Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Camp shoes

I've tried all kinds of camp shoes:
  • Extra insoles with homemade elastic flip-flop straps: Worked okay but you can't walk very far in them. Can be stored inside your shoes under the top set of insoles.
  • The existing insoles tied on with extra shoelaces: Worked okay but they don't stay on very well and you can't walk very far. The extra shoelaces can come in handy for other things.
  • Flip-flops: When dry I was able to walk 15 miles in them one day when I had bad blisters. When they get wet they are very slippery and difficult to walk in.
  • Crocs and crocs knockoffs: Could potentially hike the whole trail in them. Can add superfeet or whatever for extra support/protection. Heavy and bulky.
  • Loosening my hiking shoes: Probably the best of all solutions I found. Sucks when your shoes are wet or frozen, though.
  • Leaving the hiking shoes at home and wearing the "camp shoes" (hiking in Chaco sandals): I like hiking in Chacos. I never stub my toes. They work great most of the time. They have limited grip on some surfaces resulting in several nasty falls, snow gets trapped under my toes, and after a very long hiking day the lack of cushioning can be painful.
I still haven't found the perfect solution.


  1. You don't need camp shoes if you're ultralight, which I've read you've done before. I wear Vasque MindBender Trail Running Shoes from REI. If you don't like them you can return them used. Most of my backpacking stuff is from Gossamer Gear. Great stuff for extended backpacks but perhaps not sturdy enough for thru hikes.

  2. Yes, that is true. I often do not bring camp shoes. But sometimes they are nice, especially if your shoes are wet or full of foxtails.