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River Shoes

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Though I have yet to test either pair, Keen’s Hood River II sandals and the Fast Canyon sandal-booties from Mion—both of which recently arrived on my doorstep—are sitting provoking me to jump in the little creek just two blocks from my house here in Minneapolis. Indeed, I think I’ll tromp downstream a ways tomorrow on a test run, maybe a Keen on my right foot, a Mion on my left.

Either way, watch for the full review soon. And in the mean time, here’s the nitty gritty on both models. . .

Mion Fast Canyon ($140, www.mionfootwear.com)
The Fast Canyon is an “amphibious, rugged, protective, high-traction, lightweight solution for the pursuit of expedition kayaking, fastpacking and canyoneering,” according to Mion marketing literature. Features and benefits include: “Ergomorphic” footbed that permanently takes the shape of the wearer’s foot after about 12 hours of use; Kevlar-cord lacing system; and an injection-molded EVA and neoprene body for quick drying and quick draining. Weight is about 14.7 ounces a shoe.

Hood River II ($85, www.keenfootwear.com)
Marketing copy says: “Engineered for serious water action, the Keen Hood River II water sandals fit your feet like gloves. A combination of nylon mesh and polyester webbing uppers hold feet securely even in turbulent water, with a side buckle for snugging the fit.” Features include: neoprene linings that are hydrophobic and soft against skin; heel loops to aid entry; a signature Keen toe guard; EVA midsoles with drainage ports; and “Aqua Stop” non-marking rubber soles for grip. About 11.3 ounces per foot.

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