Rating: 4 / 5
Company: Zinetic, Inc.
Model: Pocket Slippers (2007)
Size: XL (10.5-11.5)
Weight: Left – 4.3 oz, Right – 4.6 oz = 8.9 oz
Color: Green (Olive)
Also included: Stuff sack (.4 oz), Velco strips for rolled storage (~.1 oz)
Website: http://www.pocketslippers.com and blog at http://pocketslippers.blogspot.com/
MSRP: $24.99 US
After trying these out on a recent trip in the Berkshires, here's my review of slippers/shoes.
The Conditions: It had rained prior to our trip, so trails were wet and muddy. We did not encounter any rivers that to ford and rivers that would have allowed me to test these as river crossing shoes.
These are intended to be lightweight camp shoes to be worn after a day of hiking. After hiking for about six hours, it was nice to switch shoes to allow our wet trail runners to dry out. As Zinetic's advertising material claims, Boots Off, Happy On. The slippers were comfortable on soft ground and allowed our feet to dry while still walking around at camp. They were comfortable both with socks on and off. I like that they can be flattened or rolled up to be crammed in any extra space available in a pack, unlike Crocs.
Performance was as expected. Because they are light, I did not expect significant protection from uneven ground and pebbles. Rocks definitely telegraphed through the rubber sole, but were not painful. The enclosed toe box kept twigs and stones out. The slippers preformed wonderfully as a basic camp shoe. They are easy on and off, but not so easy that they fall off by themselves. These slippers do have some grip to them, which is an advantage when fording. It was also nice to have these in the vestibule in the middle of the night when nature called. No more tracking dirt and leaves from bear feet into the sleeping bag in the dark.
Durability has been good to this point. After heavy camp usage and even use in a shower, I don't see any pulled threads or sole separation.
I do have some complaints though:
First, when these get wet, they inherently need time to dry. Unlike Crocs, which seem to dry quickly (if not instantly), the material on these slippers stays wet longer. If I were truly concerned about every single extra gram of weight, I would not like carrying the extra water weight after a river crossing; although, if I were really that concerned about a few grams, I probably would not be carrying camp shoes.
Second, these shoes were shipped with a strong rubber odor. Rinsing helped, but the odor remains. It's not a deal breaker, but is slightly annoying.
Third, with the understanding that I probably have shoes from the first production line, there were glue stains apparent on the foot bed inside the shoes. I don't know if this problem has been solved since this production line. While it doesn't impact the usefulness of the shoe, for those that care about aesthetics, it might be annoying. The glue might also explain the weight difference between my two shoes (right is 4.6 oz, left is 4.3).
Overall, I'd recommend these to people who understand the limitations of any lightweight slipper. They are useful when you want to take your boots off and not get your feet muddy in camp or if you want separate shoes for river crossings. If you are constantly fording fast moving rivers with jagged stone bottoms, then you might consider something a bit beefier.