Camp slippers and sandals have slid from the top spot in my choice of simple, no-hassle, comfy camp footwear. Woolloomooloo has taken their place.
Here’s my pro tip for finding winning camp gear: If it saves space in your pack and won’t smell bad, it makes the cut. As you may have guessed, socks pretty quickly run afoul of this simple rule. They quickly gobble valuable real estate and the fewer you bring, the more they will stink.
I’m not saying to not bring socks camping. But I am saying the fewer you need, the better off you’ll be.
When it comes to my ideal footwear for camp, ruggedized slippers — like Merrell, Teva, and The North Face — had become a must-bring item. They saved me the hassle and odor of old socks, they’re super comfy, and they offer just enough protection to move about the campsite without worrying about stepping on something pokey.
But while I love my camp slippers, I came across a camp shoe design that immediately stole my heart (and sole)! The Woolloomooloo Fraser Shoe — a no-nonsense Australian camp slipper that will save pack space you would have used for socks.
In short: If you’re looking for a perfect blend of comfort, simplicity, and utility, look no further than Woolloomooloo. The combination of natural wool and an ease-first design creates a shoe that hits all the marks for an all-around cozy, casual, and comfortable camp shoe. It might not be perfect for all activities, but it’s perfect for what it was made for.
What About Sandals?
Footwear at camp is critical — nature has a-million-and-one variations on things that will hurt your feet. So for three-season camping, sandals like Chaco and Teva seem like an easy go-to. And they are great — they’re durable, secure, outstanding in water, and many folks swear by their comfort.
But not everyone embraces the open-toe lifestyle, and I’m one of them. Straps that go through my toes drive me crazy, and the hard rubber soles and open construction of rugged sandals often leave my feet dry and cracked.
And Crocs … well, I have nothing but respect for everyone who embraces Crocs.
Woolloomooloo Fraser Review
Woolloomooloo Fraser Shoes
- Upper: Knit merino wool
- Outsole: Recycled EVA
- Insole: Merino wool
- Lacing: No-tie elastic
- Price: $150
Enter Woolloomooloo camp shoes. Unlike sandals and the Johnny-come-lately outdoor slippers that most folks don after a hard day of hiking, the Woolloomooloo Fraser Shoes offer greater protection and functionality.
I also have some camp slippers, and they’re super cozy. But for general use around camp, especially if I’m traipsing over the odd bramble bush or some loose gravel, they feel a little too casual. And their ability to ward off errant pebbles is … inconsistent.
What I love about the Woolloomooloo Fraser is that it’s just as comfy as my camp slippers. But it functions much better as a real shoe. It works for light, non-technical hikes and trips to town alike.
Here’s what I love.
Woolloomooloo employs bungee laces with a simple, no-tie knot at the ends. This nifty knot allows you to set and forget the laces, so that you can put ’em on and take ’em off as easily as a slipper.
It’s such a good feature that the brand adopted the knot as a riff on its sheep logo.
No Socks, No Stink
The virtues of merino wool are too many to count — and largely, the industry’s marketing has already done well at educating the world. But if one aspect bears repeating here, it’s that, unlike synthetic materials, merino is fantastic at fighting odors — particularly, human odors.
This is great in base layers and, I’ve found, it’s even better in shoes.
I was highly skeptical of the brand’s “wear them sockless” claims despite my knowledge of merino. Come on, we all had that teenage no-socks phase and the sneakers that had to subsequently be encased in concrete and cast back into Mount Doom.
So no one was as surprised as me that these wool shoes actually work! I wore them without socks every day at camp along a bike tour. So after 60 grueling miles through the Rockies, I’d kick off my cleats and ease into the Woolloomooloo Fraser Shoes for camp. I kept them tucked under my vestibule every night and detected no hints of foul odor.
I’ve now had the shoes for about 6 months and wear them on camp trips and at home — most of the time without socks. Still, no stink. Color me impressed!
Hot to Cold
The final winning feature with the Woolloomooloo Fraser Shoes (beyond saying the name to people) is another hallmark of wool. It’s both warm and breathable.
I tested these shoes throughout summer, from 90-degree afternoons and 80-degree (Fahrenheit) evenings around a campfire. My feet remained perfectly comfortable throughout.
And with the change-over to fall, the shoes are just as cozy on cool nights, with or without socks.
What’s Not to Love
Despite all that these shoes do well, I do have some wishlist items they could not fulfill. First and foremost, the Frasers are as rugged as it gets with Woolloomooloo. And frankly, that’s not very rugged.
I’m not necessarily looking for deep lugs to manage gnarly trail. But the tread pattern and EVA sole clearly aren’t meant to endure much abuse. So while they’re great near your campsite, I wouldn’t reach for them for longer treks.
Also (this is nitpicking), I would love a truly collapsible heel. That is, admittedly, a really fine detail. But as easy as it is to get into and out of these shoes, when I have to crawl out of my tent at 2:00 a.m. to answer nature’s call, I’m not exactly firing on all cylinders.
So the ability to slide into some shoes for the short jaunt to the bushes would be lovely.
A Note on Durability
The Fraser is not bombproof. Sharp sticks and pokey things, which abound in the outdoors, will abrade the knit upper. That said, I’ve been using this pair all summer and now into fall, and though it has some battle scars, the Woolloomooloos have functionally held up just fine.
I’ll continue testing to see if and when they give up the ghost.
Woolloomooloo Fraser Camp Shoes
So what’s the takeaway here? I’ve tried slippers and I’ve tried sandals, and the Woolloomooloo Fraser is the best camp shoe I’ve ever had. It’s a near-perfect blend of coziness and practicality.
They are hassle-free, comfortable, and just as useful shuffling around a campsite as they are walking to brunch.
Head over to Woolloomooloo to learn more and snag a pair for yourself.See the Woolloomooloo Fraser