This article is my 8-month review of the modern Palladium Pampa Original Canvas Boot, including its:
- Construction quality
- Suitability for Hiking
- Pros & Cons
- And whether its worth the money compared to alternatives
Youll also find 4 additional short reviews of the following Palladium Boot Models below:
- Palladium Pallabrouse Canvas
- Palladium Pampa Leather
- Palladium Pallabrouse Hiker
- Palladium WP Cuff Waterproof Boot
Ready? Lets get started…
P.S. If youre interested, heres a visual comparison table of all 9 Palladium boot models for sale today.
Palladium Pampa Original Review
The Boot, The Legend
Palladium Pampa is the original Palladium boot and the most well-known model of the brand.
The boot comes in two different models:
What makes it legendary is the fact that elite French Foreign Legion troops wore these boots during their military operations in desert and jungle. In other words - Pampa used to be a proper military boot.
Palladium Pampa: 30-Second Summary
+ One of the most comfortable pairs Ive had
+ Decent construction & durability
- Occasional quality control issues
- Weak ankle support
- Needs better shoelaces
Long story short:
The Palladium Pampa boot is light, breathable, and comfortable to wear.
Both durability and construction quality are good for the price.
I didnt like the shoelaces, but theyre easy to switch out for a new pair waxed laces.
Also, Palladium used to have quality issues in the past. But judging by the recent positive reviews on Amazon it seems that theyve got them under control.
Finally... Palladium has no competition.
I didnt find any other trustworthy canvas boot thats both light and affordable. Most of them are made by some Chinese no-name brands, like this Vegan Eco-Friendly Canvas Boot for example.
See for yourself - here are 3 canvas boots that are most similar to Palladium:
After 8 months of use, I can say that if youre looking for a light and affordable canvas work boot – you cant go wrong with a pair of Palladium Pampas.
... Or keep on reading for my detailed review below.
Palladium Pampa brings classic design while being light, breathable and durable. This boot is the reason why were still talking about Palladium today.
Hiking: Good Enough For Easy Trails
Can you hike in Palladiums? Well, it depends on your trail.
- Are you walking or climbing?
- Are there lots of sharp rocks on your hike trail that you have to cross?
Palladium Pampas will be fine for light and medium hikes. Theyre good for walking hikes, but I wouldnt go climbing in them. Because remember - these are canvas boots. And while its sturdy canvas, you dont want it ripping in the middle of your hike.
Get a pair of proper hiking boots (like Salomon Quest 4D) if youre going on a serious hike.
The Canvas Upper & Waterproofing
The canvas upper feels nice and strong with the thick fabric. Its similar to what you get with Converse but sturdier. There is double stitching in most of the areas on the boot.
Palladium Pampa boot is water-resistant, but not waterproof. The fabric is thick enough to stay dry in light rain, but it will eventually soak through.
But the boot will also dry fast – thats one of the upsides of having a canvas upper. My pair was completely dry after about 30 minutes in the sun, which is fast for a boot.
The Rubber Sole Is Sturdy
I like the rubber sole – it has good traction and can handle extreme heat without melting (as Converse does sometimes). Small rocks will get stuck in the sole, but thats the case with most boots.
While the traction is good, the boot is still slippery on wet surfaces. This is not an issue out in the country or on rough pavement, but if you have to walk on slippery ground, beware.
Its perfect for working in the backyard.
The Covered Toe Cap
Having a covered toe cap is great because makes the shoe more durable and resistant to all kinds of small damage that you can find on the hiking trail. It also protects the front of the boot against tearing.
Boots and shoes usually break from either a (1) tear in the front, or (2) a heel blowout in the back. The covered toecap protects Palladium against this happening.
Not Impressed By The Shoelaces
I didnt like the weak shoelaces that came with the boot. I didnt think they would hold, so I switched them out for a pair of waxed laces and theyve held up great since. Unless Palladium has changed their shoelaces, I recommend you do the same.
