This post may contain affiliate links.

10 Best Camp Shoes of 2024

10 Best Camp Shoes and Stream Crossing Shoes

Many hikers and backpackers carry camp shoes to help their feet recover after a hot day of hiking or to change into for stream crossings to keep their socks and hiking footwear dry. Sandals, water shoes, slides, clogs, and minimalist footwear are all popular choices but it’s worth giving some thought to their strength and weaknesses in different environments and climate conditions. They’re also indispensable for showering in hostels and at campgrounds to avoid contracting athlete’s foot from others. Check out our Camp Shoe Selection Guide below for a full discussion of the factors you should consider.

Here are the 10 Best Camp Shoes that we recommend.

Make / ModelGenderAvg Weight (Pair)
Merrell Hydro MocsMens | Womens11 oz
Birkenstock Arizona EVA SandalsMens | Womens8 oz
Crocs Classic ClogsUnisex12 oz
Xero Shoes Aqua X SportMens | Womens12.4 oz
Hoka One One Ora Recovery 3 SlidesUnisex12.8 oz
OOFOS OOahh Sport Slides SandalsUnisex12 oz
Shamma Sandals CruzersUnisex8 oz
Crocs Crocband FlipsUnisex8 oz
Mayfly Ultralight Imago Camp ShoesUnisex1.8 oz
Classic FitkicksMens | Womens9 oz

1. Merrell Hydro Mocs

Merrell HydroMoc Camp Shoes

Merrell’s Hydro Mocs are cool and comfy shoes to wear in camp, for water sports, or down at the watering hole on a hot summer night. These slip-on waterproof shoes are made with single-density injected EVA with a 2mm lug depth for secure traction on wet surfaces. They have an articulated heel with a strap for a secure fit and a contoured arch for support. The sizing is generous, so you normally wear a half size in footwear, we suggest you size down in this product, rather than ordering the ½ size larger. These are great for water crossings and trails that have lots of stream/land transitions. Available for men and women, the weight per pair is 15 oz.

Shop at REIShop at Amazon

2. Birkenstock Arizona EVA Foam Sandals

Birkenstock Arizona EVA
Don’t let the brown color of these Birkenstock Arizona EVA Foam Sandals fool you: they are not leather but EVA foam, making them very light and waterproof. Their anatomically shaped EVA footbeds cradle your feet and feature Birkenstock’s original contoured footbed for true Birkenstock comfort. With adjustable straps, these 1-piece EVA sandals are waterproof, washable, and ultra-lightweight. Available for men and women, they only weigh 8 oz/pair.

Shop at REIShop at Amazon

3. Crocs Classic Clogs

Crocs Classic Clogs
Crocs Classic Clogs have been a hiker favorite for decades. They make great camp shoes to help your feet recover and provide enough protection and support for easy stream crossings. Easy to clean and quick to dry, they have built-in ventilation ports for breathability and drainage. They’re best attached to the outside of your backpack since they’re on the bulky side. You’ll also want to wear them with socks when the insects are out. Cros also comes in lots of fun colors if you want to let your hair hang out. Average weight per pair: 12 oz.

Shop at Amazon

4. Xero Shoes Aqua X Sport

Xero Shoes Aqua X
While Xero Shoes Aqua X Sport shoes look like beefy trail shoes, they’re astonishingly lightweight and packable. It has a breathable mesh upper with a quick-dry lining, non-absorbent tongue, toe guard drain holes that help you quickly shed water, and a perforated self-draining insole, so it’s barely any heavier wet than dry. Weighing just 14.4 oz/pair, they are lightweight and cool for lounging around in camp but provide enough stability and protection for stream crossings and town use. Available for men and women, the average weight per pair is 12.4 oz.

Shop at REIShop at Amazon

5. Hoka One One ORA Recovery 3 Slides

Hoka Ora Recovery 3 Slides
Hoka One One’s ORA Recovery 3 Slides help cool and dry aching feet and put a little spring back into your step after a hard day of hiking.  Their dual-layer construction, cushioned, oversized midsoles, and soft EVA top layers provide step-in comfort and durability. These are best used in camp but don’t have the protection or stability you’d want for stream crossings where you can’t see your feet or underwater obstacles. While they’re not insect-proof without socks, they make great shower shoes at campgrounds and in hiking hostels. The average weight per pair is 12.8 oz.

