
The real issue came about on our first really wet portage. Walking through a large puddle with a canoe on my shoulders, one of my shoes comes off in the mud. With a big sigh, I kept on through the puddle with one shoe. At the end of the puddle I threw off the canoe, went back to get my mud filled shoe and put it back on. Tightening both of them an extra tug this time. Since this first incident I’ve lost my shoe a few times, now it’s a habit to give a little extra tug on the heel strap before any portage.
Another issue I’ve had with this particular shoe is the wear and tear. This happens naturally on any gear, but holes appeared in my shoes halfway into my first season with them. At the beginning of this season (my second season with the shoes), I’ve already started researching for my next pair of river shoes. I will be surprised if my Salomon’s last until the end of this season.
Perhaps I am too hard on the shoes and use them too vigorously. However as a guide I don’t really have much choice in how gentle I can be with them. My next river shoe will probably not be a Salomon shoe, if anything just to try out another brand to see what else is out there. My previous pair were Teva’s and they also barely lasted 2 tripping season. Maybe that’s the shoe limit… 2 seasons.