Crocs are hugely popular lightweight shoes that are extremely comfortable. Everyone knows the classic Crocs design that was created primarily as beachwear and now everyday shoes. However, are Crocs good for hiking or walking long distances?
As people know that Crocs are highly affordable and they find them comfortable it isn’t a shock that people consider them for other activities other than what they were originally created for.
The question is can Crocs replace your hiking shoes or boots and handle rough terrain or should you spend the money and invest in a pair of shoes that have been designed for hiking trails?
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Can You Wear Crocs When Hiking?
Crocs are not suitable footwear to use as hiking shoes. This is because Crocs do not offer ankle support, suitable cushioning, or good traction for walking on uneven terrain. They are also not waterproof which means that you would be unable to keep your feet dry in wet weather.
A good hiking shoe has to fulfill basic criteria in order to protect your feet and whilst Crocs are comfortable for everyday wear they are not made for walking on a hiking trail or rocky terrain.
When you are looking for hiking shoes you need them to be able to do the following:
Offer Ankle Support
Are crocs good for hiking? Well no because they have absolutely no ankle support which is crucial for a hiking shoe. Ankle support helps to protect your feet and joints from twisting and bruising when you are walking all day on rough ground.
Give Great Traction and Stability
When you are on a rough trail that is rocky and uneven and the weather is wet it can be easy to slip and fall. A hiking shoe or boot has suitable traction to keep you upright and help with stability.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Whilst Crocs are great for the beach and are able to dry off in the sun they are not good on a wet trail. Water will simply get inside the ventilation holes in the shoes and soak your feet.
Have Suitable Cushioning and Arch Support
Crocs are known for their comfort but they have not been manufactured with sufficient cushioning for a long hiking trip which will put pressure on your feet and joints. Some have arch support which may be important if you have foot problems or flat feet but each design is different.
Protect Feet From Stones and Debris
Walking on rough terrain can be dirty and the trails can be covered in stones and debris. Hiking boots protect your feet from these getting to your feet but Crocs ventilation holes allow them to enter your footwear where they can cause injuries or foot pain.
Be Breathable to Prevent Sweaty Feet
Whilst Crocs might seem like breathable shoes because of their ventilation holes they actually do not wick away moisture. That means if you are wearing them on a hiking trail and you get sweaty feet that will hang around causing problems like blisters.
What You Should Be Wearing – Good Hiking Boots
Hiking in Crocs is a bad idea which is why you should always buy a pair of regular hiking boots or shoes if you want to take up this hobby.
There are some amazing boots available on the market that can help you go on long-distance hikes. If you want a good hiking shoe take a look at the following makes and brands that are known for creating footwear that is perfect for long-distance walking.
Best Overall Hiking Boot – Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boots
Best Mid-Priced Hiking Boot – Foxelli Men’s Hiking Boots
Boots for Hiking on a Budget – NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
Saloman makes great waterproof hiking boots that are great for trail walking or for use on longer hikes.
These have really good traction to help with any uneven terrain and can work really well even if it is wet so that you can walk safely.
These also have an EVA midsole which means that they are super comfortable even if you are walking long distances.
A great mid-range option is these Foxelli hiking boots that have also been built with comfort in mind.
These particular hiking shoes have foam innersoles as well as shock-absorbent midsoles which will help to protect your feet and joints preventing injuries and foot pain.
These are also waterproof and breathable so they can cope with wet weather but won’t leave your feet sweaty and slippery.
If you are on a budget then the NORTIV 8 Hiking boot comes in men’s and women’s designs and works really well as a hiking shoe.
These are built for good traction which means that you should have a good grip when you are walking around in them.
They are also lightweight which makes them easier to walk in even though they have that extra traction to keep you safe.
Are Crocs Good for Walking?
Are Crocs good for walking? Well there is no definitive answer to this as it will depend on a number of things including:
- The distance you want to walk.
- The terrain you are going to be walking on.
- The weather.
- Your general foot health.
It is well known that Crocs are comfortable footwear if you are using them around the house, in the garden, or at the beach. Most people find them perfectly acceptable footwear for walking around in when they are outside and the weather is good.
People may also use them on a camping trip or as water shoes in outdoor settings.
Crocs however aren’t known as shoes that are worn for walking long distances. This is because of many of the points I discussed earlier. They aren’t great at walking on slippy rough terrain, they aren’t really suitable footwear for the rainy season (and certainly not snow) plus they lack support.
If you have foot problems such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis you may need specialist orthotics or insoles in your shoes which these don’t have.
