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Old 08-26-2011   #1
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Still shoe shopping

So I finally threw down for new creek shoes this year and was not too stoked on the 5.10 Canyoneers. The traction is great, but they are falling apart and they hold both water and sand in really well. The drain hole is a full inch up off the bottom.

I was also considering their water tennie, but I see folks wearing those with stitching blown out after just a month or so of boating.

What are you liking? Are the Keen Gorge booties holding up?

I want the following in a bootie: decent traction, ankle support, drainage, sand repellency, and longevity. Bonus points for fitting in the play boat too, but not expecting that.

Are Teva's latest offerings worth considering?

Thanks for sharing


(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 08-26-2011   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Dave, I bought some recent Tevas and the fell apart instantly. After getting my money back I bought the Water Tennie and have been really impressed. The pull loops started to come off after 75 days or so so I sewed them back on and have had no other problems. The thin laces have held up really well and are great for easily tightening the shoe. The rubber is SUPER STICKY on wet rock.

Not sure I'd throw down $100 on these shoes, but at half that they're the best shoe I've ever had on the water. Of course, I'm guiding rafts and not crickin', but I think that should create more wear and tear, or at least as much.

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Old 08-26-2011   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Men's - Champion - ActiveFlex Runner - Payless Shoes

Here you go. Water drainage, check. Sturdy enough for 10 mile hike, check. Probably going to hold some sand but that's going to be a tough nut to crack on any closed toe shoe. Traction, probably not as good as 5.10 but better than any neoprene POS being marketed as a whitewater shoe. They may even fit into your playboat. And when they fall apart after a season, you only spent $30.
I just don't see the sense anymore in throwing down for expensive WW footwear. You're not going to get longevity or support from anything made of neoprene (at least not creeking when you're scouting, hiking, etc), and anything burly enough to have real longevity (think good hiking/mountaineering boots) is just too heavy for a water shoe. And if you're in a drysuit, you can wear socks and don't need something with insulating qualities.
In reality, I don't have those shoes...but I bought a beater pair of tennies similar to those and they've been as good or better than any "water" shoe that I've paid 3 to 4 times the price for in the past...and they're still running fine and I will bet they make it through next season.
Chris Morrison
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Old 08-26-2011   #4
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
I think you've found an opening in the market. You can start your own new shoe line, call it the Dave Frankenshoe. I'm kind of resigned to buying new shoes every 2 or 3 years. Everything's disposable. It's the American way. Seems like Teva switches up almost their entire line of shoes every year so something's always on sale cheap at the end of the year. I know it's hearsay, but I've found their stickiest rubber to have better traction than fiveten and that's my # one priority because I hate slipping. I've found the shoe wear to be reasonable. The soft rubber means the sole has a shorter life, but whatever, next year they'll be selling their previous year model for $50.
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Old 08-26-2011   #5
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
And such high hopes for the water tennie. Fyi Dave, Forest got his warrantied and they're sending him a new pair. (doh, nevermind you had the canyoneers..which maybe they'll warranty??)

The 2nd round of Teva Avators from last year are doing good for me. Grip is great and still holding up. The first round had the glue that had em coming apart at the soles almost instantly. They warrantied them for me(supposedly fixed the problem) and the second ones seem to be holding ok for now. Might find them for cheap. The new tevas they were showing at "OR" looked promising...we'll see.

These shoes are out there too, Dave. Have yet to try them...

Shoes That Light Up - Jezign Illuminated Footwear

The fuckin heel lights up son.
Your opinion doesn't matter when you're already biased.
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Old 08-26-2011   #6
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
I remember reading from Leif that he used thrift-store reebox for creeking.

With that said though, I will again plug my Teva Avators... though now, I honestly say me and three other friends love them too. These puppies are awesome. They drain right at the base of your foot in various spots. The drainage does let in a little sand, but not gravel. They can tighten really well, they trek good, and mine have seen a full season of portages and hikes etc and they don't look like they're about to quit any time soon. Soles pretty thick and extends out past your toes just a little.

I wear them barefoot and with my drysuit (built-in socks/booties; sometimes with extra hiking-socks inside my drysuit in the winter). I've hiked waterton with them on numerous times (with and without socks), and they didn't draw my attention with any discomfort at all.

Ps. I've read about the Avators having issues, but I must have dodged the bad batch of them that Flowtorch alludes to. I bought mine in August or July of last year.
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Old 08-26-2011   #7
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 71
vibram 5 fingers are great river shoes - no ankle support though....
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Old 08-26-2011   #8
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 71
I have the keen gorge and it has held up nicely this season; around 90 days on the poudre and a couple excursions around the state. It is starting to tear a little on the orange ankle/heal strap, but everything else is in good condition. The neoprene was nice for the early season and wearing a fleece sock works really well with this shoe. I had a hard time fitting in my ezg...but with some slight re-arranging i can squeeze.

Overall, I have been pleased with this shoe and I'm curious to see how it holds up to another year...
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Old 08-26-2011   #9
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
I've been using a pair of NRS kickers from REI ($30) for the last two years. They're super comfortable. I can walk all day in them. My only complaints are that I've accidentally kicked them off in my boat while rolling and the traction isn't that good on steep loose riverbank soil. They're excellent for the play park.
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Old 08-27-2011   #10
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 286
I've been wearing a pair of high top puma's all season. Provide good ankle support, have decent traction, and their comfortable. Fine sand get in, and so does water but they have not felt water logged at all. I wear a drysuit with booties so that may be why I don't notice it much. But I also haven't notice a bunch of water pouring out of them either. And as with all puma's they are really light weight. They do fit in my rockstar but it is a tight fit for my size 9. My villian s they have plenty of room. Im sure I could get another season or two out of these.

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