Reef Deckhand 3 TX Review

9.8 score
[Editors rating (9.8)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.8)/10

Editor rating: 9.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Looking for a good pair of deck shoes, or just want something durable and supportive to spice up your style for the summer? Well, look no further, the Deckhand 3 TX from Reef is the whole package. Featuring Reef’s Swellular Technology with superb traction and an EVA sockliner with anatomical arch support, as well as a very durable cotton ripstop upper with a breathable lining, this stylish sneaker seems to have it all, including a very attractive price tag.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Premium cotton ripstop upper
  • Swellular Traction
  • Compression molded EVA sockliner with anatomical arch support
  • Double-wrapped vulcanized taping
  • Very comfortable and durable construction
  • Stylish
  • Affordable


Being part of Reef’s TX series, the Deckhand 3 TX also features their groundbreaking Swellular Technology in its sole unit, delivering excellent traction, support and comfort to the wearer. Reef made the outsole of the Deckhand 3 TX of a high-density molded rubber, with Swellular Traction, a tread pattern, that has since become one of their signature features. This tread pattern depicts the outlines of ocean waves, an homage to Reef’s surfer lifestyle roots. However, this tread pattern does not only look nice, but it has a firm grip on the ground as well, including wet sand, which is a very tricky surface, making these sneakers suitable for most surfaces, dry or wet. As the name suggests, the Deckhand 3 TX will make an excellent boat shoe, but they are very versatile and will serve you well both on and off the deck. These sneakers will also stand the test of time, as rubber is a naturally very durable material, not to mention waterproof and quite flexible, making them very comfortable to walk in.


The second component of the three-part Swellular Technology is the medium-density Swellular midsole, which delivers long-lasting support and cushioning to the wearer, no matter what they do. The Swellular midsole has great shock-absorption, cushioning each footfall and helping relieve the wearer from the stress of impact. Reef also reinforced their Deckhand 3 TX’s durability with the addition of double-wrapped vulcanized taping. This wrap-around covers the forefoot area as well, helping to protect the toes from bumps. The Swellular Technology sole unit is finished off with a compression molded EVA sockliner, featuring anatomical arch support. This anatomically engineered sockliner follows the contours of the feet perfectly, eliminating foot pain and keeping the wearer supported and comfortable throughout the day. One reviewer even replaced his Vans, which he was using for longboarding, with the Deckhand 3 TX, and was blown away with the amount of comfort and support he received. The Deckhand 3 TX is an all-around great sneaker to have, whether for everyday, casual use when going to the beach, hiking on the coastal area or just for walking around town since your feet will be protected and comfortable no matter the activity.


Not sacrificing one quality for another, Reef made the upper of the Deckhand 3 TX of a premium cotton ripstop material, which is lightweight and breathable, yet very durable and tear-resistant. As the name itself suggests, ripstop materials are less likely to tear and rip, and this is achieved with a special weaving technique, that usually consists of thicker reinforcement threads made of nylon, that are interwoven with another material, in this case, cotton, in a crosshatch pattern. Thanks to this method, even if there is a small rip in the fabric, it will not spread to the rest of the upper very easily. Ripstop fabrics can be applied to almost anything, that needs reinforcing, such as tents, paragliders, or in this instance, sneakers. The ripstop fabric also gives the Deckhand 3 TX a three-dimensional look, due to the thicker threads, which are interwoven with the cotton. The premium cotton ripstop panels are stitched together, with a moccasin-style toe box and simple leather details on the tongue, collar, and heel. There are three pairs of metal eyelets on each shoe, with military-inspired rope laces, for added durability and style. The standard lacing system also allows the wearer to get a custom fit, while the collar is lightly padded for a comfortable, yet supportive fit around the ankles. The lining inside the Deckhand 3 TX is made of a soft cotton canvas material, adding to the overall breathability and comfort levels of these sneakers, making them perfect for those warm months at the beach.


Even though, the upper features thick nylon threads in its weave, thanks to the premium cotton fabric, with which the nylon threads are interwoven, the Deckhand 3 TX did not have to sacrifice breathability in favor of durability. While the Deckhand 3 TX does have a thicker, more structured upper, the lining inside the shoe is made of soft cotton canvas, ensuring that the feet are well-ventilated, for a dry and cool ride during those warmer months.


The Deckhand 3 TX from Reef seems to have the whole package: a beautiful sneaker, that is both functional and comfortable. Indeed, Reef is known to make highly comfortable footwear, which reviewers themselves corroborated. The Deckhand 3 TX comes equipped with Reef’s groundbreaking Swellular Technology and premium cotton ripstop upper, that are responsible for the overall comfort levels of this shoe. Namely, the three-part Swellular Technology, that consists of a high-density molded rubber outsole, a medium-density Swellular midsole, and a compression molded EVA sockliner, delivers all-day comfort and support to the wearer. The premium cotton ripstop upper gives this sneaker structure and support, while the soft cotton canvas lining creates a comfortable and breathable in-shoe environment. The collar has some padding as well, for a comfortable, yet supportive fit around the ankles. The Deckhand 3 TX is excellent for any summer adventure, be it boat sailing, hiking, skateboarding or walking around, since you do not have to worry about sore or tired feet after a long day of being active.


