The Palm Descender boot is a high performance three-quarter watershoe with 4 mm thermofibre lined neoprene, versatile stabilising strap system and new Palm Diamond Traction sole. How would it fair on a 9 day, 200 mile trip down the river Severn?
I found the grip very good on these boots, and we really tested them out in all kinds of terrain; slippery rocks, muddy banks, wet grass, gravel bottoms, riding wet SUP’s and climbing through sharp reeds on the riverbank. Even whilst walking on tarmac paths around the many weirs we encountered, they were great. I especially like the way the sole is wrapped around the edges of the boots, having the toes covered certainly stopped me stubbing them a few times, it’s a great design feature!
As mentioned above, the sole is very comfortable to walk and stand in, but it doesn’t stop there. Inside there is a thermofibre lining, which not only aids when slipping the boots on, but helps to warm your feet and keep them comfortable. These aren’t like any boot I had worn before, and even when we had our drysuits on, you could still feel the benefit underfoot. I suppose the biggest test to the comfort of these boots was after a 9-hour paddle, feet were still pretty good! The neoprene stretches just enough to allow you to get them on with ease, but goes back to shape to support well.
These boots are made from 4mm neoprene, which is a reasonable thickness for UK waters. My feet stayed warm throughout the trip, both with drysuit and without when weather allowed. I now wear these all year round on my SUP.
There are two straps on these boots, one around the heel, and one across the front of the foot. When tightened up, they offer great support and a nice snug fit. The tabs on the end of the straps make them very easy to use, even with gloves on. This again, is another great design feature.
Value for money
The RRP for this boot is £44.95, but you can get them online for around £40. For the usage this boot offers throughout the year, I think £40 is a reasonable price. They are well made, look the part, and will last a good couple of years.
I was really impressed with the way these boots performed on our trip. They offered great support, grip and comfort, which meant we could concentrate on the trip, rather than worrying about our feet. I use these boots whenever I’m on the river with my SUP now and would recommend them!
For more information check out the Palm website: