Best Camp Shoe - What's the lightest and most versatile?

Vegan.Hiker

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Without having tried either, it looks like those ninjas might not let your feet breathe and dry out as well as the vivo ones after a long day of hiking.
 

JoshuaDyal

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i kinda think they are pretty heavy for what they are. ymmv.

ultra-pure ~4oz
crocs ~9oz
montrail rockridge shoes ~12oz (my standard backpacking shoes)
(weights per shoe)

My sandals: $15 at Target. These; $50 at Amazon. I don't care that much about a few ounces.
 

Nick

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Funny how people will pay big bucks for a tent that shaves a half pound, but paying a little extra for camp shoes that save a comparable weight is so silly. To each their own.
 

JoshuaDyal

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My tent cost $30. :)

Indeed, to each their own. I do find gear discussions interesting, but I find that my tolerance for spending money on brands or tech or weight is very low compared to most. I'm amazed what you can do with regards to weight already on a budget compared to how I used to hike. I keep a base pack weight of under 20 lbs. and probably my most expensive piece of gear was the pack itself at $50.

Which, my brother tells me, I can now get on Amazon for $40. Anyway, I'm a little surprised that my approach seems to be unique. While I don't claim that it's the be all end all approach to backpacking gear, at the very least I'd have thought there'd be at least a few more people interested in how to hike lightweight (relatively speaking) without spending a fortune on trendy outdoor gear brand names.
 

Nick

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@JoshuaDyal - It's fine to have a discussion on cheaper alternatives, but it's common sense that you can easily buy cheaper camp shoes (or anything else) if you simply don't care what they weigh or how they perform. This thread is called "Best Camp Shoe - What's the lightest and most versatile?", not "What's the cheapest camp shoe I can get by on". Geeking out on gear like this might not be your thing, but a lot of other folks are quite interested in saving a few ounces and at times even "spending a fortune on trendy outdoor brands". If these topics aren't your cup of tea, please avoid them. Feel free to start a thread on a topic that you find more enjoyable.
 

Dave

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It seems the original Pure's are discontinued... and reviews on the Pure IIs are not as glowing. Anyone here have experience with the new revision?
 

WasatchWill

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Bump: With the Vivobarefoot Ultras discontinued by the looks of it, and even if they weren't, I'm getting into the market for some inexpenisve lightweight camp shoes that could possibly double as river hiking/crossing shoes. I do have a pair of sturdy Tevas that I've taken on some trips, but they are much heavier than I'd like.

Has anyone ever heard of, or better yet, tried out a pair of Xero Shoes (formerly Invisible Shoes). I'm specifically interested in their DIY sandal/huarache kit. At under 8 ounces a pair, they are very appealing. Some initial pros and cons in my initial analysis so far...

Pros:
  • Inexpensive ($25)
  • Customizable with many different lacing/tying patterns and methods
  • Barefoot, natural feel (allegedly)
  • Ultralight (less than 8 oz/pair)
  • Super durable (guaranteed for 5000 miles)
  • Appears to have incredibly good customer service
  • Rolls up very compact, packable
Cons:
  • feet are prone to slide across sole when wet
  • Exposed toes combined with the flimsy, flexible soles not ideal for creek/river crossings*
  • known to be flappy sounding (like flip-flops, only reversed)

*Since I already hike/backpack in some very breathable lightweight hiking shoes, ability to cross rivers with them isn't essential. I'm perfectly fine just taking the in-soles out out of my hikers and taking my socks off and then just using them for rugged river crossings. I can then just throw the in-soles back in and put socks back on after the crossing and know that the rest of the outer shoe will dry up real quick while hiking thereafter if weather is fair.

Xero also makes and sells some other pre-made models with thicker soles and straps with modestly higher weights and appear to have a lot going for their young company. The company seems to be a real hit with a number of "barefoot" runners and hikers. I do find it odd though that their website pages consistently take a few seconds to load for me.

I also just discovered these on Amazon as well as these. Again, these are all really cheap and pretty light looking as well. The latter apparently only weigh about 8 ounces for the pair as well. Reviews are high on both, but I doubt the durability would be all that great. The most common negative to the former appears to be that they have a very strong chemical odor that doesn't quickly go away with use. Still, all very tempting. At how cheap they are, it might just be worth trying them all out?
 
