Tropicfeel Canyon Review
The Ultimate All-terrain Sneaker?
Welcome to my Tropicfeel Canyon sneaker review (I will refer to them as trainers for the rest of the review!). Before I get into it, let's look at what they are. Tropicfeel claim "Canyon is the all-terrain sneaker with 4-in-1 versatility: providing the benefits of aqua shoes, the comfort of sport shoes, the technical outsole materials of hiking shoes, and the styling of your favourite daily pieces." Scroll to the bottom to see their promo video, if you haven't already seen it.
Why did I buy the Tropicfeel Canyon? I wanted an all in one trainer for travel. A trainer that I can take in Bumper, take island hopping, walking over Dartmoor and one that doesn't look out of place with my chinos in the pub when we stop for a pint or head out for some dinner while on holiday. Although I don't think there is an absolutely perfect all in one solution, I do think the Tropicfeel Canyon is about as close as you will find and below are the points I thought worth highlighting to talk to you about in this review.
Tropicfeel Canyon in their inspirational box!
Let's look at what Tropicfeel claim they are - aqua shoe, training shoe, hiking shoe and daily piece.
The Tropicfeel Canyons and I went for a little dip on Christmas Day 2020. They were awesome - they helped keep my feet warm in the cold waters of the Plymouth Sound and provided comfort over the pebbly beach. They are also machine washable, so if you've been in the sea, you can throw the Canyon in the washing machine to thoroughly clean them and get all that sand and salt out! On the water note - I did head out for a walk and the weather was looking good on Google but the heavens opened with heavy rain for about thirty minutes. Thanks, Google! Anyway, when I got back I was surprised how well the Tropicfeel Canyon did at keeping the wet out. My feet were wet at the toe, but that was pretty much it. I've also used the Tropicfeel Canyon extensively on the water in my kayak. Although not ideal for colder temperatures, other than that, they are the perfect shoe to get on the water with - comfortable, quick drying and smell free, even after getting dirty canal water on them!
I have a pair of dedicated trainers for running and this wasn't their purpose, so I haven't run in them and I wouldn't run in them for this reason. The grip is good, and they are lightweight so I think it would be entirely possible to run in them, although expect any serious runner or gym goer would stick to their specialist training shoes.
As for the hiking. I took them for a spin on Dartmoor and they were awesome! While scrambling up and down the granite tors they gripped better than any pair of walking boots or trainers I've ever walked on Dartmoor with. I was suitably impressed by how they coped, well done, Tropicfeel. They lack the ankle support of my usual walking boots, so if you require ankle support, the Tropicfeel Canyon might not be for you. But because they are so lightweight and nimble, I didn't feel the lack of support was an issue.
Me, sporting the Tropicfeel Canyon trainers for this review. Thanks to Jules (@juliet_ritsma) for the portraits. We got to test out her new flashes under some dramatic Dartmoor cloud. Go check out her Instagram!
The Tropicfeel Canyon is an expensive shoe, in my opinion. If you pay full price, you are looking at around £92 (correct at the time of publishing this review). They are shipped by Tropicfeel from Barcelona, for free, so take that into account. I managed to get them for £52, which is a steal when compared to the full price. Every now and then there are sales and pre-orders where you can find at least 20% off. I missed a sale for 30% off but managed to couple a coupon with the pre-order price which brought the Canyon down to £52. I waited a long time to buy them because I was reluctant to pay £92 for something that I would have to pay to return if they didn't fit...returns are not free to Barcelona!
Talking of returns - buying online is always a concern for me when it comes to sizing, especially if the returns aren't free. I am a size 7 and they fit like a glove and they also come with an insole which gives you a little flexibility in size, should you need it.
The Tropicfeel Canyon trainers are super comfortable. I don't usually have a problem with my feet and new shoes, but these were immediately comfortable, like a pair of Clarks...you Brits know what I mean! I wear insoles to solve my overpronation which are rock hard and despite this, the Canyon is still super comfortable. Talking of overpronation, the Canyon is designed for neutral feet and do not provide the support you may need. So, if you have overpronation and don't have insoles, you may find they do you no favours. And if you overpronate and don't have insoles to help correct it...shame on you! Ha-ha. The longest walk I've completed so far in the Tropicfeel Canyon is around 7 miles. Not blisteringly far, but they held up well and my feet were as comfortable at the start as what they were at the end. UPDATE - since first publishing this review, the Tropicfeel Canyon has quickly become my go-to shoe because they are so comfortable. I expect this will start to reduce as we head into another wet winter, but I am really impressed with the level of comfort they provide.
The soles of the Tropicfeel Canyon is awesome. I've had some shocking soles before, like the Vibram soles I had that did not cope well in the wet! They have a slip resistant outsole. I didn't expect them to be so grippy, but they quickly filled me with confidence scrambling up the side of those Dartmoor tors. Couple the grip with the weight (they are very light) and you'll feel like a ninja in the outdoors!
