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Best Canyoneering Shoes

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Canyoneering is always a fun activity if you love the outdoors, want to get some steady exercise, and explore new places all at the same time. Now, if you’re reading this article, chances are you already know that canyoneering is not like your typical hiking or climbing shoes. Canyoneering shoes are built to go through all kinds of terrain – including mud and water! So you can already tell – good canyoneering shoes MUST be very hardy.

best canyoneering shoes

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Check out our list below for a summary of our results. If you are interested, check our detailed summary in the article below.

Best Canyoneering Shoes

What Are Canyoneering Shoes?

Canyoneering is an exciting and fun outdoor activity. It’s a wildlife obstacle course. The outdoors can be tough and dirty.

The activity is not for all, and so it requires a tough mentality and physical fitness. It involves crawling down on small slot canyons or rappelling your way down on a steep gap. Canyoneering requires special gear such as a rappel device, harness, anchor tools as webbings, helmets, appropriate canyoneering shoes, and rope.


When looking for good canyoneering shoes on the online market, you will find it hard to look for specialized shoes. Your shoes are one of the most essential pieces of gear that are necessary for canyoneering. The main use of canyoneering shoes is to protect your feet from sharp rocks, thorns from plants, and cold water.

So, what are canyoneering shoes? Canyoneering shoes are hiking shoes that are tough, comfortable to wear and have a high traction rubber outsole. Any hiking shoes with these features are a good choice for canyoneering activities. A pair of canyoneering shoes can be better if it is fast-drying and easy to drain. Also, if wet canyoneering, it is good to invest in water shoes for water-filled canyons.

Things to Look for in Canyoneering Shoes

When buying a pair of canyoneering shoes, it is very important to have vast knowledge and to do technical research on what makes a pair of canyoneering shoes the best choice for canyoneering activities. The following are the things to look for when buying canyoneering shoes.

The traction of the shoes

Canyoneering requires a lot of crawling in and around slot canyons. Thus, this activity requires a quality pair of shoes with a good grip and adhesion. A canyoneering shoe is also important because it is expected to perform well in wet terrain as it does in dry ground.

Shoes must be comfortable

Canyoneering activities require a lot of hours or days with the same shoes you are wearing. Canyoneering involves a lot of obstacles. These shoes must be comfortable. This is important because you must have full control of your footwork to avoid accidents such as slipping and tripping.

The shoes must have tough foot protection

Canyons are known for having tough terrain because of sharp rocks, thorns from plants, and cold water. In these instances, it is best to have footwear that protects your feet from injuries in a remote area. Canyoneering shoes must have a thick rubber toecap. Find a brand that offers ample toe protection.

The shoes must be durable

Canyons are tough mentally and physically to an individual. This also applies to your gear. The canyoneering shoes should be made with durable fabrics and rubber that can withstand the harsh outdoors.

The shoes should be lightweight

The shoes that you are wearing the whole day during canyoneering should be as light as possible. Nobody likes to wear heavy shoes and so, lightweight shoes can help lessen foot fatigue during long hours of canyoneering.

Fun Outdoor Quiz

Best Canyoneering Shoes

Here are some of the best shoes in the market today, built specifically for canyon adventures.

Adidas Terrex Hydro Lace

adidas outdoor Men's Terrex Hydro_Lace

Unsurprisingly, Adidas is one of those shoe brands that create shoes for demanding activities like canyoneering. You’ll find that this is a common favorite of people who enjoy the hard outdoors.

The Terrex Hydro Lace is specifically created to prevent water from seeping into the feet. It’s built from synthetic and textile uppers with laced closure that keeps the shoes sealed tight against water.

Inside is neoprene, which helps protect your feet from the cold while the patented adiPRENE midsole takes most of the shock when canyoneering. This guarantees that even when walking on rough terrain, your soles won’t suffer pain from the rough impact. The outsole, on the other hand is designed for maximum grip, even when wet.

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Adidas Terrex Voyager

adidas outdoor Men's Terrex CC Voyager Walking Shoe

Another Adidas contender for the best canyoneering shoes today is the Terrex Voyager, which is marketed for Class C canyons. This means any canyon where you have to trek through water currents, whether it’s a slow flow or a huge one.

They’re lightweight and treads water easily, so there are zero chances of your feet getting cold during the long walk. This is primarily thanks to the mesh design of the shoes, allowing water to just pass through the walls.

