Sometimes, partnerships and their resulting product work better than expected, and such is the case with the new Timberland Power Lounger Slip-On, a partnership in shoe construction between Timberland, known for producing high-quality leather footwear, and SmartWool, known for its superb merino wool socks and base layers. Â
When we first heard about the project, we were intrigued, naturally, to get some footwear on our dogs and give the project a real-world test â€“ literally. So, our designated tester packed his bags and put his Power Loungers through the ultimate test â€“ as his footwear of choice for all travel over five months of testing. And based on his feedback, we're doubly impressed.
Featuring washable leathers on the outside and a SmartWool lining on the inside, the slip-on is easy care â€“ once even getting washed in a New Zealand hotel sink to clean off a stain from a spilled drink (don't ask). They're light and soft enough to pack well. Plus, the shoes work superbly as the ideal airport shoe â€“ easy on and off through airport screening, comfortable enough to leave on even when in the airplane seat, and sufficient support for this tester that even long treks over hard surfaces toting luggage didn't turn his feet into barking dogs. (For those with less than perfect foot biomechanics, extra footbeds or personal orthotics do fit in the shoe too, although that may mean not having that SmartWool lining underfoot, only on the sides.)
SmartWool lining evaporates and wicks extremely well, and kept our tester's feet (normally hot and sweaty ones â€“ ewwwww) feeling happy, cool, and relaxed even in hot temps.Â Thanks to the wool lining, the shoes can be worn comfortably with or without socks. A bungee cord over the instep allows for fit adjustments should you switch from sock-clad to sans sock traveling.
A rubber outsole provides solid traction and the leather sidewalls offer adequate foot protection should the track turn a bit rough â€“ like finding your hotel room after sunset while picking your way through a construction site (again, don't ask).
While our tester did wear his Power Loungers all day at a trade show on two occasions, he doesn't recommend it â€“ the shoes are named Power Loungers for a reason, after all. The shoes, as good as they are for travel and comfort, don't offer sufficient foot support for all-day walking on concrete and those uncommonly hard show hall surfaces. If you plan to do a lot of wandering, like all over city streets, or from museum to museum, a more supportive shoe would be our recommendation. Still, our tester has now made his Power Loungers the official travel shoe when all-day walking is not on the menu.
SNEWSÂ® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $85.00
For more information:www.timberland.com