Canyoning Footwear. Bestard Canyon Guide

So I’ve always been a fan of Teva sandals for my outdoor adventures but then I strained both Achilles at basketball. Clambering up steep hills in any shoe at the moment is a little uncomfortable for me. In the canyon they didn’t bother me too much but on a steep descent and, oddly worse, on a long flat walk out the heal strap on the sandals has given me a bit of curry and certainly done me no favours. Bearable while still moving but once I stop they flare up, by the end of the car ride home I’ve been struggling to walk to the house.

With this in mind and to get the pressure off the tendon I’ve decided to retire them early and try out a canyon specific boot.

I’m a big fan of Five10s for riding so was attracted to them first but a few people had said the heal strap in the five10s was uncomfortable, something I was trying to avoid. I’ve also heard of people complaining about longevity and quality in them, something that has been somewhat an issue with the riding shoes since Adidas bought them out.

The Fat Canyoners had a good write up on the Bestards so I decided to give them a go.

 

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Here are my initial thoughts.

Postage got held up a little in the Christmas madness so when they finally turned up I popped them straight on to break them in a bit. No real need. These are one of the most comfortable boots I’ve ever tried out of the box. I wore them around all day doing some maintenance on my ute. Wow.

They are much lighter than they look too.

I’ve now had a chance to get them down their first canyon. Du Faurs creek

They have some features that shows just how much thought the good folk at Bestard have put into them, Notably  built in spats, to help keep sand and burrs out, and lace pouch.

Lace pouch? Sounds like a wank yeah. But on scrubby walks I was often waiting for others (I’m looking at you Mandy, dearest love of my life….) to stop and do up laces. Tucking the knot and lace ends up into the little pouch on the Bestards tongue means this should never be an issue with these boots. Attention to that sort of detail gives me high hopes for these boots (Or at least helps me justify to myself spending so much on them)

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The only concerns I had so far was how hot they be on a long walk out in high summer.

 

Price.

They aren’t cheap and being a tight arse I would not have spent that coin on a shoe for canyoning had I not suffered the achillies thing.

They generally go for around $175 Euro,that said I picked mine up for $115 euro from the Canyonstore. Postage was hefty adding another $50aus meaning all up it was a tad over $200Aus

Looks.

What can I say? They are friggin moon boots straight from a dodgy 80’s sci fi show. Cool is you are into that sort of thing.

I am

Fit.

At the time of ordering there wasn’t anywhere in Aus that stocked them (New store openning  in Katoomba is suppose to be stocking them now) so getting the sizing right was a bit of a concern. My Five10 riding shoes are all US10/Euro43 but my clipless riding shoes are US10/Euro45. Both fit perfectly (how does that even work?). My Teva Sandals are a Euro 43 and slightly tight so I split the difference and with widish feet and habit of wearing thick woolen sockswent Euro 44.5. The fit was pretty spot on, slightly roomy across the foot so the 44s may have been better. The lace system helped pull every thing tight enough.

Grip

Fat Canyoners said they needed to scuff the soles up a bit to get comfortable with the grip. I didn’t have any issues in Du Faurs but it isn’t the most slippy canyon out there so I’ll reserve judgement

Sand

There is a fair bit of wading down a sandy bottom creek in Du Faurs. At the end of the day not a scearic of sand in the boots. Win

Swimming

After the naturalness of the Tevas to swim in I found the Bestards to be a little weird in the swims. They had a bit of a floaty sensation. Not bad, just weird. Might take a bit of getting use to

Wear

To early to tell.

Comfort

As stated earlier one of the most comfortable boots I’ve ever put on out of the box. None of that breaking them in and taping things up until the skin toughens up you normally associate with new hiking boots

The day wasn’t that hot so I didn’t get a chance to see how hot they be on a long sunny walk out but so far so good.

Definitely took the pressure off my achillies. Stepped out of the car and walked inside feeling almost normal. A big relief to me.

Be interesting to see how they go long term.

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