Kigo Edge

As any lightweight backpacker knows, "camp shoes" are a debate. What is a lightweight camp shoe? And what purpose does it serve? Previously, the all too common Croc was it. While comfy, they are incredibly bulky, difficult to pack, and let's be honest -- hideous. When the Kigo Edge was found, it answered nearly all of my hopes for a camp shoe.

These unisex shoes are meant for the barefoot community which is growing these days. It's a minimalist shoe with the sole (pun intended) purpose of keeping your foot protected, without correcting any of the natural movement it makes. For me, that means keeping my foot clear of any pinecones, or pine needles lurking around our camp site, and with the sole rolling over the top of the toe, it prevents the ever painful stubbing of toes.

My favorite part about the show is how small they are. They pack down nearly flat, allowing me to stuff them in any crevice of my pack, and keep from having to dangle them off the back. The less dangling on the back of my pack, the happier I am (no noise or annoying banging). Weighing in at about 5 ounces a pair, they are super light without lacking protection.

One thing I didn't realize they would be used for as often as they have been, are stream crossings. Or should I say raging river crossings. These tight fitting shoes stay sturdy under my feet even when my legs and trekking poles are vibrating from the rushing water. Andy hasn't been as lucky, as his Crocs (unfortunately, Kigo doesn't make size 13 shoes!) slip and slide, preventing him from getting a stable step in the water.

While these guys aren't the fastest driers in the world, it's easy to twist and turn them to squeeze out most of the water. With the Edge, you have to go a size up as they are made to be tight, and I even when a size up from that so I could fit my socks in there (heavyweight merino wool socks with the Kigos makes for a comfy, soft, and cushiony way to end the day!).

I've hiked tons of miles in these on the trail and around towns in the past three months, and so far there's no sight of wear and tear. Will be perfect for Tenkara fishing too! With the superb traction, simple design, and protective sole, these have been the perfect camp shoe.

-- Ian