The 5 Best Camper Shoes
Are you going camping but aren’t sure what shoes to bring? Between hiking, biking, watersports, grilling, and general chilling around the campsite, your footwear needs to take on many duties and the best camper shoes should be looked at.
Unfortunately, bringing along several types of shoes takes up precious storage space and only adds clutter to your tent or RV. The solution to streamlining your wardrobe and packing routine before your next outdoor adventure is to purchase camping shoes.
Camper shoes have a unique design that can handle a variety of activities you usually do while on a camping trip, and we put the five best brands down below for you to check out.
Camper shoes are the all-purpose choice for making your camping trips more comfortable, so keep reading to learn more.
Why You Need Camper Shoes
We were skeptical that camper shoes are necessary for camping until we tried different pairs over several trips. We found how easy it was to pop them on and off and that we didn’t have to stop between various activities to find proper footwear so we could jump right into the fun.
Like other types of footwear, camper shoes come in different designs to suit your camping style. Some are geared toward general camping tasks, while others are for camping trips where you may be doing a lot of rugged hiking, boating, or sports.
The materials that go into the best camper shoes are high-quality and can withstand getting wet, muddy, dusty, torn, or rubbed against grasses, foliage, or rocks when walking or hiking around the campsite or doing other activities. The material is also breathable and dries quickly.
The soles of camper shoes are durable to make them more comfortable on gravel or rough ground found at many campsites. In addition, treads are deep enough to provide stable footing on slippery terrain and excellent traction when traversing flat surfaces.
The weight of camper shoes is light, so they don’t add stress on your legs over a long day out and about, and extra care is taken around the heel and toe box to reduce friction that leads to painful blisters.
If you’re an avid tent camper or RVer, camping shoes are a game-changer that streamlines packing and is worth the investment.
Types of Camper Shoes
Camper shoes fall into these three categories:
- Medium-to-light-duty camping shoes
- All-purpose, medium-to-heavy-duty camp shoes
- Rugged activity camper shoes
Before selecting camper shoes, think about what activities you usually do while camping.
If you park your RV or car camp with a tent and mainly hang around the campsite, you don’t need fancy camper shoes.
Suppose you never know what you may do while camping, but short hikes, paddle boarding, bike riding, fishing, or a game of horseshoes are possibilities. In that case, you’ll want a more durable and supportive camper shoe that transitions between activities.
A heavy-duty camper shoe is the best choice if your camping trips focus on rugged activities such as long, hilly hikes, exploring forests or rivers, geocaching, or even building DIY shelters.
Whatever camper shoes you choose, make sure they offer these important features:
- Waterproof or water-resistant material
- Durable fabric that dries fast
- Thick sole with good tread
- Simple to get on and off
- Breathable design to keep feet dry
- Proper support for your level of activity
Now that you know what to look for when comparing camper shoes let’s jump to our top five picks that get the highest ratings from customers and pass our camping tests with flying colors.
5 Best Camper Shoes
1. Crocs Classic Clogs
Style: Light-duty camp shoe
Weight: 3.8 ounces
The Croc Classic Clog really can’t be beat for the best light-duty camper shoe. Not only can you get the unisex shoe in just about any color or pattern, but you can get different versions, such as a fleece-lined Croc, for camping in cooler weather.
Crocs were originally a boating shoe, but the comfort, durability, waterproof material, and super breathability made them popular on land in no time. We especially love the heel strap that keeps them securely on your foot when you need it but flips forward so you can slide the shoes on and off easily and quickly.
The material of the shoe is super light with an insole that gently forms to your foot’s shape over time, making them highly comfortable to wear. The holes in the upper drain water fast, making them ideal for going in and out of the water. The tread also provides excellent traction on all surfaces.
- Very comfortable with lots of cushion
- Extremely functional for general camping activities
- Comes in many colors and styles
- Ultra lightweight
- Ventilated upper allows dust and dirt to get through
- Some complaints current shoes don’t fit the same as older versions
- Many Crocs brand counterfeits for sale, buyer beware
The Crocs Classic Clog is the best light-duty camper shoe that transitions wonderfully between walking around the campground and wading in the water, shopping for supplies, grilling, boating, and more.
2. Luna Leadville Pacer
Style: Medium-duty camp shoe
Weight: 4.45 ounces (men’s size 9)
The Luna Leadville Pacer is another very lightweight camper shoe that features a strappy sandal design that allows your entire foot to breathe.
What sets the Leadville Pacer apart from other camp sandals is the adjustable thong and ankle straps for a perfect fit, yet velcros open for quick removal. In addition, extra heel padding makes long-term wear comfortable, even when hiking for miles.
The sole is flexible, thin, and dense, softening impact over any terrain yet delivering an almost barefoot feel. The abundant tiny treads featuring Monkey Grip Technology are excellent to grip onto dry or wet surfaces.
We like how quick these shoes dry, so you can wade through a stream and keep moving during a hike without your feet slipping around. While we didn’t test running in these shoes more than a few yards, many customers say they wear them jogging, and the straps stay secure.
