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Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

When it comes to canyoneering, one of the most important pieces of material are your shoes. Canyoneering requires that you trek through wet and often precarious terrain for a long period of time, so you’ll want a shoe that holds up and gives you stability and comfort all day long.

10 Best Canyoneering Shoes
10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

What are Canyoneering Shoes

Canyoneering shoes are a special type of footwear that gives great friction and support in varied surfaces and weather conditions.

When it comes to picking the best canyoneering shoes for usage in all conditions like abseiling down a waterfall, or on a slippery rock face, there are a couple of characteristics that you’ll want to focus on. The most important thing to watch for when choosing a shoe is the grip.

How to Pick the Best

Canyoneering requires trekking over precarious and uneven terrain, and you shoe should provide excellent friction. Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind the flexibility, durability, and support of the shoe.

In a hurry?
If you want to find out what the best canyoneering shoes are, then I’d recommend the Salewa Men’s Wildfire Approach Shoe.

– List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes –

1. La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

Though specifically an approach shoe, the La Sportiva TX4 is a great option for canyoneering as well due to the fact that it is a durable shoe with great grip.

It is made from synthetic material and is designed for long treks, perfect for canyoneering outings.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable and durable
  • Good grip for rough terrain

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Expensive

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2. Arc’teryx Acrux FL

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

The Arc’teryx Acrux FL is another comfortable approach shoe that is appropriate for canyoneering.

These durable, breathable shoes are specifically designed for hiking on mixed terrain, but they can also serve as a good canyoneering shoe.

Pros:

  • Offer great stability
  • Incredibly comfortable

Cons:

  • May not hold up well in water
  • Specifically designed for hiking

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3. Scarpa Men’s Gecko Approach Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

These Scarpa men’s approach shoes are similar to the previous women’s Arc’teryx shoes in that they are perfect for hiking and trekking over mixed terrain.

They have a rubber sole that provides excellent grip. However, they are 100% suede, so they may not be the most appropriate for wet environments.

Pros:

  • Extra grip rubber sole
  • Appropriate for a wide variety of terrain

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Pricer range, Expensive

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4. Five Ten Men’s Guide Tennie Approach Shoes

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

These Five Ten men’s approach shoes offer a versatile shoe that is appropriate for canyoneering but also a variety of other activities.

It has a high friction, synthetic sole and a padded tongue and collar for extra comfort. However, this shoe is 100% leather, so again you should be wary if you know you will be getting it very wet.

Pros:

  • Padded shoe adds extra level of comfort
  • Incredible grip and traction from synthetic soles

Cons:

  • Not appropriate for high arches
  • Not suitable for lots of water exposure

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5. Adidas Terrex Scope High GTX Men’s Hiking Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

One of the most expensive options on the market, this Adidas shoe stands out for its breathability and water resistance, thanks to the fact that it is made from synthetic and mesh materials.

It also has incredible grip and offers great support. Just keep in mind that it is a higher boot, so it may not be appropriate for warm weather.

Pros:

  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Great for a variety of terrain

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options on the market
  • Higher than most canyoneering shoes

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6. Salewa Men’s Wildfire Approach Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

The Salewa Men’s Wildfire is a basic approach shoe that is also appropriate for canyoneering endeavours.

It is made of mesh with a synthetic sole, so it will be more water resistant than other leather or suede options. It is flexible while at the same time offering great stability, and comes at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Not too expensive
  • Breathable and moisture wicking
  • Offer plenty of grip and stability

Cons:

  • Not entirely waterproof

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7. KEEN Men’s Austin Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

This comfortable shoe is one of the most stylish options available.

It is made from waterproof Nubuck and leather and offers great arch support. However, it offers very little breathability and, if very wet, will take a long time to dry.

Pros:

  • Stylish and comes in a variety of colors
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Offers little breathability

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8. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

This suede leather and mesh hiking shoe offers comfort and breathability all day long.

It has a grippy Vibram sole and great support, so you will stay comfortable and safe all day long. However, they may be more appropriate for hiking than canyoneering.

Pros:

  • Great grip and arch support
  • Breathable mesh

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Better fit for hiking than canyoneering

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9. Evolv Cruser Approach Shoe

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

A very lightweight and comfortable approach shoe, the Evolv Cruser is more apt for short approach hikes than canyoneering adventures.

Though it is one of the cheapest options on the market, it won’t hold up well to water or rough terrain.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable and lightweight

Cons:

  • Won’t hold up well in water
  • Less grip and stability than other options

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10. Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse

Ultimate List of 10 Best Canyoneering Shoes

The Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse is a leather and manmade hiking shoe with breathable mesh panels and a durable toe cap.

It has a grippy Vibram sole that is appropriate for a variety of terrains. It offers great support, but takes quite a while to break in.

Pros:

  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Made with quality materials and offers great traction on the sole

Cons:

  • Takes a while to break in
  • Offers minimal ankle support

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Advantages and Benefits of Canyoneering Shoes Over Normal Shoes

Though it is possible to do canyoneering with normal athletic shoes, there are certainly many advantages to using a specific canyoneering shoe. Canyoneering shoes tend to hold up better than normal shoes, so you’ll be able to keep them for longer.

Additionally, canyoneering shoes will offer more support, stability, and traction than normal shoes, which will keep your feet and ankles safe. Finally, lots of canyoneering shoes are waterproof or water-resistant, something that will come in hand when trekking through rivers.

Things to Look Out For That Differentiate

There are a couple of factors that differentiate between canyoneering shoes. First off, certain shoes are more water resistant than others, something that may be of importance to you depending on where you plan on doing canyoneering. You should also pay attention to the material, as some are made of leather while others are made of synthetic materials. Also pay attention to the weight of the shoe, as you won’t want anything too heavy.

Proper and Safe Usage

You’ll want to be sure that your shoes fit snug and properly to avoid any slippage or ankle twisting. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to break in your shoes before taking them out canyoneering, as there is nothing worse than uncomfortable shoes and blisters when you’re out on your adventure. Lastly, be sure that the shoe that you choose has the right amount of support for your foot. This will help you to avoid foot injuries.


When it comes to picking the best canyoneering shoe for you, be sure to keep in mind exactly what you will be using it for and what you prioritize most in a shoe. Do you look for comfort or durability first? Will you be trekking over uneven or wet terrain? Are you trying to buy on a budget or are willing to splurge?

At the end of the day, our best pick is the Salewa Men’s Wildfire Approach Shoe thanks to its comfort, breathability, and moisture-wicking capabilities. This shoe is appropriate for a number of terrains and also comes in at a reasonable price.

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