Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2 Review
Cons: Low traction especially on wet rock, low sensitivity, inner materials rough on bare feet
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Crossamphibian Swift 2 are a hybrid running/water shoe. Styled similarly to Salomon's other running shoes, they fit comfortably and feel great even after long days on your feet. They are built super light, and have almost no fabric for water to soak into, which makes then drain and dry fast as well. While they aren't great for serious whitewater or canyoneering, we liked them for when we wanted to get out running in super rainy, puddle-splashing conditions.
The Crossamphibian Swift 2 has a nicely designed ankle cuff that is slightly elastic in the back, which neatly snugs against your Achilles heel. We initially thought this would be irritating, but instead found it very comfortable. Like a snug-fitting sock, it's very hard to get debris in this shoe, something we value in a water shoe.
With a narrow, traditional fit and large heel-toe drop, these shoes feel a lot like a typical running shoe. This is great for foot protection, where a stiffer sole keeps you from squishing your foot in cracks and provides plenty of cushion on rock-strewn ground.
As these are marketed as a water shoe, we would have liked to have been a bit more comfortable wearing them with bare feet. Unfortunately, the inside of the shoe is quite abrasive and has a lot of exposed stitching and seams, making it uncomfortable on bare feet. While even thin socks ameliorate this, it's a bummer for what would otherwise be a great camp shoe on raft trips.
These are unfortunately some of poorest shoes we tested when it comes to traction on hard surfaces. They do great on trails, though, which is no surprise from a brand known for excellent trail running shoes.
Testing these shoes on hard surfaces, however, we quickly realized that they do not like to stick to rocks. After a run, our lead tester scrambled up some talus boulders along the beach for a view - on the way down, these shoes gave out and forcibly sat him down on his backside. While they do ok as far as running shoes go, they are some of the least sticky water shoes we've tested on wet rock.
These shoes are a good example of how siping just doesn't make up for rubber that isn't sticky. Compared to other siped shoes, we notice that the tread on these is much stiffer and flexes less when you step due to the substantial cushioning of the midsole. This might prevent the sipes from really opening much and providing traction.
The Crossamphibian Swift 2 is a minimal, super lightweight shoe, made almost entirely of mesh. Like other mesh water shoes, it doesn't really provide any warmth on its own. They require thicker socks to keep feet warm in colder conditions.
While the lacing and tongue are sufficiently adjustable to open up the shoe around the midfoot, these feature a narrow, low volume toebox that really restricts how much sock you can fit in. While we could have seen these as a viable option for boating, our toes felt too squished in these shoes when we packed in wool socks under our drysocks for whitewater boating. Other boating-focused shoes have wider toe boxes that better handle lots of insulation.
We wouldn't hesitate to use these as a primary running or light hiking shoe in wet climates. Their comfortable fit and decent traction on soft surfaces make them great on the trail, and we could easily see putting in long days in them with comfort.
These shoes are fine for running, hiking, and maybe even rafting, especially in warm weather. Their lack of traction on wet rock makes them not so great for times when you might need to portage or scout rapids, but they aren't really designed as a boating shoe. Constructed primarily of mesh, we do not expect them to hold up to canyoneering for long.
With decent comfort and good support, they make a great camp or backup shoe for traveling. They are insanely light (only a pound for the pair in size 12), and compress to little more than their soles, making it easy to stuff them on the side of a backpack.
The Crossamphibian is not a sensitive, flexible shoe. Think of them as more traditional running shoes, with a moderately stiff but well-cushioned sole. You can get a decent feel for the ground beneath your feet, but these don't come close to the proprioception of booties or even thin-soled kayaking shoes.
Because of their stiff sole, we found ourselves at a disadvantage compared to other water shoes when it came to balancing on logs or boulders, which we like to be able to slightly wrap our feet around, or at least get a good feel for to keep our balance. In the water, these shoes don't really enable the ankle flexion that booties or super low cut kayaking shoes do, so are a bit clunky for swimming.
With great drainage comes just ok durability. These shoes have hardened and reinforced material around the toe that provides enough coverage to prevent punctures in the front of the shoe. However, they are very stitch-heavy, even down on the low parts of the sides of the shoe. We often find that abrasion targets these areas low to the ground, which fray, come unstitched, and can lead to holes. However, we note that these shoes held up fine during our relatively short testing period.
The outsoles on the Crossamphibian are comprised of relatively hard, siped rubber. The lugs are moderately deep and seem wear-resistant, compared to other water shoes we tested. However, that comes at a pretty serious cost to traction.
Priced similarly to other running shoes, these are a decent value. With a stickier sole and a slightly wider toebox that would accommodate some insulation, they would perform much better on the water, but they're a decent deal if you're just looking for a trainer that is a bit more water focused that most running shoes.
The Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2 is a well-designed running shoe. While it drains well, it just doesn't check the boxes we expect from a water shoe.
— Dan Scott