Source River Crosser

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The SNEWS team was wondering what the world needed with yet another river sandal when it received the new River Crosser sandal from Source, which is an Israeli-made product and is being distributed in the U.S. by Cima Sports.

As naturally curious types, we set aside our reservations about market over-saturation and slipped into another sandal. After two months of testing, the SNEWS team has to admit that perhaps there is room for just one more company.

In terms of stability, the sandal is one of the most secure we've tested. Relying on a patented X-Cross strapping system, the sandal didn't allow our tester's feet to slide or the sole to role even when traversing steeply angled rocks. The sticky rubber sole gripped extremely well, even on damp surfaces. Most noticeable was the topsole made with an anti-bacterial material -- even after repeated sludge and slime adventures, wet river crossings, and damp duffle storage experiences, the sole refused to succumb to noxious bacteria. No other sandal we've ever tested can boast such a full capability to combat stench.

The polypropylene webbing is a great choice too as it has quick-drying properties. We absolutely hate the wet, clammy sensation from polyester or even nylon webbing utilized by many other sandal manufacturers. Unfortunately, the current version of sandal relies on a somewhat abrasive polypropylene. Source has assured SNEWS that sandals for 2003 will feature a much softer polypro webbing, and that's a very good thing.

Our only other quibble would be that the sole doesn't offer sufficient foot support when worn walking, hiking, or simply standing -- and let's face it -- that's when most sandals are going to see action, even if they are billed as technical water footwear. We'd like to see a more contoured footbed with more pronounced arch support for greater comfort. Weight: 21 ounces.

SNEWS Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection. *The sandals would likely be a rowdy five-hand-clapping affair if the above changes were implemented.)

Suggested Retail: $80

For information: www.cimasports.com, 303-417-0301

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