Tongue Of The Boot Not Attached
Another thing that I didn’t like is that the tongue of the boot is not attached to the sides. This essentially means that:
- Debris will get into the shoe through the opening
- It’s impossible to make the shoe waterproof (even if you coat them)
Comfortable On The Feet
Palladium Pampa is comfortable on the feet because it is lighter and more flexible (cotton stretches) than your normal boots. In fact, its one of the most comfortable boots that Ive had.
When Im wearing it, it feels more like a shoe than a boot. Imagine a heavyweight converse made for hiking – thats roughly what wearing Palladium Pampa feels like.
The only thing that bothers me is that it has little arch support – and you can really feel it when walking downhill. This might be a problem for longer hikes in the mountains.
Also, there is no midsole separating the rubber from your foot. Its not a deal-breaker, and you shouldnt expect a midsole for this price. But keep in mind that youll feel the ground in these with your feet, as the insole is not enough to soften the impact of walking.
Easy To Clean
Cleaning the boot is not difficult. Using soap and warm water, it takes me a couple of minutes to scrub mine clean.
Like Converse, Palladium boots actually look better with time when theyre worn and slightly ragged.
With daily use, Id say that a pair of these boots will last you between 8 and 16 months.
Mine are doing fine after 8 months, but Ive taken good care of them. If you work at a construction site, I wouldnt expect more than 6 months.
Id love to give you some alternatives Palladium Pampa, but there really are none besides from other Palladium boots included below.
Take a look - the closest thing I found to Pampa are the following three canvas boots.
Danners are professional tactical boots. Dr. Martens are not really canvas, and retail for double the price of a Pampa. And I wouldnt trust the quality those Chinese vegan boots too much if I were you.
Palladium Pampa is not one of those premium Handmade in the U.S. work boots thatll last you a lifetime. But youll be hard-pressed to find a better canvas boot for the money.
Palladium Pampa Models
Comparison Table: More Palladium Boot Models
Palladium Pampa Cuff Wp Lux Waterproof Rain Boot Review
The waterproof Palladium boot - combines a polyurethane collar, waterproof stitching thread, polar fleece lining and rubber toe cap to keep your the feet dry.
If you need to work in the rain or in the snow, get yourself a pair of waterproof Palladium Pampa Cuff WP Lux boots. While this model is heavier and pricier than the regular canvas Pampa, its also built better.
As for the cons, the WP Lux boot wont be as light and comfortable as the regular Pampa and might take a longer time to break in. While I havent tried them myself, the reviews say that these have a tighter fit than usual.
Palladium Pampa Hi Leather Review
There’s also a leather version of the Pampa that performs better than other Palladium models
Like their canvas counterpart, these boots are thin, flexible, and light. They weigh around 2.5 lbs. You’ll have to wear thick socks with them.
Theyre great as light summer hiking boots and last longer than the canvas models. The reviews on Amazon confirm that.
Here’s a video that reviews the boot in more detail:
Palladium Pallarbrouse Hiker Boot Review
Palladium Pallabrouse Hikers is the old-school hiking boot from the series. This model is tougher than your average Palladium boot. You can see the extra rubber that they put around the boot to protect it from the impact on the hiking trail.
And yet, Palladium landed somewhere in the middle with this model. Because the boot is not good enough to compete with proper hiking boots. And probably not reliable enough to take on a more serious hike.
Its a great-looking boot, but as a hiking boot... it gets beaten out by competition. Its not guaranteed
Palladium Pampa Tactical Combat Boot
Disclaimer - I dont own the tactical combat boot. Below info is based on what I could find online. Reviews from people who own the boot. As youll see, theyre more than enough to convince you not to buy the boot.
Here is a boot that you shouldnt buy. Sometimes, Palladium just shoots and misses. This boot is more of a tactical combat sneaker than it is a boot.
- Unlike the original Pampa, the tactical combat boot’s upper is made out of leather and ballistic (read: extra strong) nylon.
- The boot is also taller: 11 from top to bottom - giving your feet more protection from the elements.
- It’s got the standard Palladium rubber sole with the covered toecap.
But here’s the problem:
These boots tend to fall apart.
