The Teva Gnar Review
One of the hottest categories in paddlesports this summer has been hybrid river/touring kayaks. The Liquid Logic Remix XP series, Pyranha Fusion and Jackson All Water have pretty much sold themselves. The ability to have one kayak that does multiple things very well is an attractive option to consumers. Why not have one boat that tracks well on flat water, stores gear like a touring boat and is able to competently navigate itself down class III/IV rivers. Woody Callaway (Liquid Logic VIP) even took a Remix 10 down the Grand Canyon solo.
The Teva Gnar reminds me of the sneaker version of hybrid river /touring boats. I wore the Gnars for 3 weeks straight and tested them out in various situations. A Phish show at Fenway Park, mountain biking and whitewater kayaking here on the Arkansas river were all part of the experiment.
Overall the shoes were comfortable, supportive, cool looking and very durable. I have ended up unintentionally selling these shoes to a few different people based on their diverse functionality. My brother wanted a shoe that he could frame houses, mountain bike (flat pedals) and fly fish with. Hmmmm…sounds like you need the Gnar. My other friend, a guide at a local rafting company here in the valley, was looking for a good rafting and bar hopping (he takes his Wednesday disco night very seriously) shoe. Well, let see here…..yea, the Gnar is good for that too.
- Time tested and trusted SSR rubber outsole
- Closed cell EVA tongue and collar foam absorb zero water.
- Mesh panels allow for drainage
- 1lb 1oz / 525g
- The SSR rubber is sticky and thick. They felt very sturdy on wet and dry rock as well the beer laden floors of Fenway park.
- The entire shoe is really stiff and has awesome lateral support. I used them for biking on our local singletrack stash here in Buena Vista. I have some fat downhill platform pedals that accepted the shoes no problem. Climbing up hills was good. The Gnars did not flex like some sneakers do. The shoes were in fact stiffer than my actual Oakley mountain bike shoes.
Check out Pat Keller’s bike skills. He’s riding at this place called Ray’s bike park, which is in Ohio. It’s supposed to be one of the coolest indoor bike parks in the country.
- The Gnar’s seem very durable and were constructed with an attention to detail. A good example of this is the metal end cap on the tip of the laces. This ensures that they will not fray.
- The drainage mesh on the side of the shoe works really well. My feet were never sitting in a pool of water.
- The shoe is the size of a typical skate shoe. I have size 11 feet and was able to fit inside of my creek boat with no problem. I enjoyed paddling with them on. I did not have the chance to swim, but I have the feeling that they would be good to kick off of rocks with. Walking in gravel at the takeout felt much better than it does in my other river shoes.
- Besides functioning well, the Gnar’s look cool too. If you live in a river town with breweries and bars at the take out, your in luck. The Gnar’s are as good at pounding micro brews as any shoe out there.
- When the Gnar’s get wet, they stay wet for a little while. Even though they are made out of EVA closed cell foam, they still hold a little bit of dampness in the sole.
- The Gnar’s won’t fit in free running and playboats. I have a Large Pyranha Karnali and they fit in the bulkhead no problem. I tried them in my JK Superstar and….not even close. Basically the Gnar’s will fit in creek boats and big river runners only. Also, the size of them may create difficulty when making a very quick escape from the boat. Try a wet exit with them in easy water before paddling class V with your Gnar’s.
- Swimming in the Gnar’s may be a little bit tougher than in a river booty like the Cherry Bombs because they are somewhat heavier.
If you spend time in or near the river, and are looking for a new pair of sneakers, you should check out the Teva Gnar’s. You may be able to kill 2 birds with one stone and end up with a good pair of water shoes as well as something that you could wear to dinner after. Rafting, biking and bar hopping no longer require more than one pair of shoes.