If you still haven’t jumped on the camping bandwagon, there is no time like the present to hop on. And the right pair of lightweight flexible shoes will give you the boost you need.
In their most recent report, the Kampgrounds of America revealed that the COVID pandemic had highly positive implications for the camping industry. Not only have veteran campers increased their trip frequencies, but there has also been an influx of first-time campers in North American campgrounds.
But regardless of which category you fall into, you’ll need to equip yourself with the finest waterproof travel shoes.
So before you zip up your camping bag, keep reading to gauge the best camp shoes for a comfort-filled trip.
What Are Camp Shoes?
Camp shoes are a very specific type of footwear that is distinct from hiking shoes. When you are hiking, you require some very heavy-duty hiking footwear. These shoes are typically heavyweight and sturdy with large lugs and a robust upper.
However, hiking is only part of the journey.
The next part of your expedition is completely different. After you set up camp, you will need some more convenient footwear.
So, how exactly do you ensure said convenience? Here are all the features you should prioritize when shopping for camp shoes.
Hiking is very physically demanding, with the dirt, rocks, weather, and even gravity itself working against you. Heavy-duty hiking boots are, therefore, your best resource as you conquer the trail.
But once you reach your campsite, the worst is behind you. Now, you can kick off your boots and be at leisure in some comfortable slip-ons or airy crocs.
Therefore, the most salient feature to pay attention to is your comfort.
You don’t really need weighty soles, dense uppers, or additional safety reinforcements. Of course, the shoes should be functional and suitable for the outdoors. However, you can go easy on features such as cushioning, deep lugs, and excessive fastenings.
Instead, try to go for the kind of light, airy, and cozy shoes that you would wear for lounging around.
Let’s face it: packing for a camping trip is a nightmare, especially when you have to stuff everything into a knapsack.
But lightweight flexible shoes are easy to fit into your hiking backpack and carry on your shoulders. As hiking veterans would advise you: light traveling leads to happy camping.
However, lightweight camp footwear is more than just about keeping the weight off your shoulders. Instead, it keeps the weight off your feet, ankles, and legs as well.
Trust us; you don’t want all that extra weight dragging your lounging around time through the mud.
Sweatproof and Waterproof
Although the most draining part of your journey is over, you’re not out of the woods just yet.
While camping, you want to wear something on your feet that can compensate for the hot and humid weather. Shoes with mesh uppers, clogs, or slip-ons are ideal for beating the heat.
Open shoes aren't necessarily a requirement, though. If lightweight sneakers are more in your comfort zone, you can always find breathable ones with an extensive ventilation system.
Another advantage of taking the sneakers route is that sneakers can be 100% waterproof. If you know you will be doing some casual trekking around your campsite, then waterproof travel shoes will keep you dry, comfortable, and confident.
Also read: How to Stop Sneakers From Squeaking? | 5 Helpful Ideas You Need to Follow
Camp shoes have to take a little more beating than your everyday casual footwear. Granted, you might only take them out once or twice a year. Plus, you don’t really do any intense physical activity while wearing them.
But between the abrasive ground and harsh weather, camp shoes can wear down very quickly. So, it’s important that you invest in shoes that you know will serve you for a long time.
Top 5 Lightweight Flexible Shoes For Camping
Hoka One One Ora Recovery Slide 2
As the name implies, the Ora Recovery Slides are meant to offer you respite after a long and arduous trek.
The slides give your feet some much-needed TLC, thanks to their casual and lightweight design. Moreover, the Ora Recovery Slides 2 are extremely flexible, so much so that you can bend them every which way without damaging them. Honestly, packing shoes in your backpack doesn’t get easier than this.
Additionally, this pliability attests to the slides’ sturdiness. Their dual-layer construction ensures that your feet remain in a cocoon of comfort and protection.
Unlike casual slides, however, the Ora Recovery Slides 2 actually have a high-traction outsole. The synthetic rubber and strategically placed grooves on the outsole give you the optimum amount of grip on an otherwise nonoptimal ground.
