Last Updated: October 24, 2022

Hiking In Crocs: Is It A Good Option?

Hiking in Crocs is something we have probably all wondered about since wearing Crocs is so comfy and easy when around the house and garden. Crocs slip on and off so easily, they are airy so your feet stay dry, super comfy, and they are waterproof too so you can wade through a stream, river, or rock pools too.

But, does hiking in Crocs actually work? This is what we are here to find out. Join me as we run through all the good and bad things about hiking in Crocs so you can decide whether to wear crocs on your next hike or if using traditional hiking boots or hiking shoes is a better option.

Are Crocs Good For Hiking?

hiking

Before we get into the ins and outs of whether hiking in Crocs is a good idea, let’s first take a look at whether Crocs are actually built to be a good hiking shoe for any occasion.

The main consideration you need to think about when choosing hiking crocs, or even some croc alternatives, is the trail and climate you are intending to hike.

It is common sense that wearing crocs on an icy trail in the Himalayas isn’t a good idea since they are not made to keep your feet safe like hiking boots, so what are the pros and cons of hiking in Crocs and what kind of trail are they made for?

Advantages of Hiking in Crocs

crocs shoes

Let’s first look at all the great things about hiking in Crocs as this will give us a picture of when crocs are going to be a better choice than regular hiking shoes and hiking boots.

Breathability

Crocs are some of the most breathable shoes on earth as they feature a ton of webbing holes that allow air to flow through them and let your feet breathe naturally. Being so breathable, the chances of you getting sweaty feet on the trail are close to zero making crocs great for hiking in warm climates.

We have all been on a summer hike in hiking shoes which equals sweaty feet and your feet overheating. This will never happen with Crocs as the sweat will just evaporate quickly away thanks to their breathable nature of them.

Crocs are also 100% waterproof and therefore great as water sandals and hikes where water crossings are necessary. They don’t stop your feet from getting wet but they do try super fast, so you can continue hiking in them when wet and your feet will dry pretty quickly afterward.

Comfort

Crocs are super comfortable shoes, they might not look very cool to most of us, but when you ask someone – are crocs comfortable? They are lying if they say they are uncomfortable.

Crocs are actually designed for comfort, and specifically for people who struggle to find shoes comfortable. They come with heightened ankle support for extra comfort and they have a springy bounce to them that ensures they support your feet well.

Crocs are often described by people who love them as a durable pair of slippers, this is how comfortable they are and it is no surprise that they are worn everywhere.

But will they provide comfort on the trail? Yes, so long as the trail is mellow, you will be able to hike comfortably around in them. You won’t get blisters, you won’t sweat when wearing crocs on the trail and you will have enough cushioning.

Costs & Durability

Another pro of hiking in Crocs is how affordable and durable they are. Crocs are far more affordable than a pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes, especially if you go for the more expensive ones.

When you buy a pair of hiking shoes or boots, you are never guaranteed that they are going to be comfortable either as they can be very hot, sweaty, rub, and cause blisters. This is why wearing Crocs is a much more viable option for a lot of people, especially if they do not hike often.

Crocs are also pretty much indestructible and take years to wear out and therefore will last a lot longer than cheaper hiking shoes and boots. It makes sense why people wear crocs over other options when you look at it from this angle.

Different Types For Different Purposes

You might think of Crocs as the standard clog-style Croc shoe but there are lots of different Croc options out there that might suit your hiking needs better. You can find Croc sandals made for crossing rivers, Croc slip-on shoes, and even smarter Crocs made for use at work.

Be sure to check out the range of Crocs available so you can choose the best crocs for your hiking needs and all your other foot needs too.

Disadvantages of Hiking in Crocs

crocs on pebbles

 

While Crocs do have some great attributes there are some cons when you wear crocs on the trail and these should not be considered lightly.

Thin Tread

The tread on the bottom of crocs is much thinner and smaller than on hiking shoes and boots and this ends up providing you with less grip.

