Waldies Camp Shoes

Waldies Classic Camp Shoes
Waldies Classic Camp Shoes

As an Ultralight hiker, I have a real love hate relationship with camp shoes. Often, I just can’t justify the extra weight. For example, a pair of men’s Crocs in size 9 weights 11.5 oz! And so, I rarely bring my Crocs along on weekend section hikes.

Enter Waldies, shown here. These shoes are just as comfortable as Crocs but lighter, at just 6.4¬†ounce per pair. That’s still a lot of weight in my mind, but more easily justifiable in moments of weakness.

Waldies were first introduced to the market before Crocs in 2001 by Walden Kayaks but Crocs has enjoyed far more commercial success. I read somewhere that Crocs and Waldies shared the same material supplier, but that Crocs went and bought them out, denying Waldies access to raw material and setting them back a year or more. In that interval Crocs did a huge marketing push and I believe they are now a billion dollar company.

Try them. Support the underdog.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. I also hate carrying the extra ounces of camp shoes/flip flops. What I've done is once I get to camp I take out the insoles of my shoes, change into dry socks and then wear my shoes (without the insoles). This allows my insoles to dry out and the insole-less shoes gives my feet space (and protection). And the best part I don't have to carry anything extra. My hiking shoe now has double use.

  2. I've been obsessing about this, because the crocs are busting my base weight budget.

    I was going to leave them home as Lonnie suggests, but I also want a non-absorbent backup shoe for stream crossing and soupy Vermont trails. Maybe I'll take the shears to my crocs and trim off enough of the tops to save a few ounces.

  3. The stream crossings on the LT or AT in Vermont don't require fords. What you need to worry about are mud puddles. Unless, you plan on wearing crocs 100% of the time, I'd leave them behind because your feet will be wet regardless of what your primary boot/shoe will be. I guess what I'm saying is get a shoe that can be wet and dry quickly. After my leather boots would get wet on the LT, it would take them 5 days to dry.

  4. Here's an interesting tid-bit about Crocs. I recently moved to southwest Florida and, of course, I brought all my hiking gear with me. I've been leaving my crocs on the deck not having worn them for about 3 months. In the past month it's been very hot. 95+ every day. So today I put on my crocs and woa!, they are now 2 sizes smaller. Useless to me now. Crocs don't stand up to prolonged heat and I guess want revert to there original shape… a small blob of black plastic.

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