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Thread: Sandal Recommendation For River Crossings And Backcountry

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Sandal Recommendation For River Crossings And Backcountry

    I'm looking for suggestions on a good, lightweight sandal for backpacking. In particular I'd like it to be secure enough and safe enough for river crossings (even if current is significant so they don't get ripped off my feet mid crossing), materials that dry fast so they can be quickly packed, and comfortable enough to wear around a backcountry campsite, walking short distances in the woods, etc.

    I thought I'd asked this before and seem to remember there was a "consensus" recommendation but I couldn't find a thread in any of my prior posts. I assume maybe I globbed on to someone else's thread? I've gone insane? Anyway, any recommendations would be appreciated. Would like to take advantage of all the big sales and coupon offers right now if possible.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  2. #2
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    I've never had a problem with Crocs, very lightweight and great as hut shoes.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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    2nd the crocs if you're not going to use trail runners.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    2nd the crocs if you're not going to use trail runners.
    Crocks are great until the soles wear and then they become extremely slippery in my experience. Invest in a new pair if you plan to use them in wet conditions.

    Another choice that works well are Keen-type water shoes. They stay on well and have lugged soles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Crocks are great until the soles wear and then they become extremely slippery in my experience. Invest in a new pair if you plan to use them in wet conditions.

    Another choice that works well are Keen-type water shoes. They stay on well and have lugged soles.
    My Keens are heavy but pack better than the crocs.

    Chacos probably fit the bill best for backpacking as far as weight and packability go but are expensive.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    My Keens are heavy but pack better than the crocs.

    Chacos probably fit the bill best for backpacking as far as weight and packability go but are expensive.
    Yah they all seem expensive in the sandal category. Was kind of surprised for how "little" you get. My primary hiking shoes are LaSportiva Ultra Raptors. The sandals are for larger rivers where I would absolutely water log the shoes and hanging out after hiking to give the feet a breather, get some air and let the trail runners dry out. I think once upon a time I had Keen sandals and remember them being pretty heavy. I have water shoes (cheap and expensive ones) and don't really care for them unless I'm doing dedicated "water activity" like walking a stream bed, boating or stuff like that. I want something that breathes well.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #7
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I've done well with cheap sandals from Walmart. Similar to these:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Air-Balan...e-11/706130004

    It's a different batch every year, so you have to see if there is a design, material, color etc. that will work for you. If there is, buy a couple pairs because they will be gone the next year.

    Some are a bit heavy. Sometimes they have pretty good rubber on the soles (I've climbed up to about 5.5 in them); sometimes not so good. Look for ones that are all rubber. The fabric and leather ones will sometimes swell or shrink when they get wet.

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    Senior Member TomK's Avatar
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    Teva

    In 1999 I was invited on a week long canoe trip in Canada, and it was suggested to me that if I didn't have them already, I should purchase a pair of Tevas to wear in the canoe. The itenerary included a few portages, including one that was non-trivial. I brought my hiking boots along for the portages, but the Teva's were so comfortable, I ended up just wearing them on the portages (pack plus canoe, don't think I could manage *that* any more).

    I have worn them every summer since then, mostly when I kayak, but other times as well. The sole absorbs no water, the straps do wet a little, but they dry fairly quickly. I look forward to wearing them some more this summer.

    TomK
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    I also have an ancient pair of Tevas that have been my go to for years. They are partially responsible for me switching from Limmer customs to trail runners. Due to issues with my Limmers on 6 day section hike I had a choice of bailing on the last part of the hike or switching to Tevas. My feet were trashed from my boots but I did 19 miles the next day in PA on the infamous rocks. The next day I did around 10 miles and then drove home. The Limmers were retired after that and I switched to New Balance 801s (one of the early trail runners) and never looked back. I do have wide feet and the Tevas at the time were wider than many other brands.

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    I use these as my hiking, water crossing, and camp shoes. Just change out my socks in camp.

    /https://www.rei.com/product/147068/salomon-crossamphibian-swift-2-water-shoes-mens

    I wouldn't use them for the Northern Presidential but for anything else I am happy.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I wore Chaco's for years then found Crocs which I love much more. They are a great water shoe. That being said, if I was backpacking, I would just bring a cheap, light, slip on water shoe. For the amount of use your going to need them for, why pack the weight of a full size sandal or shoe? If you were planning on significant time in the water, Crocs by far.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I wore Chaco's for years then found Crocs which I love much more. They are a great water shoe. That being said, if I was backpacking, I would just bring a cheap, light, slip on water shoe. For the amount of use your going to need them for, why pack the weight of a full size sandal or shoe? If you were planning on significant time in the water, Crocs by far.
    Yah I do have the basic slip on models which are fine. I thought I'd be saving weight going to a sandal but I'm finding that is not the case. The slip on water shoes I have weigh 1 lb (for the pair) and it seems even fairly open sandals are 50-100% heavier due to the size/thickness of the soles. I don't really care for the feel of the slip on shoes though when I'm just hanging out in camp, etc. but it seems like that will be the lesser of two evils for my intended use.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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    I just use my trail runners that I hike in and walk across streams. They dry out hiking and are comfortable enough to wear around camp with no socks on.

  14. #14
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Do people really worry about weight that much on a day hike? Last summer, a bunch of us went to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I wore Keene's as my camp shoe, and an old pair of trail runners for the portages and getting in and out. It worked just fine. The Keenes were comfy and protect the foot more than open-toe sandals. How much more do they weigh? Not enough to matte, I guess is the answer.

    If that's my perspective, and one is only looking for a shoe for the occasional water crossing, I suspect the answer is to go to the nearest Goodwill Store and buy an old pair of sneakers, and leave it at that. They won't come off your foot just when you need them to stay on, they'll protect your toes, and it will cost you $10.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Do people really worry about weight that much on a day hike?
    I'm looking for a shoe for multi-day hikes and section hikes (3-10 days) so I am focused on weight. The water shoes I have now are fine for day hikes, although on a day hike I generally just use my trail runners and let them dry out because I know I'll be done with them at the end of the day and they'll have plenty of time to dry on my boot dryer at home.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

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