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Tropic

Putting the Ultimate Travel Shoe to the Test

SmarterTravel

Tropic ultimate travel shoe
Tropic

When buying a new pair of shoes for travel, most people overlook the most important element of the perfect travel shoe: water resistance. It’s not as obvious a factor as how the shoe looks and feels, but if you’ve ever had to leave your shoes out to dry for days on a hotel balcony or pack them up in a plastic bag only to taint your all your clothes with the horrible smell of marinating walking shoes, you know as well as I do how a shoe that can dry quickly can save your trip.

Few travelers have extra suitcase space for bulky rain boots, and finding stylish, comfortable, and water-resistant shoes has always been a challenge. But this year a new water-resistant shoe is making waves, raising more than $2 million euros in crowdfunding.

The Tropic Monsoon shoe is a lightweight slip-on sneaker that is specifically designed with adventurous travelers in mind. I wore the Tropic Monsoon shoes for two weeks and tested them out in all different environments, and what struck me was just how breathable the shoes were thanks to the quick-drying 3D mesh technology. When I wore the shoes on a hot summer day and stepped into an air-conditioned room, the cold air went right through the mesh of the shoe to cool down my feet. The feeling was refreshing and satisfying in a way I had never felt before.

The shoe is also extremely practical with a removable footbed and an elastic counter heel that ensures the shoe both fits snugly and is easy to slip on and off. With its thick rubber sole, the Tropic Monsoon is suitable for many different kinds of terrain, and its quick-drying and water-resistant capabilities also mean you can take it swimming with you. Though they might look like sneakers and are comfortable to wear all day, these are walking shoes, and I don’t recommend using them as a replacement for running shoes if you’ve got a rigorous workout planned. Additionally, the soles can be slippery on smooth surfaces, even with the rubber grip. So if your shoes are fresh out of the water, avoid walking on tile until they are mostly dry.

Price and where to buy it: Starting at $69, Tropic is available for pre-order (shipping in late 2018) on the company’s IndieGoGo page.

How the Tropic Monsoon Shoe Rates:

  • Usefulness: 9/10. Not just comfortable walking shoes, these shoes are suitable for swimming and impervious to water damage, which adds an extra dimension of usefulness. However, I found the slip-resistant soles not so resistant when walking over wet tile, so this is something to be wary of.
  • Value: 10/10. Usually the new products you find on Indiegogo have inflated prices to help the company get off the ground, but these multi-use shoes are available at a very reasonable price.
  • Portability: 10/10. These shoes are super light and easy to slip on and off, which makes packing them a breeze.
  • Cool Factor: 10/10. This is a good-looking pair of sneakers and easy to work into an outfit, whether you’re out sightseeing or off to a casual dinner.

Final Verdict: The Tropic Monsoon is a stylish shoe that is sure to be my go-to for long days on my feet. However, it’s not quite a replacement for a good pair of running shoes.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

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