Crocs are arguably some of the comfiest shoes and are loved because they are easy to slip on and are extremely breathable. Beloved by many, it makes sense that people would want to wear them for all activities. However, can you go on a hike while wearing Crocs?
It is possible to hike in Crocs, but it is not recommended they likely won’t be comfortable. If someone chooses to wear Crocs while hiking, it is suggested that they put them in ‘sport’ mode to maximize the grip. However, Crocs have large holes that twigs and rocks can easily get into.
While it is totally possible to embark on a hike in Crocs, there is a combination of certain factors that should be considered before making this decision.
Type of Hike
This is arguably the most important factor when deciding if hiking in Crocs is for you. There are some terrains, climates, and mileages that might not be appropriate for this type of shoe, but ultimately that is something you would have to determine for yourself. I personally wouldn’t suggest Crocs for a hike that is longer than 4 miles.
In my experience, the standard Crocs were surprisingly pretty comfortable to wear on rocky, wet, and uneven terrain for several miles. I would use caution if this is the type of hike you are embarking on because for me, rocks that were slick did feel a little scary to climb and walk on. You also risk rocks getting in your shoe.
I would have to add that a type of hike that Crocs might not be properly equipped for includes a desert climate. Unless you own the type of Crocs that don’t have holes in them, this is generally not a good idea because in desert climates it is common that there are bugs that will bite if they climb in through the gaps. There are also sharp plants that would hurt if they stab you through the holes. Neither of these things is serious, but they are uncomfortable and can be painful and annoying.
Types of Crocs
If you weren’t aware, Crocs are available in a variety of different styles and types. They create products ranging from wedges to boots and sandals. The cool thing about this is that they each have different purposes with different features to support them. Some types include the standard shoe, All-Terrain, and Work Crocs.
The standard Croc is a plastic shoe with holes in it for breathability. It is created this way to be easy to clean and it doesn’t absorb any water. It has a pivoting heel strap and is so lightweight that it floats.
This company has actually created a line of shoes that’s purpose is to be all-terrain. They are a different style than the regular clogs they produce. Because their purpose is to be all-terrain, the design of the strap that wraps around the back of your foot is different from their typical shoe. Instead of being the same plastic as the rest of the shoe, it features a cushioned fabric heel strap that’s tightness can be adjusted to be more snug around your foot. (Source)
The Crocs Specialist Clog is a closed-toe shoe with no holes and a slip-resistant tread. This shoe’s intended purpose is actually for kitchen workers because the closed-toe feature prevents any spilled liquids from entering the shoe. The material of the Croc itself is also made thicker to provide additional safety in case items fall on the workers’ feet. The slip-resistant tread is to combat the slipperiness of kitchen floors. (Source)
The last product that would be suitable for hiking would be the boot selection. The Jaunt Shorty Boot and Classic Neo Puff are especially good options because one is made like a plastic rain boot and the other is made like a snow boot with insulation and a ‘spiked’ tread. Both are good for the outdoors but are for more specific environments. (Source)
Due to the fact that there are a few different types of Crocs that people commonly own, it is important to discuss how each type would do in all terrains or an outdoor setting.
The standard Croc design wouldn’t be my number one suggestion for any hike because there are no special features making it suitable to hike in. However, in my personal experience, they did the job fine, it just wasn’t comfortable. Rocks, twigs, and other debris got into my shoe and because the heel strap wasn’t adjustable, my foot slid a lot.
It is not surprising that the All-Terrain shoe is the most suitable for hiking. I think that the best part about it is the adjustable strap around the back of the foot. When hiking it is vital that you have shoes that are snug on your feet to prevent slippage, increase security, and decrease the chances of injury. It appears the only downside is the holes, but they could actually be helpful if you encounter water.
Although intended for kitchen workers, the Crocs Specialist Clog has a lot of features that would be useful for hiking. Specifically, I think that this line would be good for a desert terrain because the closed-toe and thicker sole feature will give protection to your feet from things like thorns, rocks, or bugs on the ground. I would not recommend it for a hike that includes water though because there are no holes for drainage.
The Classic Lined Neo Puff or the Jaunt Shorty Boot could be suitable options for terrains that are rainy, wet, or cold. The Neo Puff boot has two different models but both feature insulated padding around the ankle. The Classic Neo Puff Luxe Boot would be the better option for hiking in snow, as it has a lot of grip, adjustability, and insulation. The Jaunt Shorty Boot looks similar to a rain boot and is entirely plastic which is handy to keep water out, this boot would be preferred for rainy or wet terrains.
I have personally hiked in Crocs before and I am alive to tell the tale. It is definitely possible to hike in Crocs, but I would not recommend it. There are much better shoe options for hiking, the most ideal being an actual hiking shoe, but running shoes or even sneakers will be sturdier than Crocs.
To give an idea of the situation I was wearing the standard version of the shoe on a rocky and wet hike. For me, there were several pros and cons. Possibly the most positive thing I experienced was that on part of my hike there was water we had to walk through. The people wearing sneakers had to either take them off or get their shoes and socks soaked, while I was able to walk through and the water drained out through the holes by itself. There was also a decent grip, so I didn’t slip or slide on any of the slick rocks.
However, my feet themselves were slipping inside the shoe. The shoe had a good grip on the terrain but because my feet did not, it wasn’t the most comfortable. Granted, I had the basic Croc that does not have an adjustable strap to secure your foot.