Shop at REIShop at Amazon

6. OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandals

OOFOS OOahh Spport Slide Sandals
OOFOS OOriginal Sandals are waterproof recovery sandals made with a super comfortable foam that helps your feet recover after high mileage hiking days or trail runs. They have a non-slip footbed and sole that provides excellent arch support and relief from plantar fasciitis. They even float! These sandals are best used for camp and easy stream crossings but don’t provide the protection you’d want for deeper streams. The average weight per pair is 12 oz.

Shop at REIShop at Amazon

7. Shamma Sandals Cruzers

Shamma Sandals Cruzers
Shamma Cruzers are designed to be durable, versatile, and responsive with a lightweight minimal design that makes them ideal for walking, hiking, and running. Their UltraGrip footbed is comfortable and designed to keep you on the sandals with buckles and straps that won’t slip once locked in place. This is a big deal because heel strap slippage is one of the chief complaints about barefoot minimalist running sandals. The average weight per pair is 8 oz.

Garage Grown

8. Crocs Crocband Flips

Crocs Crocband Flips
Crocs Crocband Flips are waterproof and durable flip flops that have massage-pod footbeds to help improve foot circulation and recovery after a hard day of hiking. Lugs on the bottom provide excellent traction and plenty of protection so rocks and pebbles don’t poke up through the footbed. They’re easy to clean, quick to dry, and pack flat. They also come in a wide variety of colors. Average weight per pair: 8 oz.

Shop at Amazon

9. Mayfly Ultralight Equipment Imago Camp Shoes

Mayfly Imago Camp Shoes
Mayfly’s Super-duper-hyper-nano-ultralight Imago sandals are mainly designed to be camp shoes (to be worn in camp and not for hiking or stream crossing or saving damsels in distress) to help your feet recover from a long hiking day. Weighing 1.8 oz, they are made of fluted polypropylene which is the indestructible stuff used to make political yard signs together with nylon cord, silicone tubing, and thermoplastic buckles. They’re easy to adjust and a simple dunk is enough to clean them off. They pack flat and are an ultralight purpose-made option worth considering to keep your feet healthy and take off your gross trail shoes. Average weight per pair: 1.8 oz.

Shop at Mayfly

10. Classic Fitkicks

 Classic Fitkicks
Fitkicks are lightweight water-friendly footwear with spandex/synthetic uppers with a cushioned neoprene insole and non-marking rubber outsole. They’re great for swimming at the water hole, stream crossings, the beach, kayaking, paddleboarding, or camping. They have a supportive grip strap that molds around the top of your foot and a reinforced toe guard up front. The flexible outsole makes them easy to pack and they’re machine washable. Available for men and women, the average weight per pair is 9 oz.

Shop at Amazon

Camp Shoes 101: Selection Guide

There are a wide range of factors that make good camp shoes or water shoes for stream crossings. While almost all stream crossing shoes make acceptable camp shoes, many camp shoes lack the protection or traction needed for more challenging stream crossings, where you can’t see your feet or the bottom. Packability, stream crossing protection, weight, warmth, and insect protection are also important factors to consider when choosing a camp shoe or one that can serve double duty for stream crossings.

If you hike in well-drained hiking boots, shoes, or trail runners, it’s worth asking yourself if you even need camp shoes or stream-crossing shoes or whether you’d rather not carry them and use your existing shoes as camp shoes and stream-crossing shoes instead. There’s no right or wrong answer; it all depends on what your priorities are. There are times when it’s nice to slip on a warm and dry pair of camp shoes while cooking dinner in camp.

Packability

If you plan on backpacking, it’s best to get a camp shoe or water shoe that’s easily packable with an upper that folds flat against the sole. Shoes with folding uppers are easily packed in pockets, and if they’re wet, in the front stretch mesh pocket of many backpacks. While you can hang bulky camp shoes on the outside of a pack, they can get torn off by passing vegetation or simply fall off because you didn’t secure them well.

