Billed as a convertible approach shoe for climbers, the Dragonfly is an Italian-styled sport clog with a heel strap. The sticky rubber sole provides good traction on wet or dry rock, and a rubber toe cap helps prevent stubbed toes.
The uppers on the Dragonfly are synthetic leather, mesh and nylon so they both ventilate well on hot days and dry quickly after stream crossings. A speed-lacing system locks your feet in place snugly for harder scrambling and can be used to tie the shoes together for clipping to the back of your climbing harness.
Overall, these are comfortable and well built, but there are a few nits. Despite the claims, the Dragonfly is rather uncomfortable when used without the heel strap since it creates a lump underfoot. Due to the open back, gravel can get inside to attack feet but it's only a problem on very rocky terrain. The footbeds have a tendency to work loose and spit out the back on longer hikes, though duct tape solves that. The laces are so long they must always be tucked away to prevent tripping.
For $75, the Dragonfly is a reasonable value for those who want a bit more protection than sandals. The collapsible feature is nice but the Nike Air Switchblade also offers this, along with more secure lacing and closed heel, for $5 less. Certainly, the Dragonfly is a great camp shoe and has many other uses besides walking to crags.
SNEWS Rating: 3.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $75
For more information:www.lasportivausa.com