The laces...where do I start?! They are both very good and mildly irritating. They are very good because when you pull them, they tighten, and they stay there. The little rubber stopper, coupled with the elastic material, stops them loosening. BUT...there is nothing to do with the loose bits and if you leave them out and have a lot of excess, like I do, you'll feel them whipping around your feet, which is the mildly irritating bit! I ended up standing on one because it was sticking out a few inches. I tried tucking them in the shoes, but I could feel them under foot. You can try tucking them under themselves, but I don't think this is how they are designed and it's a bit of a nause. Could they be replaced? Probably, but I like that they are effective and unique. So, Tropicfeel, please consider some form of home for the laces for the next Canyon upgrade. UPDATE - I've been wearing the Tropicfeel Canyon a lot since I first published this review. I've got in the habit of tucking the laces under themselves, towards the toes, and they tend to sit well and stay there. I can slip the shoes on and off and leave them put, but I still think Tropicfeel need to address the laces!
One downside to the Tropicfeel Canyon trainers is their use in the cold. They are designed as an all-terrain piece of footwear and to enable this, they aren't designed to keep the water out, but designed to let it out once you are out of the water. This is achieved by a mesh shell and drainage holes in the sole. But what this means is that the cold can get in as easily as the water. So, I don't expect I'll be using them in the Arctic any time soon! Having said that about the water getting in, as mentioned above, the Tropicfeel Canyon does a pretty good job at keeping rain out. Another win, Tropicfeel!
The Canyon on Dartmoor
The Tropicfeel Canyon laces
One thing I didn't know about the Tropicfeel Canyon is that they are made from plastic bottles, six to be precise. This comes under their 'sustainable materials' heading on their Canyon webpage. Whether they use other sustainable materials, I do not know, but if you like the thought of plastic bottles making their way onto your feet and not into the oceans, these could be for you! Going back to the price, one problem I have with companies such as Tropicfeel is they somehow seem to use the environmental card in their favour, despite still being expensive. I don't know how much these things cost to produce in terms of manufacture, research and development and shipping, but if you are using recycled products, is it possible to reduce the price? I bought mine for almost half price, and I suspect they still made a profit. So, if the environment is part of their business plan, I'm not sure planet before profit is their aim.
Tropicfeel also operate a pre-order scheme. Supposedly, this is also for the benefit of the environment. Tropic feel says "Fast Fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 every year. We reduce unnecessary waste by producing only what we need, in line with demand. You get a premium product at a lower price." I bought mine during this scheme and, despite the shipping date being shown as the month ahead, they arrived within four days of buying, which I think is impressive, but it does cast doubt on whether they do actually produce the shoes based on demand...unless they can predict the demand accurately (I don't know how these things work in the retail industry!). With the latest edition of Tropicfeel Canyon, you can see details about their supply chain transparency, social engagement and the sustainable materials they use. Click HERE and scroll to the bottom. You will find three tiles containing the relevant information. According to the materials tile, the new season Canyon uses more than 70% of materials which are proven to be sustainable or eco-friendly. A good effort, I'd say!
Tropicfeel produce the Canyon using 6 recycled plastic bottles and recycled EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate)
The idea of the shoe was to have an all in one solution for when we travel, so it had to be something which could be worn with shorts or a pair of chinos, while wandering around during the day and that didn't look out of place heading for dinner somewhere. For the most part, the Canyon fits the bill. I think the styling is pretty good. Tropicfeel have created the Canyon to blend in with your outfits by using solid colours (red, black, green, wasabi green and grey all available at the time of this review) and they kept any awful, offensive branding at bay. And one you may or may not care about - the Tropicfeel Canyon has a good shape to it. My usual trainers are about half an inch wider and look a bit naff unless you are wearing anything other than sport gear!
I'm really glad I bought the Tropicfeel Canyon after umming and ahhing for so long. Having said that, I wouldn't buy them at full price. Mainly because it's a lot of money when another trainer will meet your basic needs for far less, but there is often a sale on and it's easy to find a coupon to get them cheaper. Try ALLTERRAIN in the coupon code bit at the checkout or install Honey into Google Chrome and see what it comes up with. Honey managed to get me a discount on top of the one they were offering. If there were never any alternatives to get them cheaper, I'd probably bite the bullet and pay full price because I like them so much.
If you want to use them for temperate and tropical climates, they will meet your needs, but if you want them for the British winter or Arctic conditions, you might want to look for a more appropriate pair of shoes! And as far as a trainer goes, they are as versatile as you will find, from being able to hop around the moors and the outdoors in them to not looking out of place with your chinos.
If you'd like to buy your own pair, you can buy them directly from Tropicfeel - https://www.tropicfeel.com/collections/all-terrain.
Have you enjoyed this review? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts! I have really enjoyed putting this review together. Head over to my review of the Fuji X-Series if you're after a camera for your travels!