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Treat Your Feet

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Sep 03, 2015 04:30 PM |
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Footwear is one of the most important pieces of gear a hiker can invest in. These three choices will make sure you get to camp in comfort.

At the end of a long hiking dayespecially when you're on a multiday backpacking tripthe best thing you can do to preserve your feet is to get them out of your hot, sweaty hiking boots. So you're not walking around barefoot on twigs and stones, or wearing holes in your Thorlos, pack along a lightweight pair of camp shoes to change into.

Something breathable is best, so your feet can dry out while you set up camp and make dinner. If your hike requires water crossings, you may even be able to change into them to keep your boots dry. Here are the top three choices by Washington Trails magazine editor, Eli Boschetto.

Sandal by Karen Wang.jpgPhoto by Karen Wang.

Chaco Outcross Evo 2

Lightweight and sturdy, these durable crossover trail shoes can take on just about any terrainon trails, crossing creeks, across sandy beaches, and even mountain biking. Okay, maybe not mountaineering. They're even light enough to pack along on multiday trips for use as spare trail shoes or comfy camp shoes. Designed to be worn sockless, the upper mesh paneling allows maximum ventilation for keeping feet cool and dry (on land), and quick-drying after treading through water.

The rugged Outcross Evo outsole has good tread for handling a variety of tough surfaces, so if you need to ditch your boots to cool your feet, these will do the trickas well as keep you on your feet through slippy water crossings. Plus, the Luvseat footbed makes them trail-comfy right out of the box. M/W $110
Bonus Points: The neoprene sock liner keeps debris out.

Chaco Outcross Evo 2

Columbia Bahama Vent II

Perfect for slipping into when you roll into camp, these ultralight canvas shoes let your feet breathe and relax after long days on the trail. The unique Techlite mesh footbed works in confunction with mideole ventiliation ports to keep air flowing through the shoe, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. You just may find yourself wearing them around town as much as in campwe did. M $70
Bonus Points: The Omni-Grip outsole keeps you steady on wet surfaces.

Columbia Bahama Vent II

KEEN Uneek

Years ago, KEEN revolutionized the water shoe. Now they've done it again with the Uneek Sandal. This truly unique trail and water shoe combines KEEN's uber-comfy metatomical footbeds and high-traction outsoles with a laced paracord upper. Loop them on a carabiner and carry them along with you for creek crossings, water play or just lounging around in camp. M/W $100
Bonus Points: The bungee lacing system makes in and out easy.

KEEN Uneek

This article originally appeared in the July+August 2015 issue of Washington Trails magazine. Support trails as a member WTA to get your one-year subscription to the magazine.