Protection While Crossing Streams

Shallow streams are usually easy to cross because you can see your feet and the streambed bottom. But you’ll want camp shoes or water shoes that provide more foot protection if you have to cross deeper streams where you can’t see the streambed or sunken obstructions like sticks and logs. Water shoes that provide more protection around the toes and sides of your feet have a firmer sole, and better ankle support are advantageous in such circumstances. We never recommend crossing barefoot.

Athlete’s Foot Prevention

There’s nothing worse than picking up a case of Athlete’s Foot in public showers in hiker hostels, bunkhouses, or public campgrounds. Protect yourself by wearing camp shoes in the shower and allowing your feet to dry thoroughly after hiking all day in hot and sweaty hiking boots or trail runners. It takes forever to get rid of, especially if you’re day-to-day footwear doesn’t have a chance to dry out at night.

Weight

Many backpackers are obsessed with the weight of their backpacking gear and leave comfort items behind because they’re not strictly necessary or carry lighter-weight alternatives. In general, shoes that can only be used in camp tend to be lighter weight than those that are designed to be water shoes.

Warmth

If you’re camping or crossing streams in cold weather, you may want to opt for camp shoes or water shoes that encase your foot and your ankle more like a wetsuit bootie rather than sandals or slides. Don’t underestimate how cold mountain streams can get even in summer, especially if you have to ford wide streams. The same holds for standing around camp in colder weather. Camp shoes/water shoes with fewer ventilation ports will be warmer.

Insect Protection

If you’ve ever gotten a mosquito bite on your foot, you know how itchy and unpleasant they can be. Unfortunately, insects become more prevalent in the evening, just as you’re cooking dinner in camp. Water shoes with neoprene or lycra uppers are generally more insect-proof than sandals, slides, and clogs. Wearing a sock with a relatively open shoe may still not provide enough insect protection for your needs, something to consider.

Check Out All of SectionHiker's Gear Guides!

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.

 

9 comments

  1. I’ve been using the Birkenstock foam Arizona Eva sandals on my last couple backpacking trips. They are comfortable and lightweight, only 4 oz per sandal.

  2. A Crocs man for a very long time. They fit my EEE feet perfectly once they stretch a little. Put the heel strap down and they’re great for wading streams. Otherwise I keep the straps up. The soles are grippy enough for wet work. The toe cage does a great job of protecting your feet. Scree can and does enter the ventilation holes but for most other purposes Crocs can be used for main hiking shoes. I order the white color so that I can find them in the middle of the night and also see my feet on wet rocks so I don’t trip or fall. An excellent choice for footwear with some of us.

  3. For proper camp shoes, I do like the Arizona sandals but I find myself bringing the Rab VBL socks (discovered from your review) for overnight trips. Work much better than slow cooker or bread bags and when used with my trail runners, they protect my feet more sandals.

  4. I like the Mayfly Imago sandals. One problem. The cordage that passes through the linelocs tends to slip.I think the problem could be fixed if larger diameter cordage is used.

    • I know they’re perfect for some folks. I figured it was worth it to give them a try because they’re so cheap. A stick poked a hole in them, and I swear I found every rock in the area around my campsite. I kept mine because they take up so little space in my gear storage, but I went back to carrying my Crocs.

  5. Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes. I have been using these for several years for water crossing and camp shoes $22.

  6. I discovered the Xero Z-Trail EV – Trail Hiking, Running, Recovery Sandalslast year and love them for camp wear. They are extremely comfortable and very sturdy and well-made. So comforatable, in fact, I wear them everywhere.

  7. Christopher Evans

    I have 2 pairs of the Birkenstock Arizona sanders. I love then but they are not durable. Both pairs have cracked by the front strap (sole). Time to get the Shoe Goo out!

  8. Don’t dismiss the Croc knock-offs readily available online or in stores for MUCH cheaper….and lighter weight! I ordered one pair of “garden clogs” online, and got another pair at a hobby store for a single digit price, and each weighs sub 7 oz per pair! Win-win in my book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve *