One of the most daunting tasks travelers are faced with while packing for a trip is which shoes to bring.
When you travel full-time and live out of a backpack like we do, you simply don’t have the space to take 3-4 pairs of shoes with you.
The best case scenario is to be able to take only one, or maybe two pairs of shoes with us!
We do some pretty active, variable traveling, which covers just about everything from hikes, long walking tours, swimming, and everything in between. And we need a shoe that can cover all of that and more.
Tropicfeel have been attempting this monumental task for a few years now.
And in our in-depth Tropicfeel review guide we cover all their shoes to see how well they each stack up.
Below is my recent review of Lava, one of the latest additions in their line.
As of writing, I have been wearing Tropicfeel for more than a month now.
And I've found that Lava is unique in a few key ways, and I want to give an individual deep dive into how it stacks up compared to other Tropicfeel shoes.
And to decide whether or not it's worth buying.
Let's get stuck in ...
In case you didn't already know, Tropicfeel is a Barcelona-based travel company with a mission to change the way we travel!
Back in 2017, the founders of Tropicfeel realized that there was a serious need for well-made, sustainable gear that is built specifically for travelers.
The three pillars their travel gear is built upon are versatility, sustainability, and high-performance.
Today, Tropicfeel creates incredible travel shoes, sustainable backpacks, and more, that are all geared toward travelers.
For a thorough rundown of the company, here are our current review guides for Tropicfeel:
The best place to buy the Tropicfeel Lava Shoes is directly through the Tropicfeel website!
Tropicfeel has the option for payment in more than a dozen currencies, and they also offer international shipping!
One of the most commonly asked questions about Tropicfeel shoes is how to find the correct shoe size.
And given the way that Tropicfeel shoes fit naturally to your foot, this is super important.
Like other Tropicfeel shoes, the Lava fits to your feet using the natural shape of your feet, rather than with laces. This means that the shoes are going to fit quite snugly.
Generally, if you find yourself between two shoe sizes, Tropicfeel’s team says that it is best to go with the larger of the two sizes, otherwise you run the risk of them being too tight.
From our experience, we find this to be true!
You can find the Tropicfeel fit finder here.
As of writing, I have been wearing the Lava shoes for over a month now.
In fact, I'm wearing them as I write this! No joke.
To cut a long story short (you will find out below) I have fallen in love with them and wear them for everything, and here are the unique features I have picked up on.
One of the most interesting features that the Lava shoes have (and all Tropicfeel shoes for that matter) is their lace design.
Instead of typical shoelaces, Tropicfeel utilizes a “sprint lace”.
All you do is pull your shoes on, cinch the rubber up the shoelace, and you’re all set!
It’s a pretty cool concept, and a good substitution for having to tie and untie your shoes all the time.
The reason it works so well is because it’s not actually the laces that keep the shoes on your feet- it’s the fit of the shoe!
The Lava shoes will stay on your feet even without the laces cinched- they’re just there for a little extra support.
This is a fantastic feature for travelers and those on the go- you can pull your shoes on/off super quickly, and it’s overall an awesome feature of the Tropicfeel Lava shoes.
The Tropicfeel Lava sneaker is pretty heavy-duty. It’s a completely reinforced sneaker, and is made to withstand walking, light jogging, hiking on rough terrain, and everything in between.
If you’re searching for a Tropicfeel shoe that you can really get moving in, the Lava shoes are perfect for you!
They have more support and cushioning than any other Tropicfeel shoe- I even feel comfortable doing some light running in the Lava shoes.
Which is actually one of the key reasons I now wear them so much and have switched from the Jungle shoes.
I have gotten into a habit of running at least 15 minutes most days, and I can just head straight out in them without needing to stress putting running shoes on.
Yes! I hear hardcore runners cringing as they read this, and I will soon switch to wearing proper running shoes very soon.
But for now, they are a great in-between.
In addition to being extra supportive, the Lava shoes are very comfortable to wear. They’re engineered with 3D mesh, which is not only key for water drainage, but also makes them super breathable.
