Published Sep 19, 2022 5:00 PM
Camp shoes can be an underrated outdoor classic. Whether you are backpacking, car camping, overlanding, or hunting, a comfortable pair can help you unwind after a day of adventure. You can wear the same shoes for your entire trip, but that won’t give your feet much of a break or give your (stinky) boots any breathing time. While we all have our style and comfort preferences, in our opinion, the best camp shoes provide comfort, protection, and are easy to slip on and off.
Why It Made the Cut: The Teva ReEmber Camp Slippers are comfortable and water-resistant shoes suitable for all-day wear, running errands in town, or hanging out at camp.
- Weight Per Pair: N/A
- Materials: 100% recycled ripstop polyester, 50% recycled EVA foam and rubber
- Best Use: casual wear
- Made from primarily recycled materials
- Water resistant uppers
- Easy to slip on and off
- Available in a variety of colors
- Not breathable
- Sizes can run small
The Teva ReEmber Camp Slippers are an all-around comfy camp shoe. They are stylish enough that you can wear them around town and protective enough to wear when you camp. The water-resistant upper of the shoe provides ample protection from morning dew and light rain. Although it is a plush comfortable material, it is also quite durable as it is made from ripstop materials.
Made from primarily recycled materials, these shoes provide slipper-level comfort with the feel of a trainer. They are relatively secure, but since they are slip-on shoes, do not expect them to be as secure as your hiking boots.
Although our variety is a lower cut, they also have a ReEmber Mid that covers your full ankle. If you are camping in the shoulder seasons, the higher design is preferable as it provides better coverage and warmth. Some campers may struggle with the lack of breathability. On cold nights and mornings, though, they are cozy with or without socks.
Why It Made the Cut: The Kane Revive is a lightweight active recovery shoe that lets your feet relax and recover after a long day of backpacking.
- Weight Per Pair: 8.9 ounces
- Materials: Sugarcane-based EVA foam
- Best Use: Active recovery shoe
- True to size
- Washable and quick drying
- Not the most breathable
- A bit bulky for travel
After a long day on the trail, your feet are worn out. You may have blisters and hot spots, and you need a bit of relief before your next day out hiking. While these shoes aren’t the smallest pair, they are lightweight and easy to pack. Since having camp shoes accessible while backpacking is important to me, they were easiest to store in the mesh pocket on the front of the pack. They’re also equipped with hang loops for more versatile packing options.
The Kane Revive shoes may be the most comfortable on the list. The comfort and feel make up for the bulky build. Being made from EVA foam, having holes on the top makes them a bit more breathable, but on a hot day, your feet will still sweat quite a bit.
Having backpacking camp shoes that can double as water crossing shoes is a must. It cuts down pack weight, improves comfort on the trail, and helps add some protection on dicey river sections. The thick sole gives you plenty of protection from rocks and ample grip in the water while the holes make it quick and easy to drain the water and move on down the trail.
Why It Made the Cut: These trail sandals boast a minimalist design using only the materials necessary for on trail and in camp protection.
- Weight Per Pair: 10.8 ounces
- Materials: Foam, rubber, and nylon
- Best Use: Walking, day hiking, daily wear
- 5,000 mile warranty
- Small and packable
- Excellent traction
- Durable and long lasting
- Not very supportive (also a pro)
- Not secure when wet
Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV sandals are a go-to backpacking camp shoe and an all-around daily shoe in the summer. Barefoot shoes can take some getting used to, but they help your feet build strength as you walk. The shoes are not very supportive to some, but that’s kind of the point. It lets your body take over more natural movement, helping you recover after a day on the trail.
The thin soles and lightweight construction ensure that no unnecessary materials go into making these shoes. And even though they are thin shoes, the durability is unmatched with a 5,000-mile warranty. These work best for warm weather conditions, but with a Z-strap design, you can also wear them in the shoulder seasons with a pair of socks. Since they are hiking sandals, they have enough traction to help you scramble on river banks to fill up water or even perform a river crossing while hiking.
The transition can take a while if you’ve never worn barefoot shoes like these. As camp shoes, you aren’t walking around too much, but you also don’t want your feet to be sorer for the next day of hiking. As someone who wears Xero shoes daily, my feet have built up the strength needed to feel comfortable even after a day of hiking in a pair. If you invest in a pair, prepare your feet for the journey by walking around barefoot at home and wearing sandals while you run errands. That way, when it comes time to use them in camp, your feet are happy, not sore from overworked muscles.