This means if you wear crocs on a gravely trail you won’t have much holding you to the ground and if the trail is steep, life is going to be even harder and you will find yourself slipping around a lot.

The lack of tread also means you can’t get a good grip on wet surfaces either so while they are good in the water, they might be incredibly slippery afterward, which is something to keep in mind.

The Holes Aren’t Always Useful

While the holey design is great for breathability and keeping your feet dry but when you wear crocs barefoot, all the holes let other things in. When hiking in Crocs you simply can not avoid small stones, dust, soil, twigs, leaves, and even bugs from getting in.

This not only creates a hassle while hiking since you will have to take them off all the time to empty them out but it can also hurt your feet. Hiking with a stone in your shoe, or getting your foot stabbed by a thorn, or stung by a bug is not something anyone needs while walking.

The Soles Are Pretty Thin

Despite being comfy, Crocs were not designed to go on intense terrain and have quite a thin sole. This means that they are great for the garden or the shops, but they are not great on sharp rocks as you will end up feeling them poking through into your feet through the thin sole.

If you have ever been hiking in trail runners, tennis shoes, or running shoes you will have experienced this. The discomfort from the immense amount of pressure on your feet from wearing shoes with thin soles can become excruciating on a long hike.

Lack Of Ankle Support

Unlike regular hiking boots, Crocs do not come up around your ankle to provide support and this can be a serious problem when hiking a steep and treacherous trail.

Can you imagine being miles from anywhere and hiking in crocs to go over on your ankle and not be able to walk? That is not a risk I would be willing to take.

Your Feet Slip And Slide

While crocs are great in terms of breathability, they are also rather slippery on the inside. If your feet get sweaty or get wet they will find your feet sliding around on the inside of them.

This is manageable but it becomes very hard when you need to walk quickly or jog after your kid as they run around and you can easily take a tumble.

The movement and rubbing on the inside Crocs can also lead to a lot of discomforts and you may find that blisters come up quickly. You can try to negate this by wearing socks or using insoles but you would need to change your socks often to ensure they stay dry.

When Are Crocs Good For Hiking?

crocs on rocks

 

Based on the pros and cons of hiking in crocs that we have just looked at, you can see that Crocs are not made for hiking in colder climates due to the holes, on slippery surfaces due to the lack of tread, or on steep inclines and tough trails due to the lack of support for your ankles.

Crocs are great to wear though when hiking for less than 5 miles on flat dry terrain that isn’t too rocky. Think of a nice long walk through the countryside with a few shallow stream water crossings and you have found the ideal terrain to hike in Crocs in.

Can You Use Crocs As Water Shoes?

crocs in water

Using Crocs as water shoes is a little different from using them for hiking and like with hiking, they also have their pros and cons as a water shoe too especially when compared to water sandals.

The Pros

The good thing about using crocs in water is that they are 100% waterproof and will not absorb any water. This means you can go barefoot with them through water crossings, dry them off in minutes as they are quick drying, and keep going if you want to.

The holes on the side of the Crocs also act as natural drainage so no water gets stuck in your shoes and you are not walking around with soggy feet for the rest of the day.

Another great thing about Crocs in water is that they stay secure on your feet thanks to the back strap so they aren’t going anywhere even when you are swimming. Crocs also float on water so you can always swim after them if they do happen to fall off your feet.

The Cons

There are some downsides to wearing Crocs in the water though and most of them come from the holes in the Crocs. You are going to collect rocks in your crocks as you wade through water and the holes also leave your feet exposed to whatever lives in the water too, like leeches.

The fact Crocs float is helpful in one way but this also makes them feel like they are trying to run away from you every time you submerge your feet under water. Adding to this, they are bulky and loose fitting, so your feet will slip and slide trying to get a grip as you walk around.

The final negative to Crocs as water shoes is their lack of grip. You are going to find walking on algae-covered stones and loose rocks quite demanding in the water and this can lead to injuries and falling in the water, getting all your clothes wet.