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Mike K

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I also just discovered these on Amazon as well as these.

Those two links are the same...I'm assuming you meant them to be different? Those Aleader ones do look pretty cool though. They weigh 8 oz you say? I wish they had a way to tighten them like the Vivobarefoots.

I bought these Adidas Climacool shoes recently as a beach shoe for Mexico (snagged them for $24 - they are $70 now, ouch!). I ordered them a day too late so I couldn't take them on the trip - thus I haven't worn them yet. They MIGHT serve as a camp shoe. Although I think they may be a little heavy. Also, I think there are holes on the bottom to drain water which might let too much dirt in? I might try these on my next packrafting trip or wet canyon hiking. I'll try to remember to weigh them tonight.

EDIT: They weigh 13.6 oz. A little too heavy for a camp shoe. Maybe better served as beach or paddle shoe.
 
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WasatchWill

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Those two links are the same...I'm assuming you meant them to be different? Those Aleader ones do look pretty cool though. They weigh 8 oz you say?

Oops! Fixed now. I think those Aleaders somehow weigh twice as much. In the Questions section, it said they weigh .5 kg, which puts then at about 17 ounces, nearly the same as a pair of Crocs. Check the fixed 2nd link out for the ones that someone commented was only 8 ounces for their pair. Ironically, they are more like Crocs while the Aleaders are more in the style of the Vivos.

Looking forward to hearing how the weight of that Adidas pair you got compares.
 

blueeyes

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I just ordered and received this week from Amazon Fitkicks. Love them. Light weight flexible could be used in water. Will be testing around camp this weekend.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

WasatchWill

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I just ordered and received this week from Amazon Fitkicks. Love them. Light weight flexible could be used in water. Will be testing around camp this weekend.

Impressive! Looks like Men's XL comes in at just over 8 ounces so probably gradually comes down in weight with the smaller sizes. They too look very packable too, and potentially good for river wading/crossings, though for wading up/down streams I wonder how much sand they could collect...hmmm. I just added the men's ones to my list of considerations. Thanks!
 

blueeyes

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They are very packable and cheap! Comfortable too. If I get a chance to try them in the river I will report back.

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Kmatjhwy

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Now for myself and my hiking when it comes to a camp shoe has to be useful for several criterias. One is useful in and around camp. Next good shoe for small and medium dayhikes in and around the area from camp. And a good shoe and that dries out quickly for crossing streams. I have a good pair of hiking boots which use when am carrying the pack. But these camp shoes on some hikes I just might use more sometimes then my boots it seems. I have some shoes that have had for years at home. But one shoe I refuse to ever use, and these are Crocs. No Way will I ever ever use them in my hiking. To me this subject is something very personal and to each their own. Wishing Everyone the Best!
 

OldBill

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Reviving an old thread. Curious as to what options folks now use.

I use GTX mid boots for all my shoulder season high hikes. Having protective shoes for the occasional crossing is important. Currently use size 9 Crocs stretched to size 10.5 but still 12 oz.

If no crossings, sometimes bring 6oz neoprene socks to let shoes dry out longer in camp.
 

regehr

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I've been more and more trying to go barefoot in camp, but obviously this only works in specialized circumstances

otherwise, for last couple years, I've been using these for water + camp shoes:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F4PK96U/?tag=backcountrypo-20
they're very light and reasonably comfortable. where they fall over is in the forest: pine needles and sticks poke up through the holes in the soles, and then also through the mesh, so I get poked in the foot while walking around camp. not a big deal though.
 

OldBill

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Interesting option. Similar to Aleader water shoes. One comment said a pair of 10.5 weighs 9.3z. Could use insole from boot for better protection underfoot.
 

regehr

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Interesting option. Similar to Aleader water shoes. One comment said a pair of 10.5 weighs 9.3z. Could use insole from boot for better protection underfoot.

Now I feel silly I didn't think of that. It works fine, see at left the insole that lets pine needles through, and at right the shoe with insole from a trail runner. The fit isn't great, but would be if I trimmed the insole a bit.

IMG_20200807_132747.jpg
 
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