Outdoor gear has come a long way in recent years when it comes to sustainable and eco-friendly options. 8000Kicks is one brand at the forefront of this movement with its line of stylish and durable hemp sneakers. The Explorer V2 is 8000Kicks’ latest iteration of its popular waterproof hemp shoes for men and women.
We put the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 through extensive hands-on testing to see if these sustainable kicks can really hold up for hiking, traveling, and everyday wear. Read on for our full 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review.
Materials and Design
Right off the bat, the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 makes use of several eco-friendly materials in its design:
- Hemp upper – The upper is made from natural cannabis fibers, making it vegan and sustainable. Hemp is also lightweight and breathable.
- Algae bloom soles – The soles use algae foam collected from harmful algal blooms, giving them a unique sustainable edge.
- Natural dyes – Plant-based dyes give the Explorer V2 its stylish look without harsh chemicals.
In addition to the materials, the overall design focuses on sustainability. The shoes are engineered in Portugal to reduce shipping miles, and the brand manufactures in Braga, Portugal, and Dongguan, China.
Several thoughtful design elements also make the Explorer V2 easy to care for and durable. A proprietary coating protects the shoes from stains, liquids, and dust. The construction is also waterproof yet remains lightweight and breathable.
With its eco-friendly materials and sustainability-focused design, it’s fair to assume in this 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review that the shoes make an impressive first impression.
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Comfort and Wearability
We rigorously tested the shoes for comfort, fit, support, and wearability in everyday settings and outdoor conditions. Here is what we found in our 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review:
Comfortable yet snug fit – The hemp upper molds comfortably to your feet, but some might find the toe box on the narrow side. Our wide-footed tester noticed some rubbing on the pinky toe at first. The fit does stretch out after a few wears.
Great cushioning – The hemp insoles provide pleasing step-in cushioning and arch support that holds up during long days on your feet.
Breathable with moisture-wicking lining – The hemp upper lets air flow freely to your feet. Combined with the moisture-wicking lining, our feet stayed dry walking in 90+ degree weather.
Lightweight with flexible construction – Even with the sturdy waterproofing, the Explorer V2 remains impressively lightweight at just 15 oz per shoe for men. The flexibility also facilitates a natural stride.
Versatile for casual and outdoor use – We found the sneaker-style design worked great for everyday wear, while the grippy algae bloom soles provided sure-footed traction on hikes.
While sizing can be tricky for some, we can confidently say in our 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review that the shoe provides good comfort for all-day wear along with the performance to handle outdoor activities – all in a lightweight package.
Durable Materials and Waterproof Design Hold Up to Abuse
From everyday adventures to more extreme conditions, we wanted to see how the 8000Kicks Explorer V2’s materials and construction would hold up. After extended testing, the shoes proved to be well-made and ready for wear and tear.
The hemp upper resists scuffs and stains – after miles of hiking dusty trails, wiping the shoes down restored their look. The proprietary coating also proved its worth against splashes. During a rainstorm hike, water beaded up and rolled right off the shoes.
It’s important to mention in this 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review that the sturdy algae bloom soles also held up impressively. The tread retained its grip after weeks of testing, showing negligible wear. Flexing the soles by hand and underfoot, the foam retained its bounce too.
By using natural materials purposefully, 8000Kicks created a surprisingly durable shoe. The Explorer V2 can truly handle outdoor activities while staying looking great.
A Standout Value Starting at Just $129
While quality materials and construction often come with a hefty price tag, the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 manages to keep costs down. Retailing at $129, the shoes offer standout value compared to similar sustainable footwear from brands like Allbirds.
It’s worth mentioning in this 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review that the affordable pricing makes the shoe especially appealing for consumers looking to make a more eco-friendly choice. You get features like hemp uppers and algae bloom soles without paying the typical premium for sustainable goods.
For the quality, performance, and eco-friendly design, the Explorer V2 punches well above its $129 price point. 8000Kicks makes sustainable materials and manufacturing methods accessible and affordable.
8000Kicks Explorer V2 Reviews: What Customers Are Saying
In addition to our own testing, we looked at 8000Kicks Explorer V2 reviews and testimonials from other everyday users and gear experts:
- On Product Hunt, the Explorer V2 earned a 4.56 out of 5 based on 27 reviews. Positive notes focused on the shoe’s eco-friendly credentials and stylish look.
- The shoe has a 4.7/5 star rating on Trustpilot based on 40 reviews. Many cited the “feel-good” sustainability factor and versatile performance for casual and outdoor use.
- Gear Junkie called the Explorer V2 a “purpose-built shoe” offering waterproof weather protection, grippy traction, and responsibly-sourced materials.
- Negative feedback centered around sizing issues, with some finding the shoe fits small and narrow. A few also wished for increased arch support and cushioning.
While some sizing and comfort improvements could be made, 8000Kicks Explorer V2 reviews by users overwhelmingly praise the eco-friendly design and materials along with its durability, traction, and stylish versatility.
Who the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 Are For
Based on our testing and 8000Kicks Explorer V2 reviews online, the ideal user is:
- Eco-conscious consumers – With the hemp and algae bloom construction, the Explorer V2 appeals to people looking for sustainable and responsibly-made gear.
- Outdoor adventurers – Hikers, travelers, and anyone needing a durable shoe will appreciate the weatherproof design and grippy soles.
- Everyday urban wearers – The stylish look and comfort work great for casual everyday use too.
- Budget-focused shoppers – The affordable $129 retail price makes the sustainable design more accessible.
The Explorer V2 works best for people who prioritize eco-friendly credentials and want a versatile shoe for adventures or everyday wear. It’s not the best for narrow feet or those needing Arch support.
8000Kicks Explorer V2 Review: The Bottom Line
With its blend of sustainable materials, outdoor-ready durability, and budget-friendly pricing, the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 makes a compelling choice for eco-conscious adventure seekers and urban dwellers alike. We’ve compiled the pros and cons in our 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review:
- Eco-friendly and vegan hemp and algae construction
- Lightweight and breathable feel
- Waterproof weather protection
- Grippy flexible soles
- Stylish versatile design for any occasion
- Durable natural materials and coating
- Reasonable $129 price point
- Sizing can run small
- Snug toe box
- Needs more arch support for some
For shoppers prioritizing sustainability without sacrificing performance or style, the 8000Kicks Explorer V2 is a great choice. It’s reasonable to conclude in this 8000Kicks Explorer V2 review that the thoughtful eco-friendly design paired with durable construction and affordable pricing makes these versatile hemp sneakers a win.
Be sure to check out 8000kicks.com to see the full line of Explorer V2 colorways for men and women. Don’t forget to use one of these latest coupon codes to get the best deals on these hot sustainable kicks!