Why It Made the Cut: The Classic Crocs had to make the list with their versatility, comfort, and ease of use.
- Weight Per Pair: 12 ounces
- Materials: CrosliteTM and Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
- Best Use: Casual wear
- Affordable price
- Avaialbe in several design options
- Quick drying materials
- Not the best for desert environments
Crocs Classic Clogs are a timeless shoe option for gardening, running errands, and camping. They are very versatile shoes for daily wear but also outdoor experiences. Since they are made from synthetic materials, they can go into the water and dry quickly.
Available in various colors and designs, they are very easy to personalize. While they may not be suitable for hiking, they provide adequate traction and security for casual chores and walking around camp. If you are in a campground, you can wear these as shower shoes. Since Crocs Clogs tend to be roomier than some of their other shoe options, they are also perfect for shoulder season camping. In the summer, you can wear these with no socks, and as the weather cools off, add a pair of wool socks, and your feet are comfortable and cozy.
Best for Cold Weather
Why It Made The Cut: The Feathered Friends Down Booties provide the cozy feeling of a sock combined with the weather protection of a boot, making them the perfect cold weather camp shoe.
- Weight Per Pair: 9.3 ounces
- Materials: Pertex Endurance shell fabric, 800-fill power down
- Best Use: Alpine basecamp shoes
- Warm and cozy
- Easy to slip on
- Relatively secure fit
- Built for warmth, not walking long distances
The Feathered Friends Down Booties are the ideal winter camping companion. With 800-fill power European goose removable down insulated liners and a waterproof shell, these booties are built to keep your feet dry and warm.
While they will not fail at doing their job, they also are not going to be the best for walking around camp or doing a ton of camp chores. They have no traction on the sole, making it easy to slip around, but while lounging in the tent, cooking around the fire, or stepping out to go to the bathroom, these give you a break from your boots. The drawstring around the ankles helps to secure them to your foot, and they provide a looser fit to allow you to wear socks if you’d like.
The durability of the booties depends on how you use them. Utilize them as intended, and they can be a winter camping go-to for years. If you wear them to walk around more than intended, the sole will wear down much faster. As they state on their website, “They are built for warmth, not a marathon.”
Why It Made The Cut: Any flip-flop or slip-on is an excellent budget pick for camp shoes, but the Crocs Flip Flops are our preference for their superior comfort and durability.
- Weight Per Pair: 7 ounces
- Materials: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate and Croslite
- Best Use: Casual warm weather wear
- Easy to clean
- Great value
- Not the best for colder weather
If budget is the name of the game for you when buying camp shoes, we recommend any flip-flop or slip-on sandal. These function exceptionally well as camp shoes since they can also be worn around water or as shower shoes. We chose the Crocs Baya Flip Flops as our top budget pick because they provide excellent value for the price.
They are comfortable and can be worn around water, but they are also durable and easy to keep clean. Nubs on the footbed provide a massage-like feel, enhancing the wearer’s comfort. Even if the Baya Flip is not the style for you, Crocs offers a wide array of flip-flop designs for a similar price.
Things to Consider Before Buying Camp Shoes
To avoid impulse buying and ensure you find a product that you love, it helps to consider a few things first. When it comes to camp shoes, we use the following categories to help us narrow down the options that work best for our needs.
Getting the right shoes for any activity often depends on how you plan to use them and where you plan to wear them. That’s why the best boat shoes aren’t the best hiking shoes, and the best hiking shoes often are not the best camp shoes.
Having a pretty good understanding of the environment in which you plan to wear the camp shoes is very important. Then, knowing your comfort level in certain situations can help guide your decision. For instance, if you are someone whose feet get cold easily, having sandals as camp shoes might not be the best fit.
Although these are camp shoes, knowing how much you intend to walk in them is necessary. Some camp shoes are more like slippers than actual shoes, making them less durable and harder to walk. If you want a pair of shoes that give you a break from your hiking boots while still giving you the comfort and stability you need to do camp chores like fetching water or firewood, slipper-style shoes may not be the best fit.
Your intended use will largely influence how packable the shoes need to be. If you are car camping or RVing, the weight and overall size of the camp shoes may not matter all that much. If you are backpacking or bikepacking, a compact and lightweight pair of shoes is a must.
