How to Hike in Crocs

How to Hike in Crocs
Notorious for their bright colors and comfort-before-looks styling, Crocs are the ultimate for around-the-house utilitarian footwear. While Crocs are far from the ideal hiking footwear, users report that they do better than one may expect, due, no doubt, to their great comfort and the relative durability compared to other inexpensive "throw-away" clogs. If you're going to try hiking in Crocs, there are a few things you can do to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Choose "Off Road" Crocs, or any other model with a thicker, more durable sole if you are into hiking on serious terrain. While Crocs offer no ankle support and the shoes themselves remain quite flexible--the latter quality being desirable for some hikers--the more rugged soles will help you stay stable and safe on uneven terrain.
Step 2
Put on socks before donning your Crocs for the first hike. This will help reduce the chance of getting blisters from the heel strap. Bring a pair of extra socks as backup, since the holes in the Crocs will let water, mud and sand filter into the shoes as you walk. If you are walking in particularly wet or muddy areas, you may want to go without socks--dealing with the heel strap will probably be more comfortable than tolerating wet or squishy socks.
Step 3
Start with short hikes so that you have a chance to evaluate whether the Crocs will work for you, without having to hike miles back in miserable footwear if the answer is "no." Similarly, start on relatively gentle terrain until you get an idea of how your Crocs will handle on more unstable footing such as water crossings, ice and uneven or loose rock.
Step 4
Bring a pair of trusted hiking boots or shoes along for the first few long hikes you go on, just in case your Crocs fall apart or cause you blisters a few miles down the trail. If you decide to go on longer hikes without backup footwear, bring zip ties, cordage or even duct tape for making emergency repair to your Crocs; you wouldn't want to have to walk back barefoot or in socks if your shoes fall apart.

Tips & Warnings

 
As long as you're willing to resign yourself to dirty feet, you can wear your Crocs through the muckiest of paths and then simply rinse them clean later.
 
Avoid wearing Crocs on scree slopes if possible, as keeping chunks of rocks from getting into your Crocs will be very uncomfortable and nearly impossible to avoid.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.