It is a fact that crocs have become one of the comfortable footwear to walk around in. Though they have become so popular, some croc lovers wear them while hiking. But the fact that confuses many hikers or Beginners is, are crocs good for hiking? Can you hike in crocs?
Well, I know you may have seen people walking in crocs on trails, but how comfortable and compatible they are for outdoors, especially for hiking where you need a grip, stability, and protection. That is what I will discuss in this article.
I have collected information from the web, asked hikers about their opinions, and after hearing and reading all hikers who have worn crocs on a hike and reading opinions of hikers who haven’t used them. I came up with a short answer that you will get as you read this article.
Can you hike in crocs?
Yes, you can hike in crocs, as some hikers already hiked in crocs. However, crocs are not the ideal footwear for hiking according to many hikers because they provide less protection to the feet.
There is a whole debate going on this topic among hikers, where some hikers feel that it is a mistake to wear crocs on a trail. While others feel that you can hike in them if you let yourself use to it.
There are many factors that decide if crocs are good for you or not. Like weather of the trail, difficulty of the trail, how experienced you are with crocs, etc.
Anyone can wear crisis for hiking, but if you want to be on the safe side and also want to wear crocs while hiking then at least I suggest you analyze factors first.
We will discuss all the factors later in the article, before that let’s know what hikers that ni about hiking in crocs.
What majority of hikers think about crocs?
Well, the majority of hikers don’t prefer crocs as the right option for hiking, but it doesn’t mean that it’s completely valid. Well, among the majority of hikers who are not in favor of cross haven’t tried crocs themselves on hiking, so we can’t say that crocs don’t work at all when it comes to hiking.
Besides that, there are some hikers who think that crocs can be an alternative and you can hike in them if you get used to them.
There are various examples of people who have hiked the AT (Appalachian Trail) in crocs. Though I don’t know if they have worn it for a whole hike or they switched to them between the hike for some time.
I have seen some hikers claiming that they have hiked in crocs for more than 50 miles. That can be true and also depend on person to person as not all people can manage that, especially if you haven’t hiked in crocs yet.
Factors to analyze before using crocs for hiking
It’s important to analyze the factors before making your decision of using crocs for a hike if you want to be on the safe side. What I mean by safe is that this can prevent you from making a bad decision.
However, these factors are just the basics what all matters is up to a person who is wearing crocs, as walking in the crocs on a trail is not that easy. Without discussing more, let’s look into factors
The weather of the trail
First, you should look if the trail is dry or not. The only weather that may suit croc is dry weather in summers.
Avoid wearing cors in rainy wheater or if you are hiking after rain. The reason is, crocs have no traction control or stability for wet wheater. Though they are great for water crossing but are not good in the rain as your feet get slippery, which may lead to injury or difficulty in walking.
If you are going on a long hike like a multiday hike. Then depending only on crocs is not a good idea as you may don’t know exactly how the wheater is going to be on next day.
Difficult of the trail
The second thing that you should consider is the difficulty of the hike. If it’s your first time in crocs, then avoid technical hikes that involve climbing, steep hike, high elevated hike, or declined hikes.
Length of the hike
Nobody can walk in crocs for too long without breaks. So, if you are on a day hike and your hike is more than 5 miles, then you may reconsider using crocs as your hiking footwear.
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Benefits of hiking in crocs
Though crocs may not be a good option for hiking but there is a reason why some hikers recommend and wear these on hikes. Benefits like comfortability, lightweight, dry quickly are some of the benefits of Crocs over hiking boots and the reason for some hikers to choose them.
Fells very light
If you are wearing crocs on the trail then, you are going to feel very light. Crocs weigh around 500 grams a pair, which is way less than hiking boots and also less than hiking shoes. Though the weight may go up and down according to the brand, and the material used to make croc.
No wet problem
This may be the best thing about Crocs that can be proved good for hiking in several ways. The first benefit of this is, that you can cross any river without any worry about getting your shoes wet. These are basically waterproof.
Though hiking boots are also waterproof, however because of the mesh and in case if the water is higher than the shoe’s length, then the water gets inside, which increases the weight of the shoes and it takes too long to get dry, especially if its boot. On the other hand, there is no such problem with crocs.
Cost you less
Another benefit of crocs is that they cost you way less than hiking boots. You can buy a great pair of Crocs for around $40 which is affordable for anyone who is going hiking.
The price of crocs may also vary from brand to brand. You can easily find crocs less than $40, which are also great. While there are also crocs that go up to $80 which is almost the same or starting of hiking shoes.
But the fact about hiking shoes that comes at prove of $80 are not durable and comfortable for many hikers. However, there are some or very few hiking shoes that are best at this price.
Best camping footwear
crocs are one the best footwear to wear on a flat surface like or in a minimum space. Because of the comfort crocs provide, now most thru-hikers carry them on long hikes and wear them at the end of the day on the campsite.
Crocs are super comfortable, more than flip-flops. If you are a person who wants comfort under your feet then cross is a good option.
Ventilation is another plus of crocs over hiking shoes and boots. Beaches crocs have open ventilation, it dries quickly. However, this is not the case with hiking boots as they are built heavy and more protective for feet, which makes them less breathable.
Though hiking boots or shoes also have some ventilation (hiking shoes have more), but is not enough to prevent sweaty feet or blisters. Sweaty feet are one of the most common problems with hiking boots and shoes, especially if you are hiking in the summer and have sweaty feet.
Further, these sweaty feet can lead to swelling, which is common to many hikers. To know more about foot swelling while hiking, click here – How Much do Feet Swell when Hiking?
