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Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > Sperry Topsider H20 Bungee Sneaker > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

Test Series by Theresa Lawrence
Initial Report - July 11/14
 Field Report - September 15/14


Name: Theresa Lawrence
Email: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Age: 36
Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.

Initial Report

Manufacturer: Sperry Top-Sider
Manufacturer's URL:
Year of Manufacture: 2014

Made in:
MSRP: $90 US
Listed Weight: 11.2 oz/ 318 g for the pair
Measured Weight: 13.2 oz/ 375 g for the pair
Colors Available: Fuschia, blue, gray
Color Tested: Blue
Sizes Available:
6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10 (medium width only)
Size Tested:

Image Courtesy of Website

DESCRIPTION & FIRST IMPRESSIONS                                                                                

The Sperry Top-Sider H20 Bungee sneakers arrived in my choice color of bright blue. I thought the color would be fun and indeed it was very cheerful. I was delighted by how light weight the sneakers were. They seem like they will be very compatible for use in water and/or access to water. Looking at the shoe, I see it has an elastic bungee cord for lacing up, with a clasp at the end to fasten the excess loop. They seem to be made out of a variety of fast drying materials. I'm not sure what exactly, but they seem to be well made with very clean stitching. The inside indicates the upper is man-made. I think this is another way of saying synthetic. There is a soft felt material on the inside of the heel, which seems to aid in the comfort at the heel. The removable footbed is a type of foam with holes all over so water can drain through. The actual footbed doesn't appear to have any holes for water, but I assume the material will soak through and water will then drain through the large holes (internal channels) on the sides of the outer soles. The manufacturer refers to this removal of water underfoot as Adaptive Wave-Siping, which is also printed across the bottom of the shoe. The tread appears to be somewhat grippy and the sole sturdy and supportive. Time will tell all. I didn't see any instructions for washing, but they can obviously be rinsed in water.


When trying it on I found the sizing to be a smidge on the smaller size. This is because usually I'm either an 8.5 or a 9, but in this shoe my toes are all but touching the end of the 9 with bare feet and touching (not uncomfortable) with socks. I'm wondering if my kayaking or SAR dry suit booties will fit in the shoes. For activities that require bare feet and of course wet feet, like creek crossings and kayaking, these seem like they will be a great asset. Since they only come in medium width, I was surprised to find that they fit me so well. I have really narrow feet and they fit perfectly for width, I don't even need to pull the bungee. They are easy to slip on and slip off and feel quite comfortable. I'm curious to see how they hold up and whether they rub in any places causing blisters. I also wonder if they breathe or just feel sweaty in the hot weather. Over the course of the test period I plan to use them for creek crossings, camp shoes, white water kayaking and possibly swift water SAR training.


So far my initial impressions of the Sperry Top-Sider H20 Bungee sneakers are positive. They are very light weight and appear well made. They are sporty and cheerful looking, I may even wear them just to be trendy during the summer. Seriously though, I see myself wearing these for any bare foot wet adventure that comes my way, as well as for camp shoes when I'm backpacking. I'm interested in seeing how they grip to wet and slippery surfaces, how they might fit into my kayak and how my dry suit with latex booties fits into the shoes. At the moment the fit and comfort are superb with my bare feet, but I will be looking to see if this lasts when I'm wearing them around for longer periods of time. Stay tuned for when I report back all my observations in a couple months.

Field Report


Over the past couple months I have used the Sperry Top-Sider H20 Bungee sneakers in a variety of settings. These sneakers visited the following places and were used for lake swimming, creek crossings, camp shoes, rafting and white water kayaking.

- 2 days of rafting on the White River, White Swan Provincial Park, British Columbia
- 2 nights car camping near Canmore, Alberta
- 1 day kayaking on the Crowsnest River, Alberta
- 2 days kayaking on the Red Deer River, Alberta
- 2 days swimming in the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Alberta
- 1 overnight backpack trip to Silver Springs Lakes, near Elko, British Columbia
- 1 overnight backpack trip to Connor Lakes, Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, British Columbia
- 1 overnight car camping/rock climbing trip to Frenchman Coulee/Vantage, Washington


I have worn these sneakers for a number of activities and have found them to be nothing but comfortable. The only application that they didn't work out for was my Search and Rescue swift water rescue ensemble. The rivers here are cold and thick wool socks under the latex booties of my dry suit are a must in order to stay warm. So of course it was no surprise that the Sperry sneakers didn't fit over all of this. However, to my delight they did fit well with my white water kayaking dry suit because I just wore a very thin pair of socks under the latex booties. I do prefer to wear my neoprene boots with grip that cover my ankles in the kayak. This is only because they don't have laces that could snag on anything to cause a potential entrapment and because they cover the latex booties around the ankle protecting them from abrasion. But aside from those picky preferences they were very comfortable to wear for a full day of kayaking and multiple days of rafting in my dry suit. I especially enjoyed the comfort and protection they offered for my bare feet while swimming in lakes and crossing creeks.


What I noticed about the Sperry Top-Sider H20 Bungee sneakers was that they were easy to get on and off with the bungee cord flexibility. They stayed on even with fast water current and could be tightened easily with said bungee cord. I was worried about blisters and abrasions with wet fabric against bare skin, but thankfully I didn't experience any of this. I'm no longer concerned in that regard. The grip proved to be very good against slippery rocks during creek crossings and when getting in and out of lakes and walking along rocky river beds and beaches.

As far as camp use goes, fantastic so long as I didn't need them for a creek crossing or a lake swim. This was because once they were wet they remained that way for the rest of the trip. I thought they would dry faster, but the water really soaks into the fabric and takes a long time to dry. Though, certainly not as long as a pair of hiking boots, but long enough that they'd still be wet a full sunny day later. For example, I had used them for a creek crossing on one of my overnight trips and I hit the same creek on the way back a full day later and they were still wet. This wasn't a problem because they were going to get wet all over again anyways. But, it just meant that I was in my hiking boots at camp instead of letting my feet enjoy a break while winding down at camp. I did appreciate that my boots weren't wet and that I didn't take nearly as long as my partner crossing the really cold creek. The Sperry sneakers gave me the footing stability and protection against the uneven rocks for the creek crossing. My partner, on the other hand, in his bare feet had to negotiate his footing very carefully whereas I just pranced across in my Sperry sneakers.

I did think they made a fine addition to backpacking for the above mentioned creek crossings and if no creek crossings then for camp shoes because they really were lightweight and added very little to my pack.


 So far I've had a great time testing the Sperry Top-Sider H20 Bungee sneakers. I've appreciated their good grip on slippery rocks and rafts, as well as their comfort and fit. They've really come in handy for swimming and protecting my feet, which made these activities more enjoyable as I watched my partner grimace with his bare feet on sharp rocks. So far I would recommend these sneakers for all the activities I've encountered. My plan for the next couple of months will hopefully include more backpacking trips with possible creek crossings, as well as a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic where I will be looking to use them for sailing, paddle boarding, windsurfing and sea kayaking. I should have more to add on their durability, which so far has been impeccable.


- Color and appearance are fun
- Great fit and very comfortable
- No blisters or abrasions
- Fantastic grip on slippery rocks and rafts
- Versatile uses
- Easy to get on and off


- Took awhile to dry (more than a full sunny day)

Thanks to Sperry Top-Sider, Inc. and for allowing me to take part in this test series, I am looking forward to more time with these new H20 Bungee sneakers.

Read more reviews of Sperry gear
Read more gear reviews by Theresa Lawrence

Reviews > Footwear > Sandals > Sperry Topsider H20 Bungee Sneaker > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

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