November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Camp shoes?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Joseph Bernier
(sigeats) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Camp shoes? on 08/19/2007 20:09:09 MDT Print View

Anybody know of a really lightweight flip flop? I like taking off my shoes at the end of the day and wearing flip-flops around camp. I know it's a luxury, but what can I say? My current flops come in at around 10 oz . . . I'm sure I can find a lighter option. Any ideas? Links?

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
crocs on 08/20/2007 09:06:41 MDT Print View

try using crocs or holey shoes or any knock off foam shoe.
they are very light. Mine are 10 oz for the closed toe version. They have a heel strap and stay on better than flip flops.


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
crocs and other camp shoe alternatives on 08/20/2007 09:53:38 MDT Print View

My feet perspire enough that I classify camp shoes as a necessity rather than a luxury. YMMV

I used Crocs knockoffs (Airwalks) at Philmont for the last half of July and they worked well. I'd estimate that at least 25% of the trekkers I saw packed Crocs or Croc imitators.

While I have not weighed them, my tentmate on that trip opined that the real Crocs were heavier than his imitators (purchased at Target). There are also differences between the alternatives in the number and size of the ventilation holes. My Airwalks seemed to be on the fewer/smaller end of the range.

One of the scouts in our crew used track shoes (purchased at Kohls) as camp shoes. Again, I did not weight them but they were very very light and I would imagine they'd be a better fording shoe than Crocs (if your trips cross unbridged streams)

Edited by jcolten on 08/20/2007 09:56:27 MDT.

Theodore Vidnovic
(vidnovic) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Camp Shoes on 08/20/2007 10:07:31 MDT Print View

I use a pair of old fashioned flip flops from Wally World, cost ~$2 weight ~5 oz.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "Camp shoes?" on 08/20/2007 10:16:41 MDT Print View

My Crocs knockoffs double duty as stream crossers and camp shoes. Extremely comfy after a hard day on the trail. They dangle on the outside of my pack.

Benefits over flip-flops are 1. more foot protection on stream crossings and 2. thick soles keep ones feet/socks cleaner and dryer around camp.

Penalties: 1. weigh about double what the lightest flip-flops weigh and 2. cost significantly more than flip-flops.

Bottom line for me: I love my Crocs (knockoffs)!

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Something else to consider ? on 08/20/2007 10:28:21 MDT Print View

I used to always wear the cheap and light flip-flops but two years ago went to foam soled slippers!
You can get the cheap ones at WallMart or Target for under $10.00
I bought a pair of Vans last year that are really light.
So nice to get up in the early morning or slip into them in the evening after washing up and wear them around camp. My friends all thought I was crazy but EVERYONE of them bring them as the one luxury item now!

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sprint Aquatics are my new favorite on 08/20/2007 17:34:31 MDT Print View

Based on recommendations from an earlier thread on this same subject, I decided to purchase the nylon mesh shoes from Sprint Aquatics. A pair (Mens large, 11-13) weighs about 2 ounces total, and on a recent trip into Olympic National Park they were great for kicking around camp and for fording a couple of streams than had blown out their bridges. The soles are thin foam, and I did have a few sharp sticks poke through them, but they stay firmly on your feet and it felt almost like I was walking barefoot in them. They fit snug enough and provided enough protection that stream fording was secure and easy, and they dry almost instantly.

The shoes do seem to run small - I wear a 10.5-11 shoe, and the Spring Aquatic 11-13 size (their largest size) is a good fit. I think anyone with feet larger than a size 11 might find them uncomfortably tight. And, since the entire top is nylon mesh, your feet/socks will get dirty if your camp is in a dusty area.

I have a pair of Croc knock-off's too, but the Sprint Aquatics are way lighter and pack in less space than a single beach flip-flop, and so they've won a permanent place in my pack. By the way, the shipping charges are a bit high for such featherweight gear, so I ordered 3 pairs to try and glean some efficiency for the expense.

The website is

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Spring Aquatics Mesh Shoes on 08/23/2007 18:55:06 MDT Print View

I second Dave's comments. I own a pair and think these are great little shoes at two ounces per pair.

Another option would be to just make you own foam slippers. Use a foam pad as the sole and maybe a sock liner as the top. You could sew, super glue, or duct tape the sock to the sole. With a little trimming I bet you could get a very light, fairly insulated slipper. I remember someone taking a pair of shoe liners and turning them into thongs (put some string in a couple places). I imagine they were really light, but I never liked thongs (I never liked the feel of something between my toes).

Edited by rossbleakney on 08/23/2007 20:21:45 MDT.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Spring Aquatics on 08/23/2007 21:27:19 MDT Print View

I'll throw in approval, too. I bought two pair, but haven't worn out the first yet. Nearly did a face plant a few years ago using a walmart teva wanna be knock off. They slid off my feet too easily.

Do need to be careful walking on anything sharp, though, as the sole is pretty thin. Also, size up, as recommended.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
No MORE Sprint Aquatics for me on 08/23/2007 21:48:50 MDT Print View

I bought 2 pair of Sprint Aquatics pool slippers. Wore the 1st pair out on a week-long trip in Utah's Paria Canyon this summer.
Worse than the mesh tops giving out quickly was the soles being punctured by sticks. Even got a hole in MY sole once!

So now I'll look at K Mart's indoor slippers & see if they have sturdier soles. A few ounces more is worth the durability...and safety.


Edited by Danepacker on 08/23/2007 21:49:46 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Faux Crocs on 08/24/2007 09:03:33 MDT Print View

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Both Ford and I take Faux Crocs on most trips. (I have 3 pairs to be truthful....) I have learned that wearing ones that are just on the snug side work better for river crossings (if they are sloppy loose, a brisk water flow will have it tugging at your shoes. Snug fit=they don't move).

