There are a few brands out there claiming they have products that are the perfect fit for travellers. One of them is Tropicfeel and its ultimate travel shoes. Ever heard of them? When I first did I was amazed by the design, broad usability and their mission. Because what the fashion market is still lacking are clothes and shoes that are looking good, are sustainable and at the same time suitable for outdoor adventures. Tropicfeel seems to get it. But did they really manage to produce the ultimate travel shoe? I had two pairs of them and decided to write a review of Tropicfeel shoes!
What will you find in this article?
The sustainability concept of Tropicfeel sounds amazing. Their shoes are made from recycled plastic bottles. For one shoe they are using approximately 6 of them. And the instep of the shoe is produced from algae. Isn’t that awesome? No animals have to die for fashion and additionally you can contribute to saving the planet from becoming a garbage dump.
The second amazing thing is that you have to order the shoes in advance and then wait for them to be produced. Thanks to that Tropicfeel produces just the amount of shoes that they need and are not generating additional waste – no fast-fashion!
All the amazing things made me wonder where does Tropicfeel produce its shoes. Unfortunately, the answer is: in China. Can something “Made in China” be sustainable, environment friendly and produced in line with human rights? I really doubt that. Especially, because at the moment there is really not much on their sustainability page.
Comfort and broad usability
The shoes from Tropicfeel are very comfortable. You can use them on different terrains so you can wear them for an easy hike as well as for a walk in the city. They feel very comfortable while swimming, are not slippery and dry quickly in the sun.
One big minus for me was that I couldn’t really wear them without socks. My feet were sweating a lot and the shoes and feet were very stinky after just a few hours walk.
When I got my first pair of CANYON shoes I was super disappointed. They were smelling like a Chinese factory and you could see glue all over the shoe. Moreover, at some places, the seams were very uneven. Maybe you could sell them as a beta version for half of the price but definitely not as a ready product for almost 100 EUR!
5* Customer Care
I immediately reported these issues to Customer Care and asked for a solution. The Tropicfeel Team was very understanding and gave me a voucher for the same value as the previously bought shoes, so I can buy a new pair. This was a very nice surprise and I couldn’t wait to get my second pair, the Cala model.
I had to throw out my first Tropicfeel shoes after 3 months of wearing them… But let’s start from the beginning.
I loved my grey CANYON sneakers from Tropicfeel. They were looking nice and I could run, swim and hike in them. So I decided to take them with me on a trip lasting a few months through Italy and Spain. I used them almost every day.
After two months I was noticing the first small holes in the material. During the next month, the shoes were just slowly falling apart. There were more and more holes and they started to get bigger. At some point, it was so bad that I was afraid I will have to go back home barefoot. There was no other option than just buying new shoes and saying goodbye to my Tropicfeel sneakers – after only 3 months.
My review of Tropicfeel shoes
Tropicfeel found definitely a niche on the market. Their concept is just great but they can’t deliver what they are promising – unless I didn’t understand their marketing correctly. In my opinion, the quality and durability of their shoes are far from good. Maybe you could use them for chilled vacations and city walks but they are definitely not shoes for adventurous travellers who spend a lot of time outdoors. Unless you want to buy new shoes every 3 months – which is not very sustainable.
I still have my second pair of Tropicfeel sneakers called Cala. I really like them but they are definitely no outdoor shoes. I’m using them only for short walks in the city and easy bike rides. Sometimes I risk a surf skate session wearing them. But definitely, no running, hiking or swimming as advertised by the brand – and this is the reason why I wouldn’t buy them again.
Alternatives to Tropicfeel shoes (edit March 2022)
Since I decided to buy no more Tropicfeel shoes (and didn’t even feel tempted to do so) I had to find another option. I’m super active and do a lot of different outdoor sports + I’m living partially in a van. As you can guess my expectations are very high when it comes to sports shoes. So I decided to go back to the roots and check the traditional outdoor brands that are famous for their quality.
First I tried The North Face Skagit which I like a lot. I have had these waterproof sports shoes for almost a year now and I’m very happy with them. BUT! For some reason, it’s very hard to get them now. The good thing is there is another brand which produces high quality waterproof outdoor shoes, namely Salomon! In my opinion, they have a very nice design and they do their job while running and swimming and hiking! I think these shoes are a great alternative to Tropicfeel shoes.