Hutte Schuh — Lizard Kross Fills the Bill

Post by blogger | April 20, 2012      

The search for the Treasure of the Sierra Madre holds nothing over my eternal quest for lightweight hut slippers that can double as trailhead stumble footwear.

Kross model shoe by Lizard doubles as a slipper or light walker.

Kross model shoe by Lizard (shown at right above, Wallyworld cheapos to left) doubles as a slipper or light walker. This version is a bit heavy with solid insulated upper, they make mesh versions that might be a few ounces lighter and thus more appropriate for hut shoes. Research continues. Click to enlarge.

For the last few years I’ve simply used a pair of Wal-Mart bedroom slippers that stung my feet like boiling oil unless I wore socks, and had zero traction on snow. They also lasted about as long as a snowflake in July. But they don’t weigh much, don’t cost much, and look fantastic.

Nonetheless, time for a slipper upgrade. At recent trade shows we’d seen that Lizard shoes has a few minimalist shoe offerings that appeared useful for hut footwear. I got a pair of their Kross model for a go on this trip.

With a grippy Vibram sole the Lizard Cross has excellent traction; useful for stumbling around on packed snow at the trailhead or on the hut porch. The upper of this particular model is a soft shell material insulated with a thin Primaloft quilt. A bungie cord drawstring system holds the shoe on your feet. Toe area of the Kross is covered with waterproof coating. They keep your feet quite dry while doing outdoors type duty, but I’ve found them to be hot and sweaty on the feet when used for slipper wear, especially in the non-breathable toe area. Nonetheless I’ve not found anything better for my purposes, so into the pack the Lizard Kross went for our Otztal hut trip. They worked, but a model with thinner and more breathable fabric might be better if you have feet that tend to stay warm without a lot of insulation.

Size 43, 257 grams (9 ounces) each. Not sure if this is their lightest enclosed shoe, but it is definitely low in mass for what you get in performance. Compare to the Crocs Ted is carrying, which weigh about 127 grams (4.48 ounces) each, meaning for MUCH nicer shoes I paid with about 9 ounces. Italians would probably appreciate this sacrifice, though I’m not sure Ted did.

Am not finding much in the way of web shopping for Lizard products, if anyone has suggestions, please leave in comments.


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14 Responses to “Hutte Schuh — Lizard Kross Fills the Bill”

  1. Tom Kennedy April 20th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Cushe slipper or slipper loafer. Lightweight too.

  2. See April 20th, 2012 2:13 pm

    Racing flats, like Mizuno Universes are nice. 7-8 oz. per pair. Weight saved over warmer alternatives can be used to bring another pair of socks. Different sock combinations allow comfort at different temperatures, and extra socks are nice on longer excursions. Plastic bags or stuff sacks over socks might enable limited use in snow. Compact and fast drying. Ridiculously expensive.

  3. Tom Gos April 20th, 2012 3:45 pm

    I think Ted has the right idea with Crocs. They are light and comfortable althougth a little bulky to pack. The Swiss huts I have stayed in all provided hut shoes, usually Crocs. Lou, do the Austrian huts not provide shoes for guests to use?

  4. Mark April 20th, 2012 7:49 pm

    I’m wearing a pair of those walmart slippers RIGHT NOW! Thank you China!

  5. Lou April 20th, 2012 10:02 pm

    Tom, the huts have slippers if you want… I’m pretty careful about my feet, so I like having something of my own, also, I like something that works for stumbling around outside taking photos and stuff, thus a more substantial “slipper” such as the Kross is what I’m always experimenting with.

    Crocs are the standard for something more substantial than slippers, but they’re still too minimal for my taste and when I wear them it changes my personality (grin), but I may end up with Crocs in the end anyway. We’ll see what Lizard comes up with when they release a lighter weight uninsulated Kross. The insulated ones are nice for some situations, but overall they’re probably too heavy and hot to be worth hauling from hut to hut instead of Crocs half the weight.

