More and more, I’ve found that my vacations involve fewer hotels and rental cars and more tents and hiking. As such, it was time for me to stop pretending that running shoes and flips flops were the proper footwear for camping trips and outdoor adventures. Not wanting to have to pack separate trail shoes and water shoes on my trips, I needed something that could handle dry terrain, allow me to trudge through water and then dry quickly afterwards. In other words, I needed some amphibious footwear. And amphibious is just the word that Teva uses to describe their Sunkosi 2 shoe.
I decided to test out the Sunkosi 2 in both wet and dry conditions, and not just on a run-of-the-mill hike or camping trip. No, I took the Sunkosi 2 with me to Australia for a walk through the muddy mangroves of Far North Queensland and a day of old-fashioned farm work in the bush town of Goomeri. I needed shoes that would protect my feet, give me good traction and dry quickly enough for me to pack them up with the rest of my gear since we were traveling nearly everyday.
The Sunkosi 2 more than held its own in the loose, sticky mud of the mangroves. With my feet sinking several inches into the mud with each step, the Sunkosi 2 maintained a solid grip thanks to the Quick-Pull lacing system. Despite the extreme suction of the mud, the Sunkosi 2 only loosened slightly during the taxing walk. Water drained out of the shoes’ mesh immediately after I stepped out of shin-deep pools of tidewater.
Unfortunately, that mesh could not handle the large amount of sediment that managed to enter the shoes. Walking through the loose sand and silt of the mangroves, some solids found their way into the shoes. Before the sediment had entered the shoes, they were beyond comfortable. Once it was trapped inside, however, I experienced discomfort and rubbing on the interior of the shoe that resulted in matching blisters on both feet.
The next morning, I found that the Sunkosi 2 had not completely dried from the previous days mangrove walk. This was most certainly caused by the tropical climate of Queensland and the humid conditions in which they were set out to dry. By no means were they sopping wet in the morning, but they were not quite bone dry either. To give them a second chance in less tropical conditions, once I returned home fro Australia I wore the Sunkosi 2 on a dismal day and aimed for every puddle I saw. I allowed them to dry overnight on my balcony after the rain had stopped and the humidity had broken and they were dry by morning.
On the Australian farm, the Sunkosi 2 was a work-horse. I was concerned that they might lack the tread that I needed on dry ground. But they were comfortable, sturdy and durable. They even protected my feet admirably when I gracefully crashed a dirt bike into a shed. I spent a long day taking on some dangerous farm tasks, and the Sunkosi 2 protected my feet and kept me comfortable. I was more than pleased with how it performed as a makeshift trail shoe.
So, here’s what you need to know about the Sunkosi 2:
- Amphibious in every sense of the word
- Comfortable and secure even in extreme conditions
- Quick-Pull lacing system is easy to use
- Offers excellent protection
- Mesh drains water instantly
- Allowed a fair amount of debris to enter the shoes
- Chaffed once debris was trapped in shoe
- Won’t completely dry in humid conditions
Overall, I was quite impressed with the Sunkosi 2. I’d love to see them dry a bit quicker, but humid conditions can have that effect on gear. And mangroves are gnarly enough to get sediment just about everywhere, no matter how secure or snug your shoes are. The Sunkosi 2 performed more than admirably when I needed them most – both in water and on land.
So, I have to say that I would definitely recommend the Teva Sunkosi 2. They sell for $100 at the Teva website and are available at most outdoor gear stores.