Road Test: Sole Survivor
We go where the story goes—it’s in our DNA. So what’s the secret behind producing Grid Volume 5, our Outdoors Issue? Some very comfortable shoes. We asked three photographers to take three different shoes out on the field to see how they would hold up.
Price: ₱ 8,990
Tested by Fransisco Guerrero:
This isn’t my first Columbia pair: the previous ones are still holding together after a couple of years of rough travel. Most of my days are spent walking around with 18kg of gear on my back, so a comfy shoe is a must on any shoot. The heel drop is a bit on the high side (the back of the shoes come with some substantial cushioning) which isn’t usually my preference, but these shoes offered support, breathability, and a rock solid grip on most surfaces. I find Columbia’s OutDry technology as effective as GoreTex in keeping water out but, for tropical climates, OutDry feels much cooler on the feet. Also, when you do get the shoes wet, they dry very quickly. Overall, a comfy pair with some good features [that] performed well during assignment.
Price: ₱ 3,495
Tested by Mike Dee:
Knowing that I had a week of rough cycling ahead of me in Palawan, I was eager to try on this pair. As a sneaker guy, this is my first real outdoor shoe and I ended up using it to ride 150 kilometers, across various terrain (rock, dirt, grass). The shoe helped me conquer it all. The sole best fits the platform pedals and it stuck on like glue. It was so comfortable, biking felt like walking on carpet. Throughout the trip, we also boarded small outriggers and though I was often teetering, the grip was absolutely spot on. I tried these on-assignment without breaking them in and it is surprisingly the most comfortable pair I’ve ever tried by far. I was wondering if it would survive the test, and it did! The wearer, on the other hand, barely made it.
Price: ₱ 5,995
Tested by Chaz Requina:
I like how I didn’t even need to break these shoes in. They already felt really flexible. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a pair where it didn’t feel funny in the first week. It didn’t cut into me and it made my feet feel snug without scraping my ankle. They’re very breathable, too. Even if I were wearing thicker socks, I wouldn’t be walking around with swamp feet. I tried these out during a shoot and we were outside during midday, standing the whole time, visiting different locations, and my feet weren’t getting overheated. These shoes looked chunky but they weren’t as stuffy as I thought they would be. They looked clunkier than they felt—and that’s a good thing.
Columbia’s OutDry Extreme™ waterproofing technology manages to keep water out while still allowing body moisture to escape.
The MT 590 was built to be worn on and off the pavement. The AT TREAD outsole takes inspiration from both trail and running lug designs.
The Chameleon 7 Stretch is outfitted with Merrell FLEXPLATE™, a lightweight sole designed with strategically-placed rubber pods to maximize stability.