In fact, the Lava shoes are made to be worn without socks! Though personally I hate doing that with any shoe.
Instead, I do currently wear them all day, 'ery day, as they are super comfy and that's that.
There aren’t many sneakers on the market that you can swim in which makes the Lava shoes extra unique.
Even though they’re a thicker, more supportive sneaker, they’re 100% water friendly due to their high-tech combination of drainage holes and breathable mesh material.
These shoes are awesome for activities like hikes, where you might have a lot of water crossings, but still need supportive shoes.
Or, if you want to explore some tide pools, or wade at the beach, you can walk around without having to take your shoes off, and the shoes will also protect your feet from any sharp rocks.
With the Lava shoes, rather than changing shoes every time you need to cross a small stream, you can confidently walk right through the water knowing your shoes will dry in no time.
The Tropicfeel Lava sneakers have an incredible grip on them! Which is great if you want to do any sort of hikes or walks on variable terrain.
These are particularly great shoes for walking along rocky or sandy paths as well.
It can be a great gift for a backpacker you know who spends a lot of time doing active sports when away.
For their comfort/support offered, these shoes are super lightweight. Especially considering how much support they have!
When packing for a trip, finding a lightweight travel sneaker is always a struggle, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices to balance weight and cushioning.
With the Tropicfeel Lava sneakers, you can have both.
One of the best things about the Lava Sneakers (and all Tropicfeel shoes for that matter) is how versatile they are.
I think they’re so stylish that they’re fine to be worn with street clothes and walking around cities, or even going out for meals (maybe not at The Ritz).
They come in some really sharp color combinations, including: Core Black, Desert Green, Orion Blue, Coffee Sand (my choice), and Almond White.
Being able to have a dual-purpose sneaker like this is HUGE when it comes to long term travel, as that’s one less thing you have to pack in your bag when you have a multi-use sneaker like the Lava.
Tropicfeel uses 7 recycled water bottles for every pair of Lava shoes they make!
That, in addition to being a 100% vegan shoe, and Tropicfeel being a certified climate neutral company, makes us confident and proud to rock our Tropicfeel Lava shoes, knowing that we’re having a positive environmental impact while doing so.
The biggest difference between the Lava and other Tropicfeel shoes is that the Lava is the most supportive, and the best for high-impact activities.
While other shoes like the Jungle and Canyon might be good for light hiking and exploring cities, the Lava takes the cake for the best Tropicfeel shoe for more high-impact activities like long hikes.
Personally, I feel comfortable even doing some light running in the Lava shoe!
Here is a table I made that summarises how all of their shoes compare:
Water-friendly range (quick drying)
If you’re looking for a stylish travel sneaker that you can get pretty active in, then you should 100% buy the Tropicfeel Lava shoes!
Based on my experience testing out the Lava shoe, it’s SO comfy, and the extra cushioning, support, and traction are so nice to have, especially on those long travel days with tons and tons of walking.
Another reason to buy the Lava shoes is that they’re incredibly well-made. They hold up great through all types of terrain, and they’re even machine washable, which is pretty rare for most sneakers.
Overall, I love the Lava shoes for more active travel days, and they’re a fantastic addition to the Tropicfeel sneaker collection.
I have made a habit of wearing Tropicfeel shoes all day every day, and once one range wears out I move on. I have so far done this with Monsoon, Sunset and now Lava.
Honestly, I think for look and low impact use, Sunset wins.
But overall Lava is my current favourite because they do encourage me to be more active.
Which is currently super important as we spend so long driving our camper (around the world by the way).
While Tropicfeel started off with travel shoes, they’ve exploded in popularity, and since expanded to offer a wider variety of travel gear.
Tropicfeel has a series of other travel shoes in addition to the Lava available on their website!
While they’re all lightweight and durable travel shoes, each shoe is unique in its own way.
For a more in-depth breakdown on all the different Tropicfeel Sneakers and their differences, check out our in-depth Tropicfeel Shoes review.
