We have long lamented that no-one makes gear specifically designed for Coasteering and whilst these boots were designed for Canyoning (a very similar activity), they are the closest we have found to a perfect boot for Coasteering.
Well one pair of boots has lasted me two seasons already (an unheard of triumph) and are should see me through 2011 too. Used twice a day throughout the season, in various sea conditions, coming into contact with sharp rocks, barnacles and other shoe destroying terrain. They have endured admirably, even the buckle fasteners which i was dubious about, are like new.
The soles are starting to show some wear but have many adventures left in them. Tough sole rubber rises up at the back of the boot encasing the heel. Toes are protected by yet more rubber without compromising the flexibility.
Even on the slipperiest of rocky shore these manage to retain a good level of grip allowing you to “plant” yourself at likely slip areas to help clients across with super confidence. On normal rock/barnacles they are superb. In fact it is possible to stand quite firmly on near vertical slopes, the only limiting factor being your own calf strength. Gone are the days of our instructors slipping over, demonstrating how not to do it!
Very comfortable boot, with the buckle fasteners ensuring a snug fit. For such a tough boot they still manage to retain a lot of flexibility and are very lightweight. The only negative for me is that if the boot is too big, your foot tends to slide about. When wearing said ill-fitting pair on a steep slab run one tends to stub a toe or toe inside the boot. After a week of stubbed toe’s I replaced the boots for a smaller size, comfort was restored.
Tying and untying laces with cold wet hands is a challenge. These boots are joyfully simple to fasten. A large padded flap with Velcro covers the ankle, clamped down with two wide straps with buckles, that’s it – no laces or a bewildering array of straps!
Thick overlapping neoprene encases the ankle and comes up high enough (but not too high) to give excellent support, its a very reassuring feeling when perching on a sleep slippery rock to know your ankles can take it.
All in all an excellent boot that fulfills all the criteria. The 5:10 Canyoneer 2 retails at around £80 which we think is quite reasonable for such an awesome bit of kit.
*Top-tip: If you suffer from cold feet as I do its worth wearing a pair of neoprene socks inside the boots = toasty warm feet, even in winter!