Choosing The Proper Footwear When Camping

Trudging through swamps, muddy portages, shallow water pullovers and any other wet environment is usually the norm when it comes to interior camping. One aspect that many people don’t give enough attention to is their feet. How many times have you gotten a soaker and had to wear soggy shoes and socks for days? Or maybe you wear sandals that get stuck in the mud or kicked off in fast water? Having proper footwear is essential to the overall experience of your trip and can save you from looking like you have trench foot.

When interior camping some portages can be treacherous and require sturdy foot wear. The idea of twisting your ankle in the woods and being a three days paddle from civilization is not something that sits well. Sturdy footwear is a must but the idea of large hikers and possibly a spare can be very bulky and when trying to pack light, can be a nuisance.

 A few years back we came across a type of footwear that is light and breathable like a sandal but has the strength and support of a shoe. These all-terrain sandals have since been used exclusively on all summer camping trips. 


Many companies make these ‘hybrids’ and can be found at your local outdoor shop. We first discovered these at Sail for the low price of 30 dollars. Although great, this version will get you through one summer before breaking down and smelling bad. They can only put some much technology into a 30 dollar shoe. I recommend “breaking the bank” and purchasing a higher quality pair for 80-100 dollars. The Keen Newport H2 model is one of these shoes that has proved to last multiple season and has yet to let us down. Its key features include:

  • Durable and fast-drying polyester webbing straps
  • Protective toe up front
  • Anti-odor AEGIS Microbe Shield treated SBR lining
  • Supportive V-Strap Forefoot Capture Design for good fit
  • Thick, impact-absorbing compression sole

Overall this all-terrain sandal allows you to trudge through whatever your trip throws at you and better yet, at the end of the day they’re dry and ready for the next portage.