Being female mine are lighter than men's ;-)

Joseph Bernier
(sigeats) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Thanks on 08/24/2007 10:42:07 MDT Print View

Thanks for the ideas/suggestions. I think I'll head on over to Target and see what's what. I don't think I'll go with the Crocs . . . just to big and bulky! I'm sure they are super comfortable, and would probably be great for river crossings, but I'm kind of a keep the shoes on guy when it comes to crossings. Really just want something to slip into after a long day on the trail. I really like the slipper idea! The Sprint Aquatics look cool, but I've got a pair of size 13 feet, and it sounds like I wouldn't fit in them. Thanks again for all the info. Happy Trails!

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Camp shoes? on 08/24/2007 12:43:53 MDT Print View

I know I am coming late to the discussion, but I too have been trying to find the ultimate camp shoe: Very lightweight, durable, water-resistant sole, and not too warm for summer and warm enough for fall. I used to just leave my trail shoes on and that is still ok. But...

So, I made a pair of camp shoes. I took a pair of 200 wt Acorn polartec socks and made a sole out of 1/8" thick evazote that is cut large enough to curve up the sides of the sock and extends up the heel about 2". Then I took these to a shoemaker. (Shoemakers have those special sewing machines that can work with thick materials and inside a shoe to sew on soles, so they would work with my Acorn socks.) For about $20 (outrageous, I know!) he sewed them together and now I have a pair of 3oz camp socks that are good until the weather turns really cold but are still breathable enough to use during the summer.

They look much like the much heavier sock slippers one sees in LL Beann or Cabellas.

Mike Richards
(mikeman) - F

Locale: USA
Re: Camp shoes? on 08/25/2007 18:42:58 MDT Print View

I use Salomon Karmas as a combination hike and camp shoe. They are good to use on shorter hikes during the summer and the fold-down heel is useful in camp because you can just slide your feet right in. The downside is the mesh doesn't give you much protection from sticks and cold air, the heel strap needs to be tightened fairly often while hiking, and support is only adequate so it is best used on short hikes. But if you can deal with the shortcomings, the karmas will save you from carrying in separate camp shoes.

Edited by mikeman on 08/25/2007 18:50:08 MDT.

Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
1oz camp sandals on 08/26/2007 21:17:43 MDT Print View

Here's a super lightweight solution, courtesy of David Mauldin's website, that you can easily make yourself (it takes about 10 minutes to make them).

They're very light, very cheap and surprisingly durable. I made a pair a couple of years back, and I'm still using them. They are very easy to pack as they just slip into a side pocket ready to use when you need them.

I even used them for a 10km section of a walk along the Colo River (north of Sydney) and they stood up to it just fine. However, I mostly just use them as very welcome camp shoes at the end of a hard day.

Here's the link:


Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Camp shoes? How about Merrell Vapor Sandals on 08/26/2007 22:52:44 MDT Print View

The Merrell Vapor Sandals look like they might be the perfect combo water hiking sandal/camp sandal that is light but holds to the feet while walking on rock either on land or under water and immediately drying after being in water as nothing soaks up moisture in the shoe (as it looks on the web page).

They supposedly weigh only 10 ounces apiece (if one assumes their listed weight of 1 lb 4 ounces. Currently I own Salomon Karma Water Shoes which weigh at 11 ounces apiece and they worked great on my recent 15 day hike in SEKI but they do not dry immediately as they do hold moisture until dried by the Sun (but they do dry fast though). Does anyone have the Merrell Vapor Sandals and have they hiked through streams with them (and used going up and down to water's edge from your camp sight (over some rocks in some cases, up and down some hills in other cases))? Note, I did not use these for hiking (only for water walking or camp shoes).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 1oz camp sandals on 08/27/2007 19:50:27 MDT Print View

Hi Andrew

> I even used them for a 10km section of a walk along the Colo River (north of Sydney) and they stood up to it just fine.
On the Colo??? What section? I find it hard to imagine them lasting 1 km, let alone 10, in that country!

Otherwise a rather smart idea.


Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
re: 1oz camp sandals on 08/30/2007 00:22:18 MDT Print View

G'day Roger,

I can understand your disbelief. On checking the map it was more like 7kms and it was in the Colo Gorge between the junctions of Wollemi and Boorai Creeks. The notorious "quicksand" section.

I was going to try and do it in my bare feet, but the sand and pebbles started to hurt a bit and so I thought I would give my camp shoes a shot at glory. I used a little bit of duct tape around the heel to hold them to my feet and away I went. They worked just fine as I have said.

Here's a pic of the little (well used) beauties. They are made with a pair of Blundstone inner soles.

Camp Shoes


Edited by lushy on 08/30/2007 00:29:31 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Camp shoes? on 08/31/2007 08:42:50 MDT Print View

Camp shoes?

Gotta chime in on this one.

My advice. Do NOT take camp shoes.

I don't take 'em. And I don't miss 'em. It solves a lot.

For river crossings, just walk across and get your shoes and socks wet. You'll be fine. For hanging out in camp, just wear your hiking shoes.

Alas - This all requires getting comfortable shoes to start with...

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Camp shoes? on 08/31/2007 22:25:28 MDT Print View issue with wearing wet trail runners is it leaves one open to "funky feet". Noooo thanks. My husband gave me athletes foot couple years back, and wearing wet shoes/socks is a major invite for it!
I am all for UL, but the faux crocs are worth every ounce to have dry feet....and not have to carry foot meds!!!!