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Best Body Rafting Footwears

A brief article that compares three different types of footwears used in Body rafting. Prices, durability and confort.

What are the best shoes to do Body rafting?

Body rafting is a little-known river activity practiced only in a few places in the world.

The necessary equipment consists of:

  • Neoprene wetsuit
  • River shoes
  • Buoyancy aid vest
  • Helmet

In some cases, in rivers where the water is too cold, neoprene gloves are used.

If I had to recommend shoes to have the greatest grip and protection from the cold, I would say to focus on professional canyoning shoes. Prices for a good pair of canyoning shoes are around €250-320. On the market there are shoes at lower prices, but from personal experience I tell you that they have a short life and tend to be uncomfortable. So if we exclude the most expensive shoes, what other shoes can we buy? And which ones are the best on the market? 

Which shoes we tested?

We at Alcantara Body Rafting put three shoes to the test with prices between €29 and €59. None of the boots can be described as canyoning shoes or in any way are shoes designed for river activities, however they adapt well and for those who will use them sporadically or for those approaching river descent activities for the first time they can be a good investment between quality and price. In order to have fair judgments on these three shoes we have decided to use five judging criteria. All the three pair of shoes have been used for a six month period during the summer season in the Alcantara River in Sicily.

  1. Fit
  2. Comfort
  3. Durability
  4. Grips
  5. Warmth

Tribord 3mm

This pair of footwears are sold for €37,99 by the giant of the outdoor equipment Decathlon. The thickness of only three millimeters disadvantages this river shoe, however the wearability and the lack of hinges (which often break) put it back on the same level as the other two competitors. The resistance surprised us, given the lackluster appearance. The grip is low while the comfort given the thin sole is poor.

  1. Fit                           4/5
  2. Comfort             2/5
  3. Durability         3/5
  4. Grips                    2/5
  5. Warmth            2/5

Subea 5mm​

This boot for body rafting is also on sale from Dechatlon, the price is €49.90. The fit isn't the best since the rubber part that wraps around the foot stiffens it and the side zip often breaks making it difficult to close. Comfort is not the strong point, while the grip and protection from cold water are excellent.

  1. Fit                           3/5
  2. Comfort             3/5
  3. Durability         5/5
  4. Grips                    4/5
  5. Warmth            4/5

Aqualung Superzip 5mm

The third and last body rafting shoe that we have used for six months are the Acqualung superzip 5mm. These shoes are sold by the famous Aqualung brand for 60€. The design is simple, the rubber that partially covers the top of the shoes makes them sturdy but still flexible, the hinge is very sturdy and the sole has a wet grip that is decent. Durability, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired, in fact of all the shoes used by the Alcantara Body rafting team, the 5mm Superzips were the ones most subject to tears and holes.

  1. Fit                           5/5
  2. Comfort             4/5
  3. Durability         2/5
  4. Grips                    4/5
  5. Warmth            3/5