• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Woolloomooloo Fraser shoe review: No socks, no ties for perfect camp shoes

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Oct 18, 2022

Camp slippers and sandals slipped from first place in my pick of simple, fuss-free, and comfortable camp shoes. Woolloomooloo took their place.

Here’s my pro tip for finding winning camp gear: If it saves space in your bag and doesn’t smell bad, it makes the cut. As you might have guessed, socks go against this simple rule pretty quickly. They quickly gobble up valuable real estate and the less you bring, the more they stink.

I’m not saying don’t bring socks when camping. But I say the less you need, the better.

When it came to my go-to shoes for camp, sturdy slippers — like Merrell, Teva, and The North Face — had become a go-to item. They saved me the hassle and smell of old socks, they’re super comfortable, and they offer just enough protection to move around 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-frills Australian camp slipper that will save storage space that you would have used for socks.

In short: If you’re looking for the perfect blend of comfort, simplicity and utility, look no further than Woolloomooloo. The combination of natural wool and an easy-first design creates a shoe that hits all the marks for total comfort that’s casual and comfortable. camping shoe. It may not be perfect for all activities, but it is perfect for what it was designed for.

What about sandals?

Footwear at camp is essential – 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 choice. And they’re awesome – they’re durable, safe, exceptional in the water, and lots of people swear by their comfort.

But not everyone embraces the open lifestyle, and I’m one of them. The straps that cross my toes drive me crazy, and the hard rubber soles and open construction of the sturdy sandals often leave my feet dry and cracked.

And Crocs… well, I have nothing but respect for anyone who adopts Crocs.

(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)

Woolloomooloo Fraser Review

Fraser Woolloomooloo shoes

  • Upper: knitting merino wool
  • Outsole: recycled EVA
  • Insole: merino wool
  • The cage: Elastic without knot
  • Price: $150

Enter Woolloomooloo camp shoes. Unlike the Johnny-come-lately outdoor sandals and slippers that most people throw on after a hard day of hiking, the Fraser Woolloomooloo shoes offer greater protection and functionality.

I also have some camp slippers, and they are super comfortable. But for general use around camp, especially if I’m hanging out on the odd bramble bush or loose gravel, they feel a bit too relaxed. And their ability to ward off stray pebbles is… inconsistent.

What I love about the Woolloomooloo Fraser is that it’s as comfortable as my camp slippers. But it works much better like a real shoe. It works just as well for light, non-technical hikes as it does for commuting around town.

Here’s what I like.

The cage

Woolloomooloo uses elastic shoelaces with a simple knotless knot at the ends. This clever knot lets you put on and forget about laces, so you can put them on and take them off as easily as a slipper.

It’s such a great feature that the brand has adopted the knot as a riff on its sheep logo.

fraser shoes
(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)

No socks, no stink

The virtues of merino wool are too many to count – and much of the industry marketing has already done well to educate the world. But if one aspect bears repeating here, it’s that unlike synthetics, merino is fantastic at fighting odors, especially human odors.

It’s great in base layers and, I’ve found, even better in shoes.

I was very skeptical of the brand’s “wear them without socks” claims despite my knowledge of merino. Come on, we all had that teenage phase without socks and the sneakers that then had to be encased in concrete and sent back to Mount Doom.

So no one was as surprised as me that these woolen shoes actually work! I wore them without socks everyday to camp along for a bike ride. So after a grueling 60 miles through the Rockies, I threw on my crampons and threw myself into Woolloomooloo’s Fraser shoes for camp. I kept them hidden under my hallway every night and couldn’t detect any foul smell.

I’ve had the shoes for about 6 months now and wear them on camp trips and at home – mostly without socks. Still, no stench. Color me impressed!

hot to cold

The final winning feature with Woolloomooloo Fraser shoes (beyond telling people the name) is another feature of wool. It’s hot at the same time and breathable.

I tested these shoes all summer long, 90 degree afternoons and 80 degree (Fahrenheit) evenings around a campfire. My feet remained perfectly comfortable throughout.

And with the onset of fall, shoes are just as cozy on chilly nights, with or without socks.

What is Not to like

Despite how well these shoes do, I have a few wishlist items they couldn’t fill. First and foremost, the Frasers are as robust as possible with Woolloomooloo. And frankly, it’s not very sturdy.

I’m not necessarily looking for deep lugs to handle gnarly trails. But the tread pattern and EVA sole are clearly not meant to take much abuse. So even though they are super close to your campsite, I wouldn’t seek them out for longer hikes.

Also (it’s nitpicking) I’d like a really bendable heel. This is, of course, a very fine detail. But as easy as it is to slip these shoes on and off, when I have to crawl out of my tent at 2 a.m. to answer nature’s call, I’m not exactly firing on all cylinders.

So the ability to slip into shoes for the short jaunt through the bushes would be nice.

fraser shoes
(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)

A note on sustainability

The Fraser is not bombproof. Sharp sticks and pokey objects, which abound on the exterior, will abrade the knit upper. That said, I’ve been using this pair all summer and now in the fall, and despite having battle scars, the Woolloomooloos have performed just fine.

I will continue testing to see if and when they die.

Fraser Woolloomooloo 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 an almost perfect blend of comfort and practicality.

They’re hassle-free, comfortable, and just as useful for strolling around a campsite as they are for heading to brunch.

Head to Woolloomooloo to find out more and get yourself a pair.

See the Fraser of Woolloomooloo

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