With all the options for backpacking and camping shoes available on the market, choosing a pair can be simply overwhelming!
Never fear, shoppers, because we have narrowed down the list for you! To compose this list, we’ve carefully selected five shoes according to our criteria.
We’ve picked one that has each of the following traits: One is lightweight, since you’ll have to carry them.
Another is compact and easy to pack.
The third protects your toes from injury while you’re traversing rough terrain.
The fourth is made to be stable enough for stream crossings, and the fifth is designed to dry quickly. What more can you ask for when it comes to backpacking shoes?
Read on to decide which model is perfect for you.
#1. The Lightweight Shoe: Zems o2 Oxygen Ninjas
This is an amphibious shoe. You can use it at the gym, on the beach, or in the water. No matter what you’re doing, this shoe will probably cut it.
Heck, why not wear it to a red-carpet event? It’s almost snazzy enough! While this shoe has a sole that resembles that of a running shoe, the body is stretchy and light. It fits to the form of your foot while still offering a little bit of support.
Our verdict is that these are definitely worth trying! Unless you have flat feet or very narrow heels, you’ll probably find these are the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever owned.
Don’t buy them, however, if you need a lot of support in your sole or ankle.
#2. The Compact Camp Shoes: Xero Barefoot Sandals
There aren’t a lot of good open shoes that are also comfortable and good for hiking. The Xero Barefoot Sandals are one of the few that are.
You get the feeling of being barefoot or wearing comfy sandals, just with a lot more support and protection. The rubber soles will keep you from getting stabbed by thorns or rocks, and the straps will act as a support for your ankles.
Plus, the strap goes over your toes, so you won’t cause unnatural separations to form between your big and second toes. You can also wear them in the water, because it’s waterproof and dries fast.The best part?
It literally rolls up. So you can stick it your pocket or into a tiny corner of your bag. Less bulk is always a benefit when you’re backpacking!
This shoe is fantastic, as long as it fits your feet. For those whose fit aren’t quite the right fit, they are not comfortable at all. However, the positive reviews far outweigh the negative reviews, so these are worth a try if you’re looking for an extremely compact shoe.
#3. The Camp Shoe that Protects Your Toes: Vivobarefoot Men’s Ultra II Sports Shoe
This is a minimalist shoe that keeps your toes safe. No stubbing and no breaking toenails! It’s definitely for those who don’t want a supportive sole getting in the way, because the sole is almost perfectly flat.
They make good shoes for diving, kayaking, and trekking; you can get them wet and they won’t get heavier or smell funny. They also last for a long time.
These aren’t a terrible shoe, but you might not want to buy them online. If you’re interested, go to a retail store and check to see if you like them or if they give you blisters.
If you find them comfortable, then they are a great way to walk around in the great outdoors without having to wear bulky sandals or risk smashing your toes.
#4. The Camp Shoes for Stream Crossings: Sockwa G Hi
If you like thin soles, then you’ll love these. It’s like being barefoot without all the dirt and grime! You can crush these shoes, bend them in half, stick them in your backpack, and they’ll never lose their shape. They are great for crossing streams, because they are waterproof.
They also work great in urban settings, since they have a gripping sole that will keep you from slipping. It’s the next best thing to walking around barefoot.
To be honest, it’s hard to find things to complain about when it comes to the Sockwa G Hi. This is probably your best bet if you want a comfortable, minimalist shoe that doesn’t rub and doesn’t get ruined by water. You can’t go wrong with these—just be sure to read the sizing chart carefully!
#5. The Camp Shoe that Dries Quickly: Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe
This is the updated version of the classic Speedo water shoe. Everybody needs one! It’s a quick-drying shoe that perfect for protecting your feet while you’re wandering around the lakeside or walking through streams.
It’s breathable, so you won’t get stinky feet or blisters. It also won’t slip off, since it’s created to be fitted and hold on to your ankle.
Speedo water shoes have been famous for years, and there’s a reason why. You can’t argue with quality! However, some users have found quality issues with this model, so be sure to order the right size so the shoes aren’t too tight and start ripping apart.
Overall, this shoe is a good buy! It will keep your feet safe so you can enjoy skiing, snorkeling, wading, or anything else that involves water.
Throw away your flip-flops and move on to something better! Support your feet, stay dry, and don’t deal with any annoying broken strap issue any more. Any one of these popular shoes will do the trick, so pick up a pair and get going on your next adventure. Happy trails!