As a running shoe, the Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2 provides a snug and comfortable fit, good support, and great drainage to manage moisture on land. However, they don't provide much, if any, insulation and they just don't stick to wet rock as water shoes should. With their low weight, they make a great running or even just camp shoe but just don't cut it for most watersports like whitewater boating or canyoneering. For hiking or running in super wet places or if you prefer a more traditionally supportive shoe for hanging around the beach, they might be the shoe for you.Editor's Note: This water shoe review includes new sections to help in your buying decision. It was updated on February 23, 2022.
Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Drain and dry rapidly, snug and comfortable fit, lightweight
Cons: Low traction especially on wet rock, low sensitivity, inner materials rough on bare feet
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Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2
|Price||$66.93 at REI|
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|$120 List||$94.95 at Amazon|
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|$63.95 at REI|
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|$52.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Drain and dry rapidly, snug and comfortable fit, lightweight||Extremely versatile, adjustable, excellent balance of support and flexibility||High traction, flexible, snug fit, great drainage, stylish||Comfortable, warm, great traction on wet rock||Good traction, very sensitive, sock-like feel, fun to swim in|
|Cons||Low traction especially on wet rock, low sensitivity, inner materials rough on bare feet||Not the stickiest rubber, not the most durable||Not warm, not durable||Little support on rough terrain, no drainage||Slip off feet slighty when walking, uncomfortable in rough terrain|
|Bottom Line||These shoes run great and drain super fast, but slip and slide when other shoes stay firmly stuck to the ground||These shoes are a jack-of-all trades that we feel confident using in practically any sport involving water||These kayaking shoes are top notch for their flexibility, traction, and off the water style||These water shoes check all the boxes for what we are looking for in a shoe to wear for long days on the river||At a super low price, these are great for kayaking or swimming|
|Rating Categories||Salomon Crossamphib...||Astral TR1 Junction||Astral Loyak||NRS Paddle Wetshoe||NRS Kicker Remix|
|Specs||Salomon Crossamphib...||Astral TR1 Junction||Astral Loyak||NRS Paddle Wetshoe||NRS Kicker Remix|
|Measured Weight (per pair, in lbs)||1.0 lbs||1.6 lbs||1.1 lbs||1.9 lbs||1.8 lbs|
|Size Tested (US Men's)||12||13||13||12||12|
|Drainage Features||Top/side mesh||Front/side holes, top mesh||Front/back/side holes, top mesh||None||None|
|Removeable Insole||Yes, but comes glued in||Yes||Yes||No Insole||No Insole|
|Footwear Closure||Lace||Lace||Lace||Zipper||Hook and loop webbing|
|Upper Materials||3D mesh/recycled and bio-sourced material/mesh/synthetic||Hydrophobic canvas with TPU||Hydrophobic canvas and Airmesh||3 mm neoprene||Neoprene|
|Midsole||EnergyCell||EVA||EVA||2 mm plastic shim||2 mm plastic shim|
|Outsole||Siped Contagrip FD||G15||Siped G15||Rubber||Rubber|
|Relative Fit||Narrow toebox, low volume midfoot, medium volume heel||Wide toebox, high volume midfoot and heel||Wide toebox, medium volume midfoot and heel||Wide toebox, and stretches to accomodate a wide variety of foot shapes||Wide toebox, and stretches to accomodate a wide variety of foot shapes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Crossamphibian Swift 2 is 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, making them drain and dry fast. 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 tough 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 design is great for foot protection, where a stiffer sole keeps you from squishing your foot in cracks and provides plenty of cushion on the 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 alleviate this, it's a bummer for what would otherwise be a great camp shoe on raft trips.
Unfortunately, these are some of the poorest shoes we tested for traction on hard surfaces. However, they do great on trails, which is no surprise from a brand known for excellent trail running shoes.
When testing these shoes on hard surfaces, 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 the 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 toe box that 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 dry socks 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 rocks makes them not so great 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. These shoes don't really enable the ankle flexion that booties or super low-cut kayaking shoes do in the water, so they are a bit clunky for swimming.
With excellent 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.
Should You Buy the Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2?
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. Priced similarly to other running shoes, these are a decent value. They would perform much better on the water with a stickier sole and a slightly wider toebox that would accommodate some insulation. Still, they're a decent deal if you're just looking for a trainer that is a bit more water-focused than most running shoes.
What Other Water Shoes Should You Consider?
While we get the appeal of a cross-over product that lets you do more with a single piece of gear, it isn't good if the product doesn't fill either role well. The Astral TR1 Junction is the jack of all trades for water shoes with an impressive performance that works for multiple watersports. While not a running cross-over, we feel it is a better all-around shoe than the Salomon. The Junction has above-average test results in every metric, and we think most water lovers will love how versatile they are.
— Dan Scott
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