Are Crocs Good For Your Feet?

wearing crocs

If you ask a podiatrist whether Crocs are good for your feet, they will say yes but with some caveats. Crocs are excellent at providing support and cushioning for your arches and are even recommended for people to wear after foot surgery.

Being so breathable and with an anti-microbial layer, they are great at stopping your feet from getting sweaty, smelly, and growing fungus and bacteria.

But, lots of podiatrists also say that Crocs do not provide enough foot support through heel stability for long hikes which can lead to calluses, toe gripping, nail issues, and even tendonitis. This happens because you are always correcting how you walk to make up for the problems with the Crocs.

So, all in all, Crocs are good for your feet when walking around the house or garden but they are not good for your feet if you are walking for long periods of time on intense terrain.

Are Crocs Good for Walking All Day?

Some crocs are made for walking all day while other Crocs are not so good for this. The original Crocs that come in the clog style are not great for all-day strolling since they do not secure your heel properly which makes you compensate and create poor foot health.

But, if you were to wear other types of Crocs such as their tennis shoes and slip-on that provide more heel support and act like a normal shoe, you can be comfortable all day long.

This doesn’t mean that these Crocs compare to proper shoes designed for walking all day long in though, but they will do. Go for the sneaker-style Crocs if you want the best ones for hiking all day in.

Are Crocs Good For The Beach?

wearing crocs on sand

 

Yes, Crocs are awesome to wear at the beach since they work well with bare feet and their holes ensure your feet stay cool on the warmer days. You can also slip them off in an instant to enjoy walking barefoot on the sand and then slip them back on quickly when you get to stones.

Crocs are also waterproof and will not be affected by salt either so they are going to survive just fine. You can also wade into the water wearing them, look around rock pools, and lots more.

They are pretty much the ultimate beach shoe but you will still have to deal with sand and small stones coming into the Crocs, rubbing your feet, and having to pause to empty the debris every now and then too.

Best Crocs For Hiking

The best hiking Crocs for you is quite a personal choice and your best bet is to go with the ones that you think will work best for your hiking needs and trails.

If it was me, I would pick the Offroad Crocs as these are designed for heavier terrain than the others. The sole on these is thicker for more cushioning which makes hiking on sharp rocks a lot more comfortable. You will also find they have much chunkier lugs which provide better traction on slippery surfaces too.

Crocs Crocs Unisex Offroad Sport Clogs, Espresso/Walnut, 4 Men/6 Women
51 Reviews
Crocs Crocs Unisex Offroad Sport Clogs, Espresso/Walnut, 4 Men/6 Women
  • CROCS FOR EVERYONE: Crocs Offroad clogs have rugged lug outsoles with enhanced tread for increased traction and support. This men's and women's clog is ready for it all, even in the harshest environments
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND FUN: The Crocs for men and women feature lightweight Iconic Crocs Comfort. Ventilation ports add breathability and help shed water and debris quickly
  • WHAT SIZE SHOULD I BUY?: These Crocs clogs offer a roomy fit and we recommend ordering a size down to the next largest whole size
  • DESIGNED TO FIT: These slip-on clogs are easy to take on and off, while being extremely durable. These Crocs even offer an adjustable turbo strap lets you dial in the right fit
  • CROCS FOR WOMEN AND MEN: These Crocs clogs are not only the most comfortable shoes for women and men, but also easy to clean just using soap and water and allowing for a quick dry

These crocs also feature a great design as they have fewer holes and a protective toe box which means less debris gets stuck inside them and your feet are well protected too. This makes life so much easier than having to take your Crocs off and empty them all the time!

This type of crocs also comes with an adjustable velcro heel strap which means you can keep them tight and secure on your feet. This not only gives you better foot support but also ensures there is less slipping and sliding to prevent things like blisters.

Also being Crocs, these are also 100% waterproof for water crossings, still very breathable, lightweight, super durable, and lots more. If you are going hiking in Crocs make sure they are the Crocs Offroad Sport Clog. You can also check out these Croc alternatives too! 

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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