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Salomon Crossamphibian Swift 2 Review

These shoes run great and drain super fast, but slip and slide when other shoes stay firmly stuck to the ground.
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Price:  $90 List | $49.93 at REI
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
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Dan Scott ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 19, 2019
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Traction - 25% 3
  • Warmth - 15% 4
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Sensitivity - 10% 4
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

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. They don't provide much of any insulation, however, 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.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Drain and dry rapidly, snug and comfortable fit, lightweightExtremely versatile, adjustable, excellent balance of support and flexibilityHigh traction, flexible, snug fit, great drainageComfortable, warm, great traction on wet rockGood traction, very sensitive, sock-like feel, fun to swim in
Cons Low traction especially on wet rock, low sensitivity, inner materials rough on bare feetNot the stickiest rubber, not the most durableNot warm, not durableLittle support on rough terrain, no drainageSlip 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 and traction, all at a bargain of a price.These water shoes check all the boxes for what we are looking for in a shoe to wear for long days on the river.The Kickers are great for kayaking or swimming, but not protective or secure enough for much else.
Rating Categories Crossamphibian Swift 2 Astral TR1 Junction Astral Loyak NRS Paddle Wetshoe NRS Kicker Remix
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
Traction (25%)
10
0
3
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Warmth (15%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Versatility (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
3
10
0
3
Sensitivity (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Durability (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
3
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs Crossamphibian... 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
Available Widths Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Footwear Closure Lace Lace Lace Zipper Pull-on/elastic synch
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 None None
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 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.

Performance Comparison


We had fun confidently striding through creeks in the Crossamphibian Swift 2 while on a run.
We had fun confidently striding through creeks in the Crossamphibian Swift 2 while on a run.

Comfort


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.

We liked the snug fit and moderate support of these shoes on longer days.
We liked the snug fit and moderate support of these shoes on longer days.

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.

Traction


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.

Surprisingly  we managed to catch a picture of our lead tester mid-slip as he descended some wet (but rough) boulders. Shortly before this happened  he said something along the lines of "I'm sure they'll stick to this." He was wrong.
Surprisingly, we managed to catch a picture of our lead tester mid-slip as he descended some wet (but rough) boulders. Shortly before this happened, he said something along the lines of "I'm sure they'll stick to this." He was wrong.

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.

While they are razor siped  the Crossamphibian Swifts have pretty traditional running shoe tread.
While they are razor siped, the Crossamphibian Swifts have pretty traditional running shoe tread.

Warmth


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 were just barely able to stuff our insulation-packed drysuit socks into these shoes  as well as wear them comfortably with super thin socks while running.
We were just barely able to stuff our insulation-packed drysuit socks into these shoes, as well as wear them comfortably with super thin socks while running.

Versatility


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.

Water-focused running shoes can make a lot of difference on cold  wet  rainy runs.
Water-focused running shoes can make a lot of difference on cold, wet, rainy runs.

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.

We really liked how light and packable these shoes were.
We really liked how light and packable these shoes were.

Sensitivity


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.

Running across a beach  gravel and cobbles are mostly damped out by the substantial cushion of the Crossamphibians.
Running across a beach, gravel and cobbles are mostly damped out by the substantial cushion of the Crossamphibians.

Durability


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.

The durability of this outsole comes with a sacrifice to traction on wet  slick rocks.
With stitch-heavy uppers  we worry about the durability of these shoes.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Salomon makes great running shoes  and we felt that the Crossamphibian performed better when running in wet conditions as opposed to water sports.
Salomon makes great running shoes, and we felt that the Crossamphibian performed better when running in wet conditions as opposed to water sports.


Dan Scott