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Waldies Aruba – Lightweight Camp Sandals

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.

Waldies Sandals
Waldies Sandals

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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4 comments

  1. I've been looking for a pair of lightweight (translated: nearly cotton ball light!) camp sandals for my upcoming trek of the PCT. 7.1 oz is by far the lightest I've seen! I've been dreading going with a pair of Crocs, as they are around 11-12 ounces. Almost a pound for a camp shoe?? Not a chance!

    When you think about it, all you need a camp shoe to be is lightweight, and protect your sore little dogs from sticks and stones while in camp, allowing both them AND your shoes to air out and breathe. Arch support? toughness? Not important! Just something that will get you through your hikes and not be called on for the rough duty. I've heard of shoes going bad on the trail and the hiker has to turn to their camp shoes as emergency walkers to get to the next town, but it's rarer than rare.

    I'll be heading over to their website right now. This looks promising! :)

    Dug

    • I know this is an old thread but I have an old pair of flip flops that probably cost less than $5 that weigh in at 6.6 oz. Cheap solution. Wouldn’t want to hike I them!

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