The short answer: very comfortable.
Palladium brand shoes have two main boot styles: Canvas upper with a rubber sole and 100% leather upper with a rubber sole. Palladium also offers boots made of textile and knit materials like ballistic nylon. I love wearing canvas shoes in summer when my feet need a shoe that is more breathable. In winter, I never go anywhere without my leather boots. For me I find the leather style to be most comfortable, but I’m going to do a quick run down so you can make the best decision for your feet.
Palladium started in 1920’s France as an airplane tire manufacturer. After WW2 and the decrease of demand for tires, the company decided to utilize their canvas and rubber materials to meet the growing demand for military style combat boots. The original Pampa boot was created in 1947 to protect the feet of paratroopers in action who needed a shock absorbent landing. After the fighting was done, the shoe still remained popular and kept its heritage style. Obviously technology has changed a lot since the 1940’s, and the company has made sure the “orginale” design of the boot evolves with it.
In 2017, the Pampa was redesigned with a modern sole. The boots have “Paradrop” insole technology consisting of a thick PU (polyurethane) footbed meant to last through long days of heavy wear with lasting comfort. The company touts the new Pampa HI OG as the most comfortable boot they have made yet. From our personal experiences, we have to agree. These are the type of shoes you can stand in all day without any discomfort.
Don’t just take our word for it! The Amazon reviewer testimonials for the Palladium Pampa Hi Orignale Chukka Boot are amazing:
- a cancer survivor with peripheral neuropathy who wears pampas all day with no foot pain
- a 10 year army veteran who enjoys the feel of a duty boots that are still appropriate for civilian life
- a commuter with narrow feet in an odd size, that found the adjustable laces made the boots fit like a glove
- an air mechanic who still found the boots comfortable after a 10 hour shift
The 14 oz. canvas upper was an ideal material for dry environments, and it still is. The canvas upper is made of 100% cotton increasing the comfort in warmer climates. On a hot day the canvas type are extremely breathable and quick-drying. They are also light weight and very flexible. Many have compared the feel of the canvas shoes to a more durable Chuck or Converse. Since canvas is not a waterproof material, I recommend the canvas style Palladium boots for dry weather and summer wear. These boots excel in sandy desert conditions, and are extremely popular at music festivals like Burning man!
The Palladium Pampa Hi Leather Ankle Boot is a very comfortable option. The boot has a padded tongue and lace closures for a snug fit. The boot is great for colder climates and the textile lining makes the leather boots nice and warm for winter time. The textile is especially important for moisture control. In my experience, leather boots are most comfortable with socks. Some wearers state that the leather boots are best ordered true to size, but others think that the shoe fits better with thick wool socks if you order one size up. To get the most out of your boots, I suggest ordering true to size if you usually wear thin to medium-thick socks.
Unlike the canvas Originale version, the Pampa Hi Leather boot has an EVA cushioned insole with a heel cup that protects and massages the heel when you step. The leather softens well without losing its shape due to the heel cup.
The leather boot is very lightweight, about 2.5 pounds, and conforms to your foot after wearing for a couple days. Personally, I am a fan of real leather shoes because of the increase in comfort over time and the lasting durability. Amazon reviewers have said great things about the leather boots:
Like any shoe, Palladiums will be most comfortable when selecting the correct size and width for your particular feet. Most palladium shoes are true to size, and Amazon reports that the shoes fit as expected about 85% of the time, which is great news for shoppers online. Reviewers state that when buying a style without lining, the shoes are more comfortable if you buy a half size up and wear thick socks. Palladiums generally have a size M width online, so keep in mind those with wider feet may have to order up a size to fit comfortably.
Overall, Palladiums are a great shoe for walking or light hikes and have great comfort with the right fit.