When you go backpacking you need to take care of your feet. This may sound obvious, but people don’t do a very good job of it. Blisters, plantar fasciitis, athletes foot, bunions, broken toenails, etc. can sideline you for days, weeks, or even an entire season unless you actively and consciously manage the heath of your feet.
If you are going on a strenuous backpacking trip or if you are hiking in a very damp or hot environment, it really pays to bring along a pair of camp shoes that you can change into when you pitch camp so that your boots and socks can air out and dry. Wet or damp shoes and socks are evil. They make your skin softer and lower your defenses against blisters or other fungal ailments common to backpackers.
Many backpackers argue that you should hike in lightweight trail shoes instead of leather boots because they dry more quickly. That’s a good solution for some people, but my ankles twist easily and I am susceptible to plantar fasciitis. I have to wear fairly sturdy boots to manage these issues and there are many other backpackers out there like me.
However, I hate to carry extra weight in my pack, and this has led me on a quest for a camp shoe that is lightweight enough for me to consider bringing along on a hike. Crocs, Waldies ATs, Golites, and at least a half dozen other no-name sandals, slippers, and slides have all failed my weight requirements.
However, Waldies has just released a new shoe called the Aruba. I received my pair in the mail today and immediately ran upstairs to put them on the digital scale. They only weigh 7.1 oz. for a pair of mens size 9 (womens size 11). Eureka! Plus they are awesomely comfortable. Waldies sells them on their web site for $34.95. Fit is also pretty snug, so I might also consider wearing these in some stream crossing situations. Comfort is superb.
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