What’s one of those items you keep forgetting to pack for a hike? Or, perhaps, you haven’t realized their versatility and don’t take them. I bet it might be sandals.
Hiking Tip: Pack Sandals
You come to a stream. It’s not very deep and it is fordable, but the water will fill up your shoes or boots and drench your socks. So, you think about going barefoot. But wait; isn’t that how you aggravated a blister or bloodied your foot on a rock the last time? Now, don’t you wish you had packed sandals?
Crocs are my sandals. The ones you see in the pictures are the same ones I bought in Georgia in 2003 (back before they became a fashion statement) in a hiking store on the A.T. And I still wear them—around the house and on hikes. They are indestructible. I submit, and I’ll probably be corrected, that crocs were first sold in outdoor stores. That’s where I and many other hikers first saw them.
Sandals have other advantages. They provide the perfect way to air out your feet at the end of the day. And you won’t stub your toe walking about camp. In the black of night, if you have to void, sandals are quick and convenient as you exit your tent or shelter, and you don’t have to worry about stepping on sharp stones and twigs. Most of all, sandals are relaxing. Put them on your pack list, and end the day in comfort.
On a previous post, Paulo commented on trail shoes and inserted an excellent video that shows a unique way to lace low-cut shoes to give better ankle support. Thanks, Paulo.
- What are your favorite water-friendly hiking sandals? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Everything Summer Camp Adds New Kids’ Teva Sandals to Camping Gear Store (prweb.com)
- Are Flip Flops Bad for Your Health? (news.health.com)
- My New Summer Sandals Are Getting A Make Over (avalonandkelly.blogspot.com)
I just picked up a pair of Vibram Five Fingers (aka “toe shoes”) with a stiffer-than-normal underside and cutouts on the top. I got them as water shoes, mostly to ford creeks. Like you said, a lot of them are easily crossed, but you don’t always have quite enough stones to hop across, and you don’t want to get your shoes and socks drenched on a hike, especially if you’re spending a cold night in camp. The Five Fingers dry out quickly, have enough padding to keep rocks from hurting your feet, and if they’re dry, you can sleep in them. Anyway, I’m hoping they work out, I expect to give them their first try this weekend, but I plan to bivy at the edge of a glacier and they may not be appropriate around camp.
Thanks for the tip. I need to try those toe shoes. Happy trails!
How I love my Crocs! I wear them constantly – at home, doing yard work, during those rare visits to society, and when I’m on outdoor adventures. I’ve hiked long distances in them, they are great for canoeing (almost like they were made for it,) and as you said, are perfect for ending your day at camp.