Boasity Down Booties
If you scheduled your camping trip for the winters, you probably want to double down on warmth. Slides and Crocs won’t keep Jack Frost away, but the Boasity down booties will scare him a mile away.
The booties are made from a nylon material similar to that of jackets and sleeping bags. While that may sound uncomfortable for your feet, the Boasity down booties are actually very cozy and snug.
Since the outer is purely nylon, it will inevitably be slippery on ice. However, this is going to be true of any down booties or slippers.
To combat the problem, try running a few lines of Seam Grip on the bottom of the shoe to add some traction.
Additionally, the nylon is waterproof by nature. If you are expecting rain, snow, or even a little bit of frost in the air, the shoes will keep your feet dry and warm. The drawstring closure system is the final cherry on top of these toasty and comfy waterproof travel shoes.
Loom Waterproof Travel Shoes
If you’re an enthusiastic camper who doesn’t like to sit around idly, the Loom waterproof sneakers will cater to your every adventure whim.
While they are technically running sneakers, the shoes are actually highly versatile. Since they are lightweight, flexible, breathable, and durable, Loom sneakers can easily double as the ideal camp shoes for people who hate sitting around the campsite.
The sneakers are fit for spontaneous treks into the woods. Thanks to their waterproof construction, Loom sneakers will keep your feet nice and dry against streams and unexpected puddles.
Not only that, but Loom sneakers are perfect for all-weather camping. The upper is both breathable and thermoregulated — a rare combination! Hence, the shoes will keep you warm in the winters yet fresh and dry in the summers.
Even if you feel like hanging around the camp, Loom sneakers are comfortable enough to wear casually. The high-quality Merino Wool interior temperature-regulating, anti-odor, antibacterial, durable, and super comfortable — all at the same time.
Trust us; with how versatile these sneakers are, you won’t have to pack an extra pair of shoes for your camping trip.
Crocs Classic Clogs
When you first look at Crocs, you might not believe that they are suitable for camping. But you couldn’t be more wrong!
The truth is, Crocs are camping-friendly shoes through and through. Weighing only one ounce per shoe, Crocs are one of the most comfortable lightweight flexible shoes for camping.
Moreover, the shoes are actually more functional than you might think. The classic Crocs clogs are made from a surprisingly durable and easy-to-clean synthetic rubber. You’ll find that the material is almost indestructible, even against rugged, sharp rocks and rugged grounds.
Additionally, the pivoting heel straps keep your feet secure without making your feet feel too suffocated. Thanks to this efficient fastening system, you can count on the clogs to keep your feet stable on uneven and loose ground.
Of course, their most useful feature is their ventilation ports— the iconic holes. Beyond just boasting a distinctive style, the holes help air out your feet and easily shake out any debris piling into the shoes.
Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom
Some campers like supportive sneakers, while others prefer the casual pitted design of Crocs. However, the Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom shoes offer the best of both worlds. But is this ambitious combination even efficient, let alone safe?
Surprisingly, the answer is: yes!
As sneakers, the Ultra 3 Bloom offers the cushioning of a high-performance running shoe. Their Bloom midsoles are springy enough to walk around in and protective enough to shield you from the rough ground.
But the pitted upper gives you more ventilation than traditional sneakers.
As you walk along muddy trails in the Ultra 3 Booms, the carbon footprint you leave behind is unusually low. The shoes boast an environmentally-friendly manufacturing process, cutting down on carbon emissions and water wastage by a lot. Additionally, the midsole is made from Vivobarefoot’s proprietary algae-based Bloom foam — a perfect tribute to nature!
There is no better way to practice self-isolation than going camping in the woods. But be careful not to ruin your getaway with the wrong kind of shoes.
Instead, go for lightweight flexible shoes that are ideal for traveling.
And remember: camping is your respite after a long hike or drive. You don’t need heavy-duty hiking boots to walk around the campsite. Rather, your number one goal should be comfort.