As I pointed out in my post about Appropriate Footwear for Outings, I think that boots are the top pick for woodsmen. However, I’ve also found that a simple pair of Crocs make for an excellent secondary pair of outdoor shoes.
The basic design for Crocs is a foam clog. However, they make a variety of styles and designs of shoes, clogs and sandals. They also come in about twenty different colors (even camouflage if you’re worried about being seen in them.)
Crocs may be ugly. They may be the biggest fashion mistake ever. They may make me look like a big ole’ dork. But I’m not one to worry too much about how I look. Perhaps if I were “dressing for success,” or even dressing for a date-night with my wife, Crocs wouldn’t be the best option. However, they excel at quite a few times in the woods.
I have found that there is no other shoe that compares to my Crocs when I am paddling my canoe. They are comfortable. They are waterproof. And for an added bonus, they float!
I could also claim that they are excellent for walking or hiking. Sure you could argue that they have very little tread and provide no ankle support. I can’t argue those points. However, I’ve hiked miles and miles in mine with no problems. I’ve known serious Appalachian Trail hikers who almost exclusively hike in Crocs. Overall, if I am going to do some long mileage hiking or negotiating rough terrain, I’m going for my boots or maybe a pair of hiking shoes. But for casual walks, it’s difficult to out-perform the comfort and weight of a pair of Crocs.
I’ve also found that Crocs are a great addition to my backwoods gear. They are light enough that I hardly notice them on my pack and at the end of the day, they are perfect. After wearing hot and heavy boots along the banks of a mountain river or over miles of rugged terrain, my Crocs are a blessing for spending time around camp. They’re cool, light and comfortable, providing me with hours of comfort while I rest my aching feet beside the campfire.
Although I’m quite smitten with my Crocs and will likely never stop wearing them, I’m open to your thoughts. Too ugly? Too dorky? Too little tread and ankle support? Everybody’s got an opinion. You might as well share your’s here!