BWCA Camp shoe suggestions Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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05/23/2024 06:42PM  
I'm considering purchasing hiking shoes such as the Merrell Moab 3 waterproof or Danner Trail 2650 to use as camp shoes. Specifically looking for one with a narrow footbox. Any recommendations appreciated.

Not interested in sandals, Crocs, etc. I currently use hiking boots for camp shoes and I'm looking to save some bulk in my pack by switching to a smaller shoe.

Men's size 12 if that matters.
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distinguished member(8091)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/23/2024 09:14PM  
Those would be fine, I think. My around-camp shoe is a low profile Keen boot. Waterproof, fairly lightweight, a good tread. I call them my "winter tennis shoes."
distinguished member (262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/23/2024 09:28PM  
I cannot recommend the Gore-Tex Merrell Moabs. After only 2 uses the Gore-Tex liner started to rip away from the back of the shoe. Maybe I just got a bad pair, but I was very unhappy with them. The non-waterproof Moabs are good shoes, however.
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/24/2024 12:59AM  
In camp I like a pair of new balance athletic shoes (or similar).
My Vasque hiking boots are overkill in camp.
05/24/2024 07:25AM  
I'm on my third pair of Merrell Moabs and love them. They're a versatile, durable, and comfortable all-around shoe at a decent price that I've used for just about everything from casual office wear to trail building. And they are usually easy to find locally. They've been the best selling hiking shoe in the world for some time now and for good reasons.

For BWCA use, the soles are bit soft for hiking, not the grippiest (but not bad) on wet rocks, and they take a while to dry out. I agree with others to stay away from the GoreTex versions, they are much warmer, take forever to dry, and it's unlikely you'd be able to keep them dry. I developed blisters with my sandals last year and ended up wearing the Merrells for wetfooting with wool socks. They did OK and kept my blisters from getting worse.

I got some Astral TR1s over the winter that seem to be better suited for the BWCA overall, with the downside of not being near as durable. Haven't used them wet yet though. For around camp the Merrells work fine if you're OK with the weight and bulk.
05/24/2024 07:42AM  
My wife has the waterproof Moabs. They have lasted quite well for her. She has a narrow foot.
distinguished member (142)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/24/2024 08:34AM  
Not sure if you are looking for shoes to wet foot while paddling or just wear around the campsite / swimming etc. For wet footing I'd suggest something like the Merrell All Out Blaze instead of the Moab line. I have an older version of this and they dry within minutes but they "feel" dry within seconds. I generally wear these all day for paddling, portaging, hiking, and swimming, then switch to a slip-on back at camp.
05/24/2024 09:44AM  
I like something more lightweight and comfortable around camp. Hiking footwear is typically too heavy duty for relaxing imo. Check out NRS shoes for some lightweight and waterproof options.
05/24/2024 10:05AM  
I have a pair of Astral shoes for around camp. I've even used them wet footing. They are like a sneaker, but pretty quick drying and have very grippy soles.
05/24/2024 10:35AM  
I just use whatever old running shoes I have (try to keep the weigh as low as possible). I have also used Crocs which I find to be very comfortable (for this old guy) but only use them in camp, no hiking with them. And I am not trying re-ignite any Croc debate.
05/24/2024 03:54PM  
I wear a size 11.5 or 12 in B width, and have yet to find a Merrell or Keen whose heel counter was narrow enough to keep my heel from lifting off the foot bed. I have a pair of Oboz Arete non-waterproof mids that fit well, drain well, dry quickly, and have a grippy sole; I use them as my paddling wet shoes. Like deerfoot, I use an older pair of running shoes, (New Balance or Brooks, available in B widths) as my camp shoes.

distinguished member(2743)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/24/2024 04:47PM  
old sneakers
05/24/2024 05:30PM  
I like to use old running shoes. Those are designed to be lightweight and close fitting. I'm currently using a pair of ASICS gel venture and love them as camp shoes. FWIW on a trip last year I forgot the ASICS and had to bring a pair of Moabs that I had in the truck. I could tell a difference in weight and bulk, and not for the better.
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/24/2024 11:37PM  
lundojam: "old sneakers"

That's what works for me. I have 3-4 pairs that I use.
05/25/2024 08:36AM  
Another one for old running/hiking shoes.
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