- Very lightweight
- Conforms to foot shape for extra comfort
- Strappy design keeps feet cool and dry
- Attractive style works with camping or going out attire
- Excellent grip in water or wet or dry surfaces
- Thin sole protects feet without detracting from the minimalist feel
- Only good for warm weather camping
- Does not provide foot protection from brambles or sharp foliage
The Luna Leadville Pacer is best for anyone who wants a durable, slim-fit, nice-looking shoe that you can wear all day through just about every camping activity.
3. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III
Style: Medium-duty all-purpose camp shoe
Weight: 8.85 ounces
The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III looks like a low-profile sneaker. It comes in men’s and women’s sizing and three colors to suit your needs.
We love the full coverage it gives the foot, so you can walk through tall grass or natural terrain without getting scratched up. We also like the extra support the tongue and laces provide.
These camp shoes feel amazing because they cut the shape wide and along the foot’s natural curves, so they conform without being too snug. The fabric is breathable, dries fast, and is simple to wipe clean.
The soles are thinner than a running sneaker, so they are much lighter but can handle full-body pressure comfortably, so you can run, play volleyball, hit the fitness center, or stroll about town seeing the sites with no strain.
These shoes are also excellent water shoes, with impressive grip and flexibility. With all their features, it’s no wonder Men’s Health magazine named the Primus Lite III the winner of their 2021 Best Sneaker award!
- Lightweight, yet very durable
- Easy to clean
- Extra roomy and flexible for extreme comfort
- Breathable and water-resistant materials
- Treads grip well to all surfaces
- A bit expensive
- They don’t come in half-sizes which can make getting a good fit difficult
- Stock laces require tying (swap for elastic for quicker on/off)
This camper shoe is best for people who do more energetic activities while camping or prefer shoes with more foot coverage.
4. KEEN Men’s Brixen Low
Style: Heavy-duty rugged camp shoe
Weight: 20.83 ounces
The KEEN Men’s Brixen Low is for rugged camping activities but offers an easy slip-on design to keep your RV or tent cleaner. While they don’t make this shoe for women, the basic styling and fit are unisex.
The full nubuck leather upper is waterproof, with a dry membrane to keep your feet dry.
But what we find impressive is the insulation, wool-felt lining, and thermal heat shield construction that keeps your toes toasty through winter camping activities.
We tried out these camp shoes on some hilly trails and climbed a few boulders, and the grip was secure. Wet and muddy surfaces were also no match for the treads on the outsoles.
The extra rubber on the front protects the toebox from wear and tear, and the shellback heel support prevents blisters from forming and the back of the shoe from getting deformed.
The styling works well with shorts or jeans, but you’re really buying these for the support and protection they offer your foot. Many customers wear these shoes in all seasons, but most recommend switching to a lighter shoe for summer camping trips.
- Nubuck leather upper is waterproof and long-lasting
- Features 200-grams of insulation, wool liner, and thermal heat barrier to keep feet warm
- Thick rubber sole with extra tall toebox barrier protects feet
- Slip on style with shellback heel support
- Rugged, yet flexible, for durable comfort
- Tread grips well on all surfaces
- Sole can feel stiff in freezing temperatures
- Heavier than other camp shoes
- Pricey and no women’s sizing
These camper shoes are best for cool weather camping and off-grid adventures, no matter how rugged the conditions.
5. Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG
Style: Heavy-duty all-purpose camp shoe
Weight: 18 ounces
The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG is a heavier-duty camper shoe that offers all the comfort, traction, breathability, and water-resistance you need during camping trips.
We love the feel of this shoe for both men and women, with a “minimalistic” design that keeps the shoe lightweight and more natural feeling, allowing your feet and toes a better range of motion. In addition, the coverage protects your feet from rocks, grasses, and thorns and is more secure when walking in water or playing sports or games.
The mesh material dries quickly and breathes, so your feet don’t get hot and sweaty. In addition, you can take these off and roll them up for compact storage, which is a nice touch.
- Lightweight, with extra rubber outsole protection on toe and heel
- Water-resistant material and drain zones keep feet dry
- “Sticky” rubber sole provides cushion and grip
- Slip on style with adjustable laces
- Slim and flexible design provides more “feel” with the ground
- Made of recycled materials
- The minimal barefoot design can take getting used to
These camper shoes are best for warm weather camping for people who like to partake in more strenuous activities like watersports, games, hiking, off-road running, or biking but still want a shoe that also works for hanging out, grilling, or exploring local towns.
Best Camper Shoes Wrap Up
Camper shoes make packing and participating in a variety of camping activities a breeze. With the perfect pair, you can wear them all day and keep table or RV shoe clutter and dirt to a minimum. If you do need to run inside for supplies or to take a break, they easily slip on and off, so they won’t slow you down.
We hope you agree that the above list of the five best camper shoes is worth checking out. Please give a pair a try and see what a difference they bring to your camping experience!