Karrimor Hydro II Closed Toe Walking and Hiking Sandals for Men
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Hydro II Closed Toe Walking and Hiking Sandals for Men
Features to Note:
- Upper: Performance Synthetic Nubuck and mesh
- Midsole: Phylon
- Outsole: Vibram Cougar
- Synthetic Textile outer
- Manufactured in China
Karrimor's Hydro IIs are described as sandals but - by virtue of their Vibram sole and footbed design - are maybe better described as soft sided walking shoes with ventilation. As such, they are comfortable enough for walking along forest trails, canal tow paths, converted railway tracks.
However, I found that I needed to wear them with socks (yes I know!) for walking any significant distance. This was largely down to the fact that there are no half-sizes available which meant that I was wearing a slightly larger size than my usual.
They fasten with a bungee-style, elasticated lace which so far has worked quite well although I'm not sure how well this is going to wear. I did find, though, that this lace was a little too long and the surplus end tended to flap rather annoyingly around my ankle.
Whilst this is obviously not footwear for wet weather, a problem I found is that if your feet do get wet, the water can't readily drain out of the shoe ... walking across sand is also similarly inconvenient!
Karrimor's Hydro-s are an interesting combination shoe - featuring a decent footbed/sole unit with the benefit of ventilation; consider them for summer walking in dry conditions along canal towpaths, converted railway lines, forest trails etc.
A tad expensive - but they do seem to be readily available at rather less than the recommended price. Inevitably they don't have all the features you need from a full walking shoe (eg waterproofness, lateral support) nor those needed from a trekking sandal (eg water draining). However the closed design does allow for the wearing of an orthotic which is usually not possible with a conventional sandal. Perhaps footwear for the man or woman who has everything!
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