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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Category: Footwear (page 1 of 4)

Winter Is Coming

We’ve just about hit that time of the year in the UK when it gets darker earlier and earlier, the weather has begun to turn and the water is that little bit colder – Winter Is Coming. It’s a great time to start to look at your cold weather paddling gear and assess whether it is going to be up to the job.

Winter Is Coming

Being cold is not just uncomfortable it can also be life threatening. Having the right gear for the right conditions is key at any time of the year but the margin for error during the colder seasons is much tighter.

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Student Kayak Gear Buyers Guide 2016

Although this buyers guide is directed at students in reality it will apply to anyone thinking about taking up the sport. Over the next few weeks many students will be starting Uni and will be looking at joining a club. In most cases the Kayak/Canoe club in a university will be the best club to join.

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Peak UK Racer ST – First Look

Peak UK have launched their new Racer ST. This revolutionary garment was four years in development and collaboration between Peak UK, British Canoeing and the English Institute of Sport.

Peak UK Racer ST - First Look

The Racer ST combines a cag, deck and PFD into one single piece of gear. We’ve seen and used cag decks (top decks)from Peak UK in the past and they have been a firm favourite at Unsponsored HQ, but adding the PFD element takes this to a whole new level.

The PFD/Cag/Deck combo was used by Joe Clarke, David Florence & Richard Hounslow in Rio this year.

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Astral Donner And Tinker – Fall 2016

Astral Donner and Tinker - Fall 2016

Donner and Tinker are shoes by Astral made for year round living. Introducing our Fall, cool weather shoe with focus on balance, traction and weather resistance. Building off our best selling style, we expand our multisport, light trail collection.

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Palm Equipment Gradient Boots 2016 – First Look

Palm Equipment have updated the super popular Gradient boots for 2016. The previous version is firm favourite at Unsponsored HQ.

Palm Equipment Gradient Boots 2016

So what have Palm done to make the Gradient boots better?

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Astral Hiyak – Review

I’m going to begin the Astral Hiyak – review by saying a little bit about the boots I’ve been using most of the time – the Five Ten Water Tennies. They have been faultless and have become my favourite pair of paddling boots. The Stealth rubber is what really makes it. Have several pairs of shoes/boots and have probably tested/reviewed pretty much everything that is available on the market but for river use I always return to the Water Tennies.

Astral Hiyak - Review

Now to the Astral Hiyak. They don’t have the Stealth rubber from Five Ten but have Astral’s own G.ss rubber, I have seen the G.ss a number of times but have never been able to try it out, until now.

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ASTRAL G Rubber Science

When Astral first launched their line of watershoes a few years back the sole was constructed from Five Ten Stealth rubber. However Five Ten were bought out by Adidas and the availability of the Stealth rubber sole for third parties dried up.

Astral G Rubber Science

Knowing that they were onto something really special with their line up of shoes Astral went out and made a compound that was far better in terms of both grip and wear than the Stealth rubber they had previously used.

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Palm Equipment – Camber Air

Super light weight, fast draining and a quality sole. Palm may well be on to a winner with the new Camber Air.

Palm Camber Air

Added to Palm’s premium watersports footwear range is the Camber Air. With the same Multitendos sole as the award winning Gradient.

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NRS 2016 – Part 1

NRS were well represented at Paddle Expo with a fairly sizeable stand. If you aren’t familiar with NRS stand by. They produce pretty much everything for paddle sports and now have a base in Europe. This will mean that we will be seeing a great deal more of their gear in the UK and across the rest of Europe.

Crush Watershoe:

We have had pair of the original Crush shoes here at Unsponsored HQ for quite some time and they are holding up well. For 2016 NRS has beefed up the cushioning within the insole, have toughened up the fabric around the toe/sides and have improved the traction offered by the rubber.

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Five Ten Line Up

Five Ten had a very small representation at this years Paddle Expo. Some of the firm favourites like the Water Tennie will be part of the line up next year along with the recently released Canyoneer 3 and the brand new Eddy.

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Five Ten Canyoneer 3 – First Thoughts

Kirstie Macmillan gives us her first thoughts on the Five Ten Canyoneer 3 boots.

What Five Ten Say:

In canyoneering, where static friction is life and sliding friction death, Canyoneers have become the gold standard. The Canyoneer 3, with its Stealth S1 soles, reflects more than 15 years of R&D in some of the world’s harshest environments. The new 2015 Canyoneer retains the burly protection and excellent stability of its predecessor, but adds an increased lug height for improved penetration on soft ground and easier mud release. We’ve added welded rubber rands that interlock with the mesh upper to eliminate any chance of delamination; an asymmetric fast-lace system for single-handed adjustability in cold, wet conditions; a protective tuck-away lace pouch and svelte heel cage for torsional stiffness and support. And the flexible ankle cuff gives you support and protection without compromising range of motion.

Five Ten Canyoneer 3 - First Thoughts

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Palm Gradient Boots – First Look

It seems that Unsponsored HQ is starting to resemble a little bit of a shoe shop. Following on from the arrival of footwear from Baffin, Astral, and NRS we have the arrival of the new Palm Gradient boots.

Palm Gradient

From Palm:

A boot which will eat up hike-ins‚ precarious scouts and tough portages. Confidence inspiring ankle support with protective scratch rubber reinforcement and a secure lace-up fit (good with or without drysuit socks)‚ the Gradient still maintains a low profile to fit comfortably in your kayak. Built upon our Vibram sole made from HydroGrip rubber. The ultimate in wet traction.

Palm Gradient Boots

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