There are a million tips and lists to be found about what exactly you need when you are going hiking, campaign or backpacking. Camp shoes are one of the items that are often forgotten and sorely missed.
Your camp shoes are a welcomed break from the daily grind of a backpacking or hiking adventure. It may seem like an unnecessary addition to your go to gear but the having a great shoe that you can slip into at the end of a long day on your feet wearing boots is priceless….
While camp shoes may not make any essential backpacking list there is no denying the comfort they bring to the trail. At the end of a long day, there’s something special about being able to kick off your boots and throw on a comfortable pair of camp shoes and unwind.
What are camp shoes?
Camp shoes are an extra pair of shoes that are used while backpacking. They are used during evenings at camp and the occasional river or stream crossing to avoid getting your hiking boots completely soaked.
Why are more and more campers opting for Sockwa as their camp shoe? The following is a list of essential properties that we believe each camp shoe must have:
Benefits of camp shoes
There is an argument among the hardcore backpackers on whether or not camp shoes are worth the extra weight. While they may not be the “right fit” for everyone, there are a number of reasons to consider adding camp shoes to your backpack.
Camp shoes work great for river crossings
Camp shoes will keep your boots dry during the inevitable river or stream crossing. Wet boots and backpacking are a recipe for disaster when hiking long distances. Throw on your camp shoes at the river crossing and you won’t be the one suffering through wrinkled feet and wet skin with blisters.
Keep your feet clean at camp
Camp shoes help keep your feet clean at. Taking your boots off at camp and kicking your feet up is one of life’s greatest joys on the trail. After you get them off you can clean them off and throw on your camp shoes to dry out and stay clean.
Give your boots time to dry out
It gives your boots a chance to dry out at night. Hiking in wet boots means there is more slippage, which in turn leads to more blisters. Having an extra pair of shoes to slip is going to give your boots a little extra time to dry out.
They are more comfortable than boots
After spending hours in your boots there isn’t a better feeling in the world than kicking off your boots and letting your feet breathe. The refreshing feeling of taking your boots off at night and having a comfortable shoe is worth is weight in gold.
Give your feet a chance to breathe
A series of back to back days hiking or backpacking in boots do a number on your feet. Having an opportunity to let your feet breathe will preserve the condition of your feet in the long run.
What to look for in the best camp shoes
Camp shoes come in all shapes and sizes, however, there are some common themes that run through any camp shoe worth its salt.
Weight is always at the forefront of every backpacker’s mind. Looking for ways to cut weight from every piece of gear becomes a source of pride on the trail. A general rule of thumb is to keep camp shoes at 10 ounces or less, there is obviously wiggle room either way, but the lighter the better. Sockwa weigh in as one of the lightest shoes available with an average weight of 5oz (142g).
You’re going to have to find a place for them somewhere in your backpack, therefore, you want them to be compact. A good pair of camp shoes is small or breaks down into a small area that is easy to stuff into a backpack. The Sockwa US M13 (Sockwa’s largest size) actually roll up into a 3” x 2” ball that can be made even smaller with elastic bands.
This is especially important when they are used as an alternative to hiking boots or bare feet when crossing rivers or streams. They need to be either 100% waterproof which is basically rubber or made of a quick-drying synthetic material. Sockwa are water resistant not waterproof but they are made of either neoprene/lycra or aeroprene/lycra which makes them quick drying.
In a perfect world, you spend a third of your backcountry day in boots, a third in bed, and a third in camp shoes. You probably won’t be walking circles around camp but your water source could be a quarter mile away. Your camp shoes need to be walkable for trips to the backcountry toilet and on the hunt for freshwater sources. Sockwa have the thinnest outsole of any shoe on the market. That same super tin outsole also has a fantastic tread design to help traction.
Easy on easy off
Generally, laces should be avoided when choosing a pair of camp shoes. After 8-10 hours walking in tightly laces boots the last thing you want is more laces to deal with. Look for a slip-on style shoe that can be kicked on and off with ease. The existing range of Sockwa shoes are all slips on.
You’ve been in your boots all day and your feet are a sweaty and stinky mess. Camp shoes are supposed to be a break from the daily grind of backpacking and to let your feet air out. Camp shoes should give your feet a chance to breathe. Sockwa’s X8 model is constructed with a breathable upper called aeroprene which is a superior hybrid of neoprene.
Sockwa is The Best Camp Shoe
The best camp shoes are the ones that you feel most comfortable in. They will be breathable, comfortable, and able to handle wet conditions better than a pair of hiking boots.
Visit www.sockwa.com for more information.
How do you feel about the sole rigidity with them? The compactness is awesome but I always seem to find the one pokey thing when I’m putting my feet down. Is there enough sole there? Especially on a river crossing for the accursed pokey rocky just as I’m slipping?
Lara Sein says
The sole of the Sockwa has just enough rigidity to let you feel where you walk without the inconvenience of walking barefoot. It also provides a very good grip for river crossing.
Josh Koop says
Well, I was not really searching for camp shoes but if these aren’t amazingly lightweight and easy to pack I feel that it is well worth luxury item status in my pack!