The soles are made from Stealth Rubber, giving them excellent traction when walking on angled rocks. Since the shoes become dry fairly quickly, there’s very little worry of slipping up with the traction offered by these shoes.

Compared to other canyoneering shoes – they’re also cheaper. For the comfort and lightness, you’re sacrificing the durable protection offered by the other shoes. If you bang your feet on any rocks while wearing these shoes – you’ll definitely feel it.

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Five Ten Guide Tennie Approach Shoes

Five Ten Men's Guide Tennie Approach Shoes

Five Ten Men’s Guide Tennie is actually classified as an approach shoe, which means that it has the characteristics of both climbing and hiking shoes. Five Ten once came up with the Five Ten Canyoneer shoes, but this didn’t really dominate the market.

Now, they’ve introduced the Five Ten Guide Tennie Aproach Shoes, which has a bit more pull from its target audience. This particular pair is considered as an all-around climbing shoe, especially with the grips on the outside. The toe box is a little large so you might have a hard time finding a proper foothold with these shoes.

The model comes with a gusseted tongue, which helps keep the sand and debris out. The bottom sole is a little thin though, and you’ll be able to feel the rocks after some time walking on these shoes. Not surprising since they’re designed with rock climbing in mind. The pair is a little heavy compared to others, but should serve you well for rock climbing hikes.

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Bestard Canyon Guide Shoe

Bestard Canyon Guide Shoe
Bestard is considered an all-around choice for canyoneering. If you ask a canyon guide what shoe they prefer to wear – chances are this is the answer they’ll give you. It offers wonderful durability, provides for a speedy drainage, and admirable traction for strolling through slippery areas.

The material used for this shoe is called Idrogrip Vibram rubber, which starts off hard but softens up over time for comfort. They’re made primarily for trekking through large boulders instead of sand and dirt. Should you encounter these on the trail however, the shoes are built with gaiters, which guarantees zero sand and small rocks from working their way inside the shoes.

Drainage holes are added into the overall design of the shoes to make sure your feet dry up quickly if they do get wet. The build is also higher than most shoes – cinching up a bit over the ankles for better support. As a canyoneering shoe, it’s pretty light. You can also find versions of this specifically for women.

Salomon Men’s Techamphibian 3 Water Shoe

Salomon Men's Techamphibian 3 Water Shoe

From the name itself, you can tell that these shoes are again built with water in mind. These shoes are built with mesh uppers and side panels that easily tread water and allow air circulation to keep your feet dry.

The bottom has a wonderful grip that’s good for improving traction – especially after getting the shoes wet. The lace setup is also admirable with a quick cinch and release technique for easier removal.

Now, you want to use these shoes primarily for water-logged hikes. Be prepared for some grit working their way into the shoes however, because of the mesh build.

The soles are soft but durable – capable of providing good support in medium terrain. Arch support is not as good as other shoes though so try not to bring it in very long hikes. The Salomon Men’s Techamphibian 3 Water Shoes are good for beginners.

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Final Word

Of those listed, the Adidas Terrex Hydro Lace tops the line and should be your first choice if you have the budget for it.

Tennis shoes, hiking shoes, and climbing shoes are all good alternatives if you don’t have canyoneering shoes just yet. Remember though that if you’re unsure of the terrain, it’s always best to go with shoes specifically made to handle all sorts of weather.

Note – canyoneering shoes are built to withstand heavy wear and tear so don’t expect them to be cheap. Almost all canyoneering shoes are more expensive than your typical tennis shoes.

Benefits of Canyoneering Shoes

The canyoneering shoes that you will purchase will mostly contribute to whether it is a successful exploration or not. Your confidence in canyoneering will also base on your confidence in your footwear. The canyoneering shoes should have good traction to rocks. Your abilities to crawl, climb, stem, and chimney are related to how good your shoes can grip.

Here are some benefits of canyoneering shoes.