  6. MorganW April 21st, 2012 1:01 am

    Not good for walking in the snow but a pair of North Face down mules make unbeatable hut slippers..In fact I’m wearing a pair right now. Don’t know what they weigh but i’m guessing it’s not much.

  7. F. Felix April 21st, 2012 4:57 pm

    My partner uses Five Fingers. He has hot feet, too, but will bring fleece toe socks if he thinks it will be cold enough.

    They are really light, pack down uber-tiny and they’re pretty grippy on most surfaces. I’ve tried them, but can’t march too far–feet start to hurt.

  8. Craig R. Steury April 21st, 2012 7:08 pm

    Great Article Lou – though a little late for me as I’ve just returned from some touring in Switzerland and France. Before the trip I was considering this very issue and finally settled on some Merrill “barefoot” running shoes (at approx size 9 weigh-in at about 7 ounces per shoe) (see I had similar requirements, I wanted them to have good traction, pack small and also double as a reasonable walking shoe when you have to walk several miles downhill at the end of a long ski tour. The Merrill’s worked well for me.

    As a side-note, if it wasn’t for the walking requirement hut shoes generally work ok for me. One word of warning to prospective Austrian ski tourers, the Jamtal Hutte in the Silvretta alps doesn’t have hutte shoes and instead expects you to bring your own or buy some cheesy wool ones they sell. There are hut-shoes there but they belong to local ski-tourers. I nearly got beat-up wearing a nice pair of crocs I found on the shelf when I arrived thinking to myself “wow this place has nice hut-shoes!” Luckily I remembered enough German to blurt-out “Tut mir leid!” when confronted by the angry owner and his friends!

  9. neonorchid April 22nd, 2012 6:47 pm

    Looks comfy:-) If i come across them locally at REI or EMS i’ll be sure to try ’em on.

    Fwiw, i have two Merrill barefoot shoes that i like for similar purposes and then some. The 13.2oz/pair Barefoot Run Road Glove which has little knobby vibram soles:
    and the 1lb 2.2oz/pair Barefoot Trail Embark Glove GORE-TEX shoe:

  10. Maciej April 23rd, 2012 7:59 am

    I’m also a big fan of Merrell Barefoot trail runners. They’re a superlative running shoe and also good for hiking, scrambling and as camp booties/extra ski footwear. They pack small enough that I even bring them with for the (rare) in-bounds day.

    As an added bonus, they’re thin and tactile enough to be a good driving shoe (for those who like to row their own gears & heel-and-toe).

    Part of why they’re so good is the lacing system. My regular ski partner has A-B width feet and the Trail Gloves fit him great. I have a C-D width foot and they fit me great as well. I can’t say these shoes will fit everyone, but they will fit almost everyone.

    Oh, and they work pretty well as a rafting shoe as well.

  11. Jesse April 24th, 2012 5:08 am

    Yet another vote for the merrell trail gloves. My kitchen scale says 203 g (7.1 oz) per foot. I didn’t end up using them at all on my recent hut trip in France (Vanoise), since all the huts had crocs, but they did come in handy for a bit of easy sport climbing at the little crag in town after the tour. Try that in crocs! : )

    And they are amazing running shoes. One guy in my touring group had the same ones, and ran the Paris marathon in them a couple of days later.

  12. Jonny B April 24th, 2012 12:59 pm

    I’ve been running in the New Balance Minimus lately and love them. At a svelte 4.4 OZ I’m thinking they will double as hut slippers with a pair of fleece socks next season.

  13. Andy Jensen April 27th, 2012 9:07 am

    Crocs makes a model called the bistro with no vent holes and a non slip sole that grips icy porch steps and greasy kitchen floors with ease.

  14. stephen April 27th, 2012 5:04 pm

    Yet another vote for the Merrell barefoot shoes for hut use, but not enough padding for me to stand around in all day on concrete. They make an excellent apres shoe for cycle touring too.

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