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Gear Review: The world’s best river shoe

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Five Ten Canyoneer 3

The title of the famed Paul Simon song, “Slip Slidin’ Away” best describes typical river shoes. But look out boating world: The solution to your footwear needs is here in the Five Ten Canyoneer 3 shoe.

Five Ten has spent 15 years perfecting a shoe built for navigating canyons in steep, slick and harsh conditions. It has durable, welded seams, burly laces, ankle support, and a neon color that would make any 13 year old jealous.

I was recently on a fishing trip to New Zealand when I spotted my Queenstown fishing guide, Ayato Otsubo, lacing up a pair of Canyoneer 3s. “[It’s the] best shoe I have ever owned, perfect for a day of wading around rivers fishing,” Otsubo said.

I’ve spent 20 years guiding and running rivers and was unable to find a river shoe or sandal that would give all the elements of traction, support and comfort. Until now.

I tested the shoes in late May, on a six-day trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River. It was a perfect blend of cold water, slick boulders, and rocky shorelines while scouting rapids or rigging a boat.

Bottom line: I’ve found the perfect river-running shoe! Five Ten’s patented STEALTH rubber sole is like glue on the rock, the ankle support is bomber, and the burly construction is a welcome change from my other river shoes that typically had weeklong shelf lives. Long gone are the days of slipping while stepping out of my boat; rolling an ankle while rigging on a rocky shoreline; or sending shoes back for warranty due to faulty craftsmanship.

Next stop? The Gallatin River for some fishing in my Canyoneer 3s to practice that cast Otsubo taught me.
Eric Ladd

Eric Ladd tests his Five Ten Canyoneer 3s on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HOWELLS

Eric Ladd tests his Five Ten Canyoneer 3s on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HOWELLS

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