Globetrotting adventurer and foot-powered wanderer, Levison Wood, has taken his passion for exploration and travel and condensed it into his very own range of espadrilles. The collaboration with Oliver Sweeney has resulted in The Explorer’s Espadrille and they’ve been designed to withstand the kind of monster marathons that Lev makes for the likes of From Russia To Iran.
The rugged footwear comes in four different styles named after Wood’s travels in Walking The Americas where he crossed the Darien gap wearing the slimline shoes. The Darien province is primarily made up of a huge jungle on the border between Panama and Colombia with no roads or easy way through, so it’s an impressive journey for the espadrilles to have made.
The four styles are Darien Forest, Darien Black, Darien Blue and Darien Denim, providing four different colour options to choose from, which you can see in the image below. They’ve all been built to last and tough it out in some pretty extreme terrain, so if you’re planning a grueling trip to the equator, tropics, sub-tropics or Mediterranean then they could come in handy.
The materials used to make them have been selected for their hard-wearing properties, so they can make it through thousands of miles of walking in the wilds. The Darien Forest, Darien Blie and Darien Black espadrilles are made from Cordura, which is essentially the kevlar of durable fabric, but without the bullet proof perks or added weight. The Darien Denim is made from raw bionic hemp denim, which is similar, but more jeany, so they look a bit cooler.
The soles are made from non-slip Vibram, so you should be able to take on the dampest of rainforests without going cheeks over nubs the whole time. There’s also a thorn and puncture proof midsole, just in case anyone comes at your feet with a blow-dart. It’s got Ortholite insoles that are like walking on golden goose feathers, even when you’re wracking up your 1,800th mile in the jungle, which is how Levison Wood tested them in Waking The Americas.
It’s this rugged construction and dedication to comfort and quality that means that they’re also some of the most expensive espadrilles that you can buy. They’re a cool £99, so they probably won’t win you too many points on a week in Benidorm, but if you’re planning on something a bit more adventurous and lengthy then the expense might be worth the investment.
We’re pretty sure Levison Wood didn’t get to wear The Explorer’s Espadrille all that much in the colder climbs of his journey in From Russia To Iran, which you can still catch up on All 4, but we’ll be surprised if they don’t make it into his next exploration. From the look of a recent tweet, he’ll be heading to Arabia for his next adventure and you can keep up-to-date with the latest from Lev on his official Twitter page.