Amazon reviews speak for themselves. People are complaining about their:
- Zippers breaking
- Fabric tearing
- Buttons coming off
- Logos falling off
In summary, the pretty photos are all that these boots have going for them. Some of these boots fell apart within 2-3 months in city conditions, which means sitting in the office 9-5. They look sturdier than the normal Pampas, but looks are deceiving.
The History of Palladium
You might be thinking:
Whats the big deal anyway? Its just a pair of cheap boots...
And you would be right. But they used to be much more.
- Palladium been making boots for more than 70 years
- The original boots were made for the French Foreign Legion to be used in military operations in Algeria and Indochina
In fact, Palladiums strong heritage is one of the reasons why people still love these boots.
What made Palladium boots special was their construction:
- Canvas upper
- Rubber sole
The boots were made for desert and jungle military operations, so they needed to be light, breathable, and durable all at the same time.
And Palladium pulled it off.
But thats history.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sizing - Do Palladium Boots Fit True To Size?
According to Amazon Reviews, 83% of people found that their Palladium boots fit true to size. So yes, Palladium boots fit true to size for most people. They do run narrow so keep this in mind if you have wide feet.
Palladium Boots Price – How Much Do They Cost?
It depends on the model. Ive seen the basic canvas models selling for as low as $48, while the high-end waterproof models can cost up to $150 or even more.
Where To Buy Palladium Boots & Shoes Cheap?
I recommend buying Palladium boots on Amazon because (1) you usually get the lowest price available, and (2) Amazon has an amazing FREE returns policy. So if you get a wrong size – and that happens all the time - you dont have to pay for returning your boots. See All Palladium Boots For Sale On Amazon.
Are Palladium Boots Good For Hiking?
Palladium boots are good for hiking on easier trails. Theyre good for anything that doesnt involve climbing and sharp rocks, as those can rip the canvas on your boots. And thats the last thing you want happening in the middle of your hike. The cheaper canvas Pampa boots also have little arch support, which is obviously bad for hiking.
Are Palladium Boots Waterproof?
Depends on the model – waterproof Palladium models have WP in their name, so those are the ones that you should go for. Regular canvas Palladium boots are not waterproof, but they are water-resistant.
Palladium Boots For Winter – Can They Handle Snow?
Palladium boots with WP in their name, as well as some leather models, can handle snow in the winter. I dont recommend wearing the normal Palladium Pampas around with snow, as theyll soak through in no time.
Where Are Palladium Boots Made?
Palladium boots are currently made in China. They used to be made in France before the production was moved over to China.
How To Clean Palladium Boots?
You can either wash them in the washing machine on a short cycle, or clean them with soap, warm water, and a toothbrush. Depends on how dirty you get them, but for me soap and warm water have always been enough.
Palladium Vs Converse?
Its like comparing apples to oranges because Converse is not a boot. While theyre similar, the fabric on converse is thinner than on Palladium. Palladium has a thicker sole with better traction than Converse, and overall the build quality is better on Palladium.
Where Can I Get Vintage Palladium Boots?
Check out Etsy and eBay, I’ve seen some of them selling there.
Boots Similar to Palladium
The original Palladium boot reminds me of the Vietnam Jungle Boots.
They cost about the same as Palladium’s tactical combat boots, but they’re actually made for combat. Your mileage may vary on finding the correct size. Youll also see some Chinese jungle boots for $20 on Amazon, but you know... when a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
The Final Word
Palladiums are light, comfortable, and you get decent durability for the money. While there are some things that I didnt like about the construction, theyre not deal breakers considering the price of the boots.
So, while Palladium boots are no longer used by the French Foreign Legion, theyre the best light desert boots currently available for the money.
As I outlined in the summary above, there is no other boot available below $100 that is as light and as comfortable as Palladium.
With that being said:
There seems to be a vocal minority of people who have had a negative experience with the boots, but thats mostly due to quality control issues.
Thats why I recommend buying Palladium from Amazon – you get free returns in case you get a bad apple with quality control issues.
Have you owned/tried Palladium boots? Share your experience in the comments!
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