  • Canyoneering shoes with a good grip can let you climb, stem, and chimney safely and effectively through the canyon. You can fully enjoy the wilderness with the right pair of canyoneering shoes.
  • Canyoneering shoes with a good grip can let you climb, stem, and chimney safely and effectively through the canyon. You can fully enjoy the wilderness with the right pair of canyoneering shoes.
  • A good grip is better on wet or dry surfaces compared to using hard rubber soles. It is prone to an accident during the wet season and so investing in good quality canyoneering shoes with a good grip can avoid these accidents.
  • Good quality canyoneering shoes have a fast-drying material so you do not have to worry about wet and heavy shoes. It is also easier to clean the canyoneering shoes you just have to wipe dirt without exerting too much effort. Also, fast-drying canyoneering shoes will prevent them from having a bad odor.
  • Good quality canyoneering shoes have a narrow profile and trimmed soles to avoid catching debris. Also, a good size fit can improve your traction.
  • Good quality canyoneering shoes with a hard plat midsole can dodge striking from sharp stones.
  • Good quality canyoneering shoes with a toe rand that can protect feet from cactus thorns and sharp rocks.

Tips for Owning Canyoneering Shoes

Following are useful tips for owning canyoneering shoes. These tips cover how to keep your canyoneering shoes clean, deodorized, stored well, and organized.

  1. For cleaning your canyoneering shoes, you must know what type of fabric it is made of. There are specific cleaning chemicals for different types of shoe fabrics. This way, your canyoneering shoes can retain their fabric strength and color.
  2. One of the most shared shoe problems is how to get rid of bad shoe odor. Nobody wants to be walking around with smelly shoes. There are several remedies to get rid of the problem by eradicating moisture, which is a major factor. An example is to put cotton balls with essential oil and leave them overnight.
  3. Canyoneering shoes can take a lot of space in the shoe rack. To help solve this problem, arrange them alternately in varying directions to have more space and fit more shoes. Canyoneering shoes can be put in an over-the-door organizer. You can search for this shoe organizer online. These hanging organizers can save space and add extra storage.
  4. Canyoneering shoes should be dried out first before storing. We all know how inconvenient it is to wear wet canyoneering shoes. A tip to dry it faster is to put newspaper inside each of the shoes. The newspaper will act as an absorber of excess moisture, which then helps the shoes to dry up faster. The shoes should also be stored in a warm and dry environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Types of Canyons Are There?

A canyon is nature’s obstacle course. Simply put, a canyon is a deep, narrow valley cut by a body of water through rocks. Canyons can come in different sizes. They can be in a form of narrow slits or massive trenches. They can have very steep sides and can be as deep as thousands of feet. Similar to a canyon in appearance but a smaller version is called a gorge.

The following are the 3 main types of canyons:


slot canyon

This is a canyon created by flash floods. It is a narrow canyon that is cut through an eroding plateau. It is not that wide, but it usually falls hundreds of feet in depth. Powerful and raging flash floods can make a slot canyon because it has zero to little vegetation or soil to slow down or stop the water. When there is a flash flood over the plateau, the water finds the depressed area made by the previous flood and cuts deeper.


grand canyon

The creation of a plateau canyon starts with a raging river that deeply cuts into the river bottom over some time. The water that creates it is so powerful but not as fast as flash floods. The river in its normal cycles cut through the rocks then wear them down deeper and deeper. The harder the rock, the steeper the canyon is. Soft rocks will result in walls that erode faster, thus creating a wider canyon that is deep but not that steep.


The earth’s vast bodies of water have their canyons. These canyons are created through cuts made by the currents on the ocean floor. Some of these are created starting at the shore where the canyon river runs to the sea. Over time, the river continues to cut the canyon until it reaches the ocean.

Can I Wear Normal Shoes For Canyoneering?

Yes, you can, but it is not advisable. Normal shoes mostly do not work because these are not designed for the canyon environment. Hiking shoes can be an option but they do not fully protect your feet, though they may work well in a wet environment.

Wearing tennis shoes on canyons is not advisable either because they have a bad grip especially in water. Water shoes are great in a wet environment but we do not want to wear those flimsy shoes all day. Canyoneering shoes help make your canyoneering adventure successful. They grip and drain well, protect you from sharp objects, are flexible, and have great support.

How Dangerous Is Canyoneering?

Canyoneering can be very dangerous. Although it is fun, exciting, and full of thrill and adventure, it is also dangerous. Dangers can be in the form of falling, getting lost, dehydration, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, flash flood, and bad judgment. These can all lead to serious accidents.

Canyoneering has the same dangers as hiking, swimming, and rappelling. These risks can be avoided by preparing ahead of time with the proper gear, hiring guide service, and researching. Canyons offer a calculated risk and it is up to you to weigh the odds by planning ahead of time. Researching the technical aspects will also help mitigate the risks.

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