This means that whilst they may be comfortable shoes you should leave them at home for longer hikes and walks. They are probably fine for shorter distance walking perhaps up to a couple of miles but beyond that, it makes sense to choose footwear that has been designed for lengthy walks.
Can You Wear Crocs Outside?
Crocs are definitely shoes that have been built for the outdoor enthusiast. Whilst they are not suitable for walking on a hiking trip they are great footwear for use outside especially when the weather is fine.
Many people wear Crocs when they are gardening for example. This is because the Crocs are comfortable and lightweight and also can cope with a bit of dirt due to their rugged outsole.
Crocs are great shoes to clean because you can stick them under a tap, give them a scrub and let them dry and they look exactly the same. This is why the beach is another area where they are regularly worn and the sand is easily removed from the shoes.
Are Crocs good for hiking? Well, I’ve already mentioned that they are not good for walking long distances but who is to say that you can’t use them as water shoes. Attach the lightweight shoes to your backpack and swap shoes if you need to paddle through the water. You can keep your hiking boots dry and allow the Crocs to get wet because they generally dry fast.
You can also use Crocs as shoes for short walks when the weather is nice so they are quite versatile.
There is just one controversial point in that Crocs are considered by some to be shoes that should never be worn in a social setting or as regular shoes because they are ugly. Certainly, you aren’t going to get fashion points for wearing them. If however, you don’t care what people say and are only concerned with practicality then choose Crocs if you want to wear them.
Are Hiking Crocs A Thing?
Are Crocs good for hiking? Well, Crocs have muddied the waters by creating designs with names to suggest that this is what you could be using them for.
As an example, their Crocs Classic Unisex Hiker Clog is clearly named to give the impression that their shoes can be used for walking long distances.
These have added heights on the sole and also a sawtooth outsole for traction. The suggestion is that the Crocs brand does create shoes that could be used as regular hiking shoes.
These also have pivoting heel straps so that they are more secure on your feet and they suggest that the ventilation holes help to get rid of water and debris.
Certainly, the reviews for these are overwhelmingly positive for comfort so, of course, you are welcome to give them a try to see how they hold up.
However unlike hiking boots part of your foot is not protected, debris is not automatically going to work its way out of every hole, and if it rains your feet are going to get soaking wet if you are wearing them.
Rather than taking the name literally, you are better off wearing them on more even ground for shorter distances and periods of time to see how they hold up.
Crocs Trail Shoes
Crocs also have what they call All-Terrain Clogs that they believe are suitable for more rugged outdoor use.
These Crocs are not used for hiking but for walking on trails whether that be in the mountains, forests or camping areas. Trail shoes tend to be lighter than regular hiking shoes and boots.
Crocs suggest that these have the capabilities to deal with harsh environments because they have a rugged outsole and adjustable strap. They are also lightweight so easy to pack.
Again if you want to buy a pair you can decide for yourself whether they are suitable to use for walking on trails. Whilst Crocs say their designs may be useful for this type of walking most podiatrists seem very much against using them for long periods of time.
Are Crocs Good For Walking on Rocks?
Are Crocs slippery? Well, the traction that is available on your Crocs will depend on the design that you choose.
Regular Crocs are designed with little traction which means that they are not going to be the best hiking shoes especially if you plan to walk on rocks covered with moss or algae.
Whilst their Hiker Clog has more traction than most it makes sense to wear safer hiker shoes when you are walking over very rough ground.
Are Crocs Good For Walking In Water?
I also mentioned that Crocs can be useful for walking in water but do they actually take the place of water shoes?
Crocs can generally be used if you are planning to wear them in small streams or shallow areas of water where you don’t have to walk that far and where the ground is not that uneven.
As Crocs are easy to dry and lightweight they can cope quite well with minor water routes.
If however, you are planning to walk or wade through faster running water or you know the ground below your feet is very uneven and rocky then they make much less sense.
Good water shoes should offer foot protection and have good traction so that you can walk with stability and comfort. Crocs however have significantly less traction and also are prone to letting stones and debris into your footwear which can cause problems.
If you are looking for hiking water shoes think about buying a specialist pair such as these SOBASO Water Shoes instead of relying on Crocs which are not really up to the job for heavy-duty water walking.
Wearing Crocs At the End of The Day
So are Crocs good for hiking? Well as I’ve hopefully shown they are not going to cut it you want safe and stable shoes to wear on your feet over rough terrain.
Croc might be lightweight, relatively cheap, and comfortable for shorter usage they aren’t designed for long hikes.
You could however always wear them at the end of a long day on the trails at your campsite or hotel to allow your feet to recover from wearing heavier hiking boots. This is where their classic clogs come into their own and help keep your feet cool and comfortable after a long day on your feet.
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