Over the past few months I have been testing a couple of pairs of shoes from the Canadian company Baffin. They both fall within the companies Trail To Rapids range and are designed for use on and off the water (with more of bias to waterborne activities).
Baffin are probably better known for their cold weather footwear which by all accounts is damn good stuff, but their Trail To Rapids range including the two pairs I have here at the Unsponsored HQ are worth having a look at.
First up is the Swamp Buggy:
This is relatively large set of shoes that offer great support. If you are familiar with the Five Ten range then they are certainly comparable in many ways to the Canyoneer shoe.
The struture of the shoes has been specifically designed to work in wet environments and ensure fast drainage.
Ventilated Mesh provides ultimate breathability
Removable Water Channeling System drains water
Nylon Layer allows water and air to travel through
Metallic Grid stops stones and grit from entering
Ultra Light Midsole provides cushioning and acts as the primary defense
RUGGED SOLE Designed specifically to give you added traction
You will not be able to get into a play boat using these shoes but in a creeker or river runner they are ideal.
The Swamp Buggy has a pretty chunky sole with a widely spaced tread. In the centre of the sole is a hole that runs straight through to the bed of the shoe. This is designed to drain water quickly. The holes themselves are quite large but are protected by a finer metal mesh. This will hopefully keep larger stones out of the shoe.
The lacing system is super simple and is not dissimilar to the system used on Salomon’s range of running shoes. The lace is tightened using a cord grip which is super simple to use and minimises the amount of excess lace flapping around. I like this setup a lot.
The Swamp Buggy shoes won’t win any beauty contest but initial impressions are that they fit and function well. There will be a full review arriving shortly once the shoes have been hammered a bit.