Sandals tend to be the most packable option but other lightweight slip-on shoes can easily be stored in the front mesh pocket of a backpack. Other shoes may have a strap on the back so you can clip them to your pack. Packing shoes inside of your pack is always an option but as someone who likes to change out of their hiking boots the moment I step into a campsite, they need to be as accessible as possible.
Protection and Versatility
Directly tied back to intended use, the protection and versatility needed in camp shoes vary from person to person. When camping in the warm summer months, the best hiking sandals can also be the best camp shoes. As temperatures cool down or you’re in an area with more insects, having a camp shoe with more coverage is nice.
The shoe’s versatility is essential if you like to wear camp shoes to do more than just lounge in camp. Having a shoe that can double as footwear in a river crossing and a camp shoe is a plus, but if you are not backpacking, this won’t be much of a worry. However, if you are in a campground, having a shoe you can wear in the camp showers can help protect you from things like athlete’s foot. Consider different environments, too. Can you wear your camp shoes in the desert and the alpine? While there may not always be enough crossover for one pair of shoes to do it all, sometimes having a decent camp shoe with full coverage can function quite well in various places and weather conditions.
Camp shoes also need to fit well enough to walk around. If they are too loose, you might slip around and even roll your ankle while doing camp chores. If they are too tight, they likely aren’t giving you much of a break from your hiking boots.
Since you plan to wear these shoes outside and possibly do light walking, they should be durable enough to hold up for a while and improve the shoes’ longevity. A rubber sole is nice not only for the practicality of having some traction, but it’s also a very durable material. It’s great if a brand provides a timeline for how long the shoes should last but remember it isn’t a standard among all types of shoes. Never hesitate to send a company direct questions about product materials, durability, and repair/replacement policies.
What shoes should you wear at a campsite?
The shoes you should wear at a campsite are the ones that are most comfortable and practical for your activity. If you are heading out for a hike, hiking boots are suitable. If you are lounging in camp and cooking dinner with the family, a pair of slip-on camp shoes should work just fine. The terrain and environment of the campsite can also influence the footwear decision.
How much do camp shoes cost?
Camp shoes can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $100+, depending on the design and durability. Cold weather camp shoes tend to be the most expensive across the board, along with more luxury options. Sometimes, you are just paying for the brand name, so don’t get caught up with that as much as the functionality for your intended use.
How should I store my shoes while camping?
Most campers prefer to store their shoes outside the tent, especially while backpacking. There is a risk that the shoes could get wet or cold, depending on the time of year. You can store your shoes inside the tent near your feet if there is room. Otherwise, keep them outside but under the tent vestibule. If that is not an option, use a dry bag or store them inside your backpack to keep them dry.
Where can you buy camp shoes?
The type of camp shoes you purchase will significantly influence where you can buy them. Most outdoor retailers will have a wide variety of options online or in-store. If you are looking for budget shoes, heading to any big box store that carries shoes like flip-flops or slides works, too.
Do Crocs make good camp shoes?
Yes, Crocs make excellent camp shoes. They are durable, easy to slip on and off, and can get wet. The only significant downsides to Crocs as camp shoes are that they aren’t particularly warm nor are they best for use in desert ecosystems. Since they have holes and are somewhat open, thorns and other spiked plants can easily get trapped inside the shoe.
Like any pair of shoes, finding the best camp shoes often boils down to your personal preferences and the intended use. While Crocs may be an optimal choice for one person, another may prefer the lightweight and minimalist Xero Z Trial Sandal. We prefer versatile camp shoes that can be used in more situations than just one, which also cuts back on the number of shoes you have to store at home. Remember, even if you didn’t find the perfect pair of camp shoes on our list, use our buying considerations as a guide as you continue to shop.
To narrow down the best of the best camp shoes, we evaluated the many options using our buying considerations and a few other factors, including:
- Longevity: How long are the shoes expected to last? Is there a repair policy in place? What is the company warranty? Are they made from durable materials?
- Versatility: Do these shoes work well as more than just camp shoes? Can I wear these at camp even when it is raining? Are these good for all environments? Can I wear them with socks if my feet get cold?
- Practicality: Even though camp shoes should be comfortable, they should still be practical for outdoor spaces. Some traction on the sole, a secure fit, and general comfort for the temperatures all need to be considered.
- Customer Service: Does the company respond when you inquire about products or company policies? Are they transparent about product production and sustainability claims? Are they willing to listen to customer feedback and correct mistakes when they happen?
Personal experience with certain products, verified customer testimonials, and company-specific research was also considered.