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Since it has been a while, back to a familiar topic: UL camp shoes
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Tim Cleary

Locale: Lost
Since it has been a while, back to a familiar topic: UL camp shoes on 06/26/2012 19:44:24 MDT Print View

First of all, it seems like this topic comes up about once a year, so I wanted to throw out my new effort on this front. (I'll put links to the most relevant BPL threads below).

Anyway, I try to make it a point to try at least one new thing on every backpacking trip. I was looking at my 300 mile AT section hike gear list from last summer and just can't believe that I carried crocs at close to a pound the whole time. So here was my idea for lightweight:

shower shoes

These are basically shower safety shoes. I have heard about folks using Sprint Aquatics, which may be very similar, but these seem to have a slightly substantive sole that could serve as decent camp shoes. Mesh allows feet to dry out. I did try out my MYOG blue CCF sandals last summer but they were super slippery and I ended up discarding them quickly. Anyone has anyone had experience/ suggestions on this front? I am looking for 1 oz/pair, if I can't get that I'll just go the true UL route and carry nothing in this category...

Previously on BPL....

Angela Alexander
(crayon) - F
interesting on 06/26/2012 20:18:32 MDT Print View

I have not heard of these- but at $15, they maybe worth a try.

I war my 5-fingers for hiking and they would be no big deal around a campfire or at night- but these, for 1oz maybe a good deal to let the 5-fingers dry up- or if you have to do a quick slip on at night- getting 5 toes to go where they need to can be tricky!

I only wonder if they get dusty or sand/dirt in the mesh? But then again, you are not hiking in them- so does it matter? - no -

Matt Sanger
(IPARider) - MLife
camp shoes on 06/26/2012 20:30:26 MDT Print View

This has been a long quest for me...seeking a camp and river fording shoe/sandal that is really light weight, robust enough to handle strong currents and rocks, and that doesn't retain water and dries quickly.

My current solution:vivo

vivobarefoot ultra purevivo on scale

these are size 7.

they could be cut down a bit, with a shorter, lighter cord and less bulky toggle (or none at all)

Edited by IPARider on 06/26/2012 20:46:58 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: camp shoes on 06/26/2012 20:32:08 MDT Print View

Ultra pures 3.7 oz apiece.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Since it has been a while, back to a familiar topic: UL camp shoes on 06/26/2012 20:41:12 MDT Print View

Just finished the yardwork and cleaning the garage. I take a certain degree of pride in blisters, cuts, and calluses.


No camp shoes necessary.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
cold feet on 06/26/2012 20:42:31 MDT Print View

The problem with the above mesh shoes is how cold they might be on a chilly night. Can you at least wear a dry sock inside them? Probably depends on how big you buy them. But then being mesh, you'd end up with lots of pine needles and twigs stuck in the socks!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: camp shoes on 06/26/2012 20:42:50 MDT Print View

I bought a pair of the Vivobarefoot Ultra Pures on the way to a weekend backpacking trip in Dolly Sods. Fell in love with them. Very light, great walking in a sometimes fast-moving stream (very good traction) and dry in a second. I used them as camp shoes and for a walk up (in) the river after making early camp. I'll take them on every trip from now on.

Tim Cleary

Locale: Lost
thanks for the ideas on 06/26/2012 20:55:16 MDT Print View

On the viva whatevers. I will check those out. I'll go ahead and give my shower shoes a try and report back..

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
4 oz. on 06/26/2012 21:47:18 MDT Print View

Still wearing my knock-off crocs, 4 oz. for $4.00.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Viva the Vivas! on 06/26/2012 22:09:44 MDT Print View

I too just bought a pair of Viva Ultras and tried them out on my weekend overnighter. My search is over! I love these things. Lightweight (mine are size 47 [US 14]) and weigh no more than the size 7's above, which I find amazing. They're comfortable enough to walk around in all the time if I were so inclined. They feel good either sockless or with a nice wool sock on for keeping feet warm in camp. And they are made entirely of the rubbery stuff so they don't hold water after a creek ford.

I donated an impressive pile of water/camp shoe fails to the thrift store this week.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: camp shoes on 06/26/2012 22:16:09 MDT Print View

To those of you who purchased these Vivobarefoot Ultra Pures...

I guess it is too early to tell much about fit. Does the fit run true?

I guess it is too early to say anything about durability. I mean, they are not intended to be as durable as a normal shoe.

Now all we have to do is to beat up the vendors for a lower price, or maybe get them to do free mounting and balancing.


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: camp shoes on 06/26/2012 22:39:36 MDT Print View

"I guess it is too early to tell much about fit. Does the fit run true?"

They come only in European sizes. I normally wear an 8.5, but in even European sizes, that means I fall into the middle ground of 40-42.

But the Vivobarefoot website has a very cool sizing assistant. You put in the shoes you wear now (I put in my workout shoes, Asics Gel Cumulus 13, size 8.5) and it tells you what size Ultra Pure you should wear. It said size 40 for me, which I thought would be too small. But the 40s fit me perfectly!

And I bought mine at EMS on sale for $42.50.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Viva the Vivas! on 06/26/2012 22:49:00 MDT Print View

Size 15 is a curse. 47 are the largest.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Zemgear Travelers? on 06/27/2012 07:26:00 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 08:05:51 MDT.

Matt Sanger
(IPARider) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: camp shoes on 06/27/2012 08:04:20 MDT Print View

I found the ultra pures run big. I usually wear an 8 (41) and it was far too big. The 7 (40) is perfect for me.

Edited by IPARider on 06/27/2012 08:04:57 MDT.

David Affleck
Ultra Pures do run big on 06/27/2012 08:28:18 MDT Print View

Agree with the Ultra Pure running big. Love them, but wish I'd ordered a size smaller than suggested by the sizing guide on their website.

- Dave

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Viva the Vivas! on 06/27/2012 09:02:32 MDT Print View

"Size 15 is a curse. 47 are the largest."

I normally wear something between size 14 and 15, which means I almost always have to buy 15, but the 47 Vivas fit me perfectly.

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Zemgears on 06/27/2012 12:06:04 MDT Print View

I love my Zemgears but the soles are slippery if you are in hilly/mountains. They also are not good for winter as your feet will get wet and cold.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
zems on 06/27/2012 13:41:22 MDT Print View

I found the Zem to pinch/rub on my toes, and to be a bit slidey. I have changed to Sockwas, and found them to be much more comfortable and sturdy than the Zems, and to weigh about the same or less.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Camp/river shoe problem on 06/28/2012 06:43:26 MDT Print View

This could not have come at a better time...I used to think Crocs were the perfect camp shoe: water flows right through them, they're cushy, light, I can wear heavy socks when it's cold out...
But on my last few trips I was ready to throw them in the river. Unless I'm camping in a perfectly flat spot with no rocks or holes or, well, anything, I slide around in those things so much I can't stand it. And heaven forbid there is any current in a river crossing...I spend more energy trying to stay upright in those shoes than actually crossing.

One question about the vivobarefoot snug of a fit is it?? Do you slide around in them? Or are they too snug for socks in the am chill??

These certainly look like I'm sending more cash to