The Reef Deckhand 3 TX is very flexible, thanks to its vulcanized construction. It allows the wearer to move and bend in this sneaker freely and naturally, delivering a very comfortable and unrestricted ride. The compression molded EVA sockliner, which features anatomical arch support, follows the contours of the feet to deliver a very natural stride. This makes the Deckhand 3 TX an excellent shoe for a wide variety of activities, from walking to hiking and skateboarding as well, and will keep the wearer feeling comfortable all day.


Taking inspiration from surfers, who are always on the go, as well as wanting to make versatile shoes, that can cover the adventurer’s every need, Reef makes beautiful, yet very functional footwear. The Deckhand 3 TX is a part of their TX series featuring Reef’s innovative Swellular Technology and as the name itself suggests, it is a great boat sailing shoe. However, that is not its only use, as it is very versatile, and can be used for anything from walking around town to skateboarding or even hiking. Reef made sure to include features to enhance this sneaker’s durability, such as the double-wrapped vulcanized taping, the cotton ripstop upper and the military-inspired shoelaces. The whole construction of the sneaker is quite simple and minimalistic, with a few leather details and attractive stitching on the upper. It is available in a number of great colors, like red, black, khaki or military green, all of which are easily incorporated into any wardrobe and can be styled in a bunch of different ways. They look good with a casual combination of jeans and a T-shirt, but shorts, khakis, and trousers look great with them too. The upper also features a moccasin-like toe box, which adds more interest to the overall sneaker.


Inspired by the wandering surfer, who is always ready for his next adventure, Reef has made a name for themselves by creating high-quality active footwear, that can tackle most scenarios, from hanging out at the beach to hiking on some rocky trails, or a day of touring around cities. That is why the Deckhand 3 TX is packed with supportive features, to keep the wearer nice and comfortable throughout the day. The Deckhand 3 TX comes with Reef’s three-part Swellular Technology sole unit, made of a high-density rubber outsole with Swellular Traction, a medium-density Swellular midsole with double-wrapped vulcanized taping for extra durability, and a compression molded EVA sockliner with anatomical arch support for all-day comfort. The Swellular Traction outsole delivers superb grip and traction on most dry and wet surfaces, like wet sand or rocky trails, making the Deckhand 3 TX quite a versatile shoe. The Swellular midsole offers support, that lasts all day long, no matter the activity, which is great news for people suffering from foot pain, while the compression molded EVA sockliner provides instant comfort and relieve. However, the support does not end there, as Reef made their upper from premium cotton ripstop, which is a highly durable material, that once laced up, will keep the feet locked in their position, preventing sliding inside the shoes. They also included a lightly padded collar for additional ankle support.


Rubber is naturally sticky and with the addition of Reef’s Swellular Traction, a tread pattern closely resembling ocean waves, the Deckhand 3 TX boasts with superb grip and traction on most dry and wet surfaces. The grip on the Deckhand 3 TX is so good, that it keeps the wearer steady on their feet even on wet sand. This sneaker is perfect for every summer activity, from boat sailing, walking down the beach or in town, hiking, and even skateboarding, thanks to the Swellular Traction’s excellent performance.


The Deckhand 3 TX weighs in at about 26 ounces, which is still lightweight enough, so it does not weigh the wearer down or create any soreness or fatigue. The bulk of the sneaker’s weight is taken up by the sole unit, as rubber is naturally a bit heavier, while the cotton ripstop upper balances the weight out nicely. Since there is no additional padding, except the light padding in the collar, there is no extra weight to drag the feet down, allowing for a springy stride.

Bottom Line

The Deckhand 3 TX is another great addition to Reef’s always expanding collection of high-quality footwear. Featuring their groundbreaking Swellular Technology, the Deckhand 3 TX comes with a three-part sole unit, comprising of a high-density molded rubber outsole with Swellular Traction, a medium-density Swellular midsole with double-wrapped vulcanized tape for added durability, and a compression molded EVA sockliner with anatomical arch support for instant comfort, that lasts all day. The superb grip and traction, that the Swellular Traction tread pattern delivers, helps keep the wearer firmly on the ground, be it wet or dry, while the Swellular midsole delivers all-day support and shock absorption for a comfortable, pain-free stride. The durable cotton ripstop upper helps keep the feet locked in position, while the soft canvas lining keeps the shoe well-ventilated, for a cool and dry ride. The upper comes with simple leather detailing and is available in a variety of attractive colorways. Be it for boat sailing, hiking on the coastal area, or skateboarding, this durable and supportive sneaker from Reef will keep you comfortable and looking stylish all summer.