Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Adventure travel footwear

My adventure travel footwear wardrobe – The bomber flips still in the box awaiting their maiden voyage

Women are often poked fun at for having too many shoes or for their love of shoes. A question pondered by many ladies when invited to a gathering or an event is what will I wear? A central point in any wardrobe dilemma is what pair of shoes will match the outfit.

Although I do not worry about matching shoes with an outfit, I can sympathize with the shoe question. As an adventure travel enthusiast who dips his feet in many different outdoor activities, I am slowly growing quite an impressive footwear wardrobe. When I ponder a new destination, one of my first thoughts is what will I wear? I usually do not say it out loud for fear of ridicule, but when I think this, the biggest concern is what shoe will fit the environment.

There are tons of different options out there. For every activity there is a specialization option and then there are some shoes that are like cross-trainers and can be used for a multitude of recreation. It depends on how serious you are and how often you participate in the activity whether you should pursue a specialized option or the cross-trainer.

Here is a list of my footwear wardrobe and what activity I utilize each shoe for.

Vibram Fivefingers

The Vibram Fivefingers

Vibram Five Fingers

The Vibram Fivefinger shoe is a great river shoe. You can jump out of your canoe without worrying about getting your feet wet. They have great tread even underwater, so when getting out of the canoe they work great even on slippery rocks. The Vibram is also nice for light hiking and a good beach shoe.

Vibram Fivefingers canoeing

The perfect river shoe on the Chicago River

I initially thought the Vibram would make a great camp shoe. This means the shoe you wear casually around the camp after hiking or canoeing, but I do not like them for this. They take forever to dry and having wet feet in camp is not fun. Also, the fabric is too thin to protect from mosquitoes who can stick their little proboscis through the mesh. If you do use as a camp shoe spray them with dope.

LL Bean boot

This boot is also a great canoeing shoe, but not for a river that is shallow or has rapids. You do not really want to jump into the river with these shoes. If water crests the top of the boot then it really bogs you down, and this scenario could even become dangerous. These boots are ideal for lake canoeing for a trip like the Boundary Waters or Quetico. The Bean boot is also great for hiking in muddy rainforests if the terrain is not too rugged. They keep your feet dry and free from mud, but lack of ankle support would not make it useful for hardcore hiking.

LL Bean boot in Quetico

LL Bean boot on the shoreline while the author takes a dip in Quetico Provincial Park

REI gore-tex boot

These are my current hiking boots. I wear them for hardcore backpacking and also for light hiking if the terrain is too much for the vibram or for Teva sandals.

Fischer cross-country ski boots

One nice thing about cross-country skiing is there is no footwear dilemma. I don’t lose any sleep wondering what shoe I will be wearing on the cross-country ski trail the next day. It is all specialization here.

Teva Sandals

Tevas are so prolific in the sandal word that the phrase Teva sandal is redundant. Most people just refer to their sandals as their Tevas. For sandals, these shoes are quite useful for canoeing, camp shoes, beach shoes, and even some light hiking. If you are wearing them in camp be sure to put on socks and spray the socks with mosquito spray.

What I love about Tevas are their durability. Every sandal I have ever purchased from them has lasted over fiver years. These five years are not characterized by gentle use as I wear them constantly both at home, traveling internationally, and doing outdoor activities.

Teva Riva hiking boots

The beautiful Teva Rivas

Speaking of the Teva front: I have received Tiva Riva hiking boots from Nature Shop and bomber flips from Teva themselves. I will be reviewing both this spring and summer.

What is your favorite adventure shoe?

Any adventure travel outlets out there want to upgrade or add to my footwear wardrobe? Feel free to drop me a line, and I will happily try your shoes out in return for a review.

Stay tuned,


The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).