Tropicfeel calls the Shell the “modern day travel backpack”, and we feel that’s 100% true.
The Shell backpack has really revolutionized the way we pack for travel.
Features like the clamshell opening, kangaroo pouch, and built-in wardrobe are a few of the many reasons why we love this backpack so much. Not to mention it's a great larger camera backpack.
It fits up to 40L, which is more than enough space for backpackers who pack light. It also has a sleek appearance, is water resistant, and like all of Tropicfeel’s products, sustainably made!
For more information on why we love the Shell backpack, check out our in-depth Shell Backpack review.
The Tropicfeel Nest backpack expands from 16L-30L, and is the perfect pack for travelers looking to stay organized in a smaller pack.
Some of the highlights of the Nest are its kangaroo pouch, secret pockets, sunglasses sleeve, and kangaroo pouch on the bottom!
This backpack is ideal for backpackers who pack very lightly, weekend getaways, gear storage, as well as for use as a classic daypack.
We thoroughly love this backpack, and you can read more in our in-depth review of the Nest Backpack.
The Hive is one of Tropicfeel’s newest designs, and at the time of writing, has JUST become available for purchase! If you love the packing capabilities of the Shell, and the more urban appearance of the Nest, then the Hive might be for you, as it’s the perfect hybrid of the two.
With up to 46.5L of space, the Hive is the largest of the Tropicfeel backpacks, although it does shrink down to 22L which is convenient for fitting on an airplane, as well as city breaks.
It’s also the first of the Tropicfeel backpacks to be waterproof vs water resistant…
We’re SO excited this backpack has officially launched, and have a full, in-depth review coming shortly.
The Cruiser is the smallest backpack Tropicfeel has on offer, and it’s perfect for hikes, short day trips, and even as a little overnight bag.
The full capacity of the Cruiser is 20L, but it folds down into a tiny package, which makes it a great second bag to accompany a larger backpack.
It’s extremely lightweight, weatherproof, and has a nice sporty look to it which we really like.
Tropicfeel is getting more and more popular, and as a result they’re expanding the travel gear that they offer.
In addition to awesome travel shoes and backpacks, they are starting a great series of travel apparel and accessories.
The NS40 Jacket is still in the crowdfunding stages, but we’re extremely excited to check out this easily packable travel jacket.
One of the biggest difficulties of packing for a long backpacking trip in only a backpack, is how to pack for wet and rainy destinations.
Trying to fit warm layers and jackets into a small pack is a constant struggle, and Tropicfeel seems set on tackling that issue with this new travel jacket that packs down into a tiny pouch.
If you love Tropicfeel, they’ve got some pretty cool tees on offer that rep their slogan, “Beyond Travel.”
They’re all 100% organic cotton, and offer UV, odor, and humidity protection.
While Tropicfeel’s backpacks are pretty cool on their own, the Tropicfeel packing cubes are ingenious, and really change the organizational game.
They have an assortment of different types, from toiletry cubes, to camera storage cubes, to the built-in wardrobe.
While some of these packing cubes are meant to pair specifically with certain Tropicfeel backpacks, if you already own a different sustainable travel backpack, you also have the option to purchase these packing cubes on their own, which is pretty neat.
Tropicfeel also makes travel flip flops! They’re currently offered in three colors: core black, aqua green, and living coral.
These flip flops are durable, comfortable, vegan, and even made with 20% algae.
That concludes our in-depth review of the Tropicfeel Lava shoes.
Overall, we absolutely love these shoes, and have found them fantastic for traveling.
Their lightweight features and overall versatility have made them an excellent addition to our travel gear.
Plus, we absolutely love how sustainably made they are!
I honestly believe they’re great for active, adventurous travelers, who find themselves needing a little extra support from their travel shoes.
Now over to you…
Do you have any more questions about the Lava shoes?
Will you be buying the Lava shoes?
Do you already own the Lava shoes?
Drop a comment and let us know!
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