Kickin’ it in the FRONTEER x Manastash Aqua Solo

“Life is a journey through self-discovery”

Full disclosure, FRONTEER  does not make running shoes. But we here at Run Oregon believe that it is important to have comfortable feet, regardless of what style you are wearing. After all, without healthy and well-taken care of feet, where are we?!

One of my favorite places to run in Oregon is at Smith Rock State Park. The calm serenity of this location, coupled with amazing geographical wonders, really make for a great backdrop. I have a few friends who rock climb, in addition to run, and I am always blown away by their ability to do this. I am not an adrenaline junkie, but rock climbing is something that sort of intrigues me at its core – the ability to rely on someone below you (at times), as well as trusting yourself to get from point A to point B.

The FRONTEER x Manastash Aqua Solo are a pair of shoes that are ridiculously unique to the eye, and have their stylings are a tribute to they types of footwear worn when “deep-water soloing” – a type of rock climbing that occurs directly over water without a harness (terrifying). This is obviously ridiculously dangerous, as one little slip can send climbers into the water below.

The Aqua Solo’s are essentially made from suede – a full suede upper (the blue in these shoes) and a micro-fiber suede sock cover (the orange). The soles are mighty grippy, given their Vibram Exmoor construction. This makes them stick to the concrete just fine, but they would definitely be up to the task should you stumble upon a rock wall that needed climbing. On the heel, there are two nylon tabs – mostly a fashion statement in these shoes, bu I am guessing it has something to do with  deep-water soloing.

Aside from the colors (this version is the brightest of their stylings – the other two versions are brown with red and purple trim and black with white trim), the most noticeable fashion statement is the lack of laces and addition of two nylon velcro straps. It would make sense that shoes with laces would be a big mistake when hanging upside down on a rock ledge so it’s an obvious addition to the Aqua Solos.

As far as comfort goes, I wouldn’t really recommend these for running of any sort (which should be an obvious statement). They are a great fashion shoe and fit and perform as such. I’ve put in quite a few walking miles in these and my feet are no worse for wear.

The FRONTEER x Manastash Aqua Solo were just released in September 2017 and are likely to be a limited run only, so don’t delay if you are looking to spice up your shoe game!

FRONTEER has a variety of other equally colorful and unique shoes, boots, and hats in their General Store as well.


Company: FRONTEER (Facebook)

  • FRONTEER x Manastash Aqua Solo ($150)
    • Full soft suede upper
    • Micro-fiber suede sock cover
    • Moulded sockliner
    • Double nylon adjustable velcro straps
    • Double nylon back pull tabs
    • Vibram® Exmoor outsole
    • Moulded EVA midsole

More about Fronteer:

My name is Jon Tang and I am the Founder and Creative Director of FRONTEER. FRONTEER is a brand that is born out of unrelenting belief. My belief is that from digital to physical form, brands must be created to illustrate practical purpose. Purpose is the reason you journey. My own purpose is the reason FRONTEER was created.

It’s a brand that strives to incite discovery. FRONTEER is a willful attempt in helping the consumer discover a pursuit that absorbs them, frees them, and challenges them. It’s quite risky to start a footwear brand on your own without any investment or partners, however I firmly believe that FRONTEER gives me the ample opportunity as a designer and creative to really present a brand in its most genuine light.

FRONTEER as a brand is described as a lifestyle lived outdoors. Our mission is to be a catalyst for discovery by motivating others to seek the journey and be fulfilled by it. Our purpose is to create product for those who seek to be inspired by the beauty of the everyday world. We strive towards a mindfulness that says ‘in all that you encounter, inspiration can be found.’ From the smallest crack in the ground to an Earth shattering volcanic eruption, there is beauty in the detail. For FRONTEER, no detail goes unnoticed.


Thank you to FRONTEER for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Matt Rasmussen (1576 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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