Stomping through unknown woods when hiking gets more exhilarating with each step. But are your feet also excited as you are? They take on the bulk of the work from all your excursions, so it’s important that they have the right padding and protection. But with all those essential pieces of camping gear, many enthusiasts often forget to pay the needed attention to their footwear. Even if hiking is not in your plans, you still need shoes that are designed specifically for this purpose. The weather and the environment can surprise you easily so having a pair of shoes that can withstand different elements and circumstances while you are in the middle of nowhere is always a good idea.
Why you need a pair of the best camping shoes? Because they are designed to let your feet breath and keep them comfortable. They are not made just for walking around your campsite – you can even cross a river in the right pair. Camping shoes have their own specific features that make them different from other shoes and suitable for camping.
You don’t want to set out on a hiking adventure and feel like you’re trailing two cannonballs along with you, do you? Finding a pair of camping shoes that are sturdy enough to keep your feet protected from whatever the weather throws at you but also lightweight to make walking in them enjoyable is the dream. They would also be a good choice if you need to store them in your backpack and hike with them.
Camping shoes come in a range of designs and styles, and some of them are quite bulky. Stay away from those. The best camping shoes are compact with soft sidewalls that fold flat against the sole so that packing and carrying them is not an issue. Many people hang them outside their bag but keep in mind that you might also lose them easily somewhere on your way.
- Toe protection
Depending on where you plan to go camping, your feet may need additional protection. If the terrain is mostly covered with stones or tree roots, a pair of camping shoes that feature toe protection is a must. A broken toe can take you off the trail for days and even for weeks and can take a surprisingly long time for a full recovery. To protect your toes and avoid such situations, make sure you look for camp shoes with front padding or toe kick protection.
- Stream crossings
Nature is full of surprises, so once you go on a camping trip, you might want to explore the area and experience the beauty of your surroundings. At some point, you might need to cross a river or a bigger stream and for that, you want shoes that won’t come off mid-stream and provide stability once your feet are underwater. The best camping shoes are ones that feature a closed heel, close with velcro strap or laces in order to offer better control and ankle stability.
Certain weather conditions require a pair of camp shoes that can dry quickly or even better – ones that are waterproof. Neoprene, plastic, and mesh are all materials that take less time to get dry so if you don’t need a waterproof model, shoes made of some of these materials are also a great way to go.
Once you have found the right pair of shoes for your camping needs, make sure they are the proper fit. Even if the size is right, the construction of the shoes can also affect their overall feel and fit. A bad fit can result in blisters, bone spurs, sprained arches and more. So, don’t risk it – you don’t want to end up hurting every step you take in them. Also, do not compromise on quality. The best hiking shoes could last for years, but only if you invest in a quality pair and care for them properly. To make sure the pair you are looking at is of good quality, check the seams for missing stitches or loose threads. The upper material should be consistent across the boot without any weak spots or abrasions. Make sure the heels are tough and do not squish and bend easily and that the lugs are hard enough as well.
At the end of the day, yes, it is possible to find a good pair of camping shoes without spending too much. However, you should not go with the cheapest options as well. This might end up costing you even more in the long run as cheap shoes wear down faster than quality ones, thus you will have to replace them faster. Take your time to weigh your options and make a smart buying decision.