Blisters is another very common issue, and all hikers have them at least once. Blisters can be because of many things, sometimes it is because of feet pressure at one point. This means it can happen in both hiking boots and Crocs.
To know more about blisters while hiking and how to treat blisters, check out our article – Is Hiking Dangerous ?
Disadvantages of hiking in crocs
Just like benefits, wearing crocs on a hike has its own downsides that make most hikers avoid them. Let’s see what are the downsides
The main problem with crocs on the trail is that you get less grip in contrast to hiking boots or hiking shoes.
The main reason why crocs have less grip or traction control than hiking boots is because of the thin sole. Hiking boots are designed especially for hiking conditions, so the grip of boots is also pretty strong.
Grip is very important on trails as it prevents you from getting slipped or falling down which may lead to a major injury.
Though it’s not that crocs don’t have any grip, they do have grip but that is not enough for slippery stones or wet surfaces. If you are hiking in crocs, just pray that there will be no rain. But can you hike in rain? to find out, check here – Is it ok to hike in the rain?
To keep your shoes or footwear dry in rain check out this detailed guide – How to Keep Shoes Dry when Hiking in the Rain?
Earlier we discussed, that crocs dry quickly but this is not true when water falls continuously from up in the form of rain. During rain, it’s hard to maintain your grip inside the crocs as your feet may start slipping.
Ankle rolls is common in hiking but that’s why most hikers wear hiking boots to prevent ankle roll on elevated and decline trail. However, this is not true in the case of crocs, as there are more chances of ankle roll because of no ankle support.
Ankle support is important to prevent ankle and ankle injuries that occur during hiking on an elevated or declined surface. Because of no ankle support, it becomes difficult to keep to get grip on the surface, especially on an inclined trail.
The wrong fitting can also be the reason for ankle rolls – For that check out this article – How to Tell if Hiking Boots are too Big?
Painful on sharp rocks
Rocks or pointy things on the trail, make it hard to walk in crocs as you will feel the rocks or sharp objects through the crocs.
The main reason for that is the thin and rubber sole of croc, which is too soft for rugged terrain.
However, this is not a big problem if you are used to hiking in crocs as your feet are adapted to it. On the other hand, if you are like me, with soft feet because you never walked barefoot or in crocs before, and you prefer comfort and safety, then it is going to be difficult for you.
You can use hiking poles to reduce the pressure on a particular point. But most hikers don’t find hiking poles useful. But they are useful if you know how to use them properly. To know check this article – How to Use Trekking Poles
Because every hiking boot or shoe that is available in the market is focused on providing comfort to the feet, makes our feet too comfortable and soft that we will feel ached or pain if we walk in flip flops or crocs on rugged terrain.
Well, there are still hikers who hike barefoot and in flip-flops, but the number is very less for such hikers.
Doesn’t hold the feet well
Another problem you will be facing while hiking in crocs is the feet slipping and coming out of croc, especially if you have sweaty feet or crocs get wet.
This is because of various reasons. The first is no support for feet(no heel or toe protection). And there is no system in croc that keeps your feet gripped at one place, like in hiking boots.
Note: If you are wearing crocs for hiking, then I recommend you to wear socks if you are hiking on a dry trail to avoid blisters. Some people as long use cream or vaseline to avoid rubbing but that will make your feet slippery. However, if you are walking for a short hike, then you may not need socks for that. But if you want to avoid blisters, this is the only option that may prevent blisters. Check – 10 Best summer hiking shoes
More on socks: How to Wash Darn Tough Socks
Is hiking in crocs good for you?
You should not hike in crocs if you are a beginner and don’t used to hiking in crocs. Moreover, you should also avoid hiking in crocs if the trail is technical or there are too many rocks on the trail.
You can wear crocs on a short trail that is less than 5 miles. There is no specific limit that how much should you hike in crocs, it depends from person to person but the longer you wear crocs, the more uncomfortable you will feel, especially on slippery and technical trails.
Best alternative to crocs for hiking
There could be many reasons why one wants to wear crocs for hiking like, how lightweight are they, or because of breathability. Besides that, they are also some people who choose crocs because of the price.
Budget can be the main issue for some people as hiking boots cost so much, and for some people who are not earning or doing part-time jobs, $150 can be a good amount of money, and they don’t want to waste it on hiking shoes which they going to use rarely. So, for them what could be a better option if not crocs.
Trail runners or running shoes – trail runners and running shoes are perfect for short and simple hikes. Most hikers wear trail runners for summer hikes. If you are confused what are the best trail runners or hiking shoes for short hikes. Then check out this article here-10 Best summer hiking shoes
Crocs to consider for hiking
There is no experiment done on crocs for hiking. But that doesn’t mean, you just simply buy any croc that may get damaged during your hike. So, to avoid any such situation, I have searched and personally asked hikers who have already done hiking in crocs.
I’m not telling you to buy specifically this brand crocs, as you may get better deals and quality at less price. This is only if you don’t want to waste your time on the internet just searching which is going to work best for hiking because there are not many reviews about crocs used in hiking.
Merrell hydro croc
Merrell is one of the popular brands for hiking shoes. However, they also make crocs that are comfortable and super breathable. The big vents on the upside of the croc provide great ventilation during summers and prevent any sweat. There is a heel strap at the end which holds the feet in one place.
This pair cost you $50, and that’s my recommendation to you. If you want to hike in crocs for miles. You can always go with another option if you find one.
Check on the official website – Merrell Hydro croc