The North Face is best known for its high quality rugged back packs, winter coats, and boots. But did you know they also make flip flops? Meet the North Face Basecamp flip flop. This has been a fun pair of flip flops to get to know and review. When first encountering the Basecamps I wondered if, like pretty much everything else that The North Face makes, would they be up for the task for which they were intended. Because, let’s be honest here, expeditionary equipment and flip flops really have very little in common. Though your North Face Summit L6 Down Belay down coat is the perfect choice for your winter ski vacation to the slopes of Whistler, BC., it has no place on your expedition to a warm sandy summer beachside resort.
Unsurprisingly the North Face Basecamp flip flops are incredibly well-made and light weight. This was a surprise because they don’t look like they’d be lightweight flip flops. Leave it to the folks at The North Face to incorporate their expeditionary, “every ounce matters,” mentality into their flip flops.
“The style is a mix between rugged, ‘which way to the gym’, and relaxed.”
The straps are made of a very durable, but light weight, synthetic material that fits the foot as snugly as a pair of well-crafted hiking boots. The soft toe post is folded into a thoughtful “v” that nestles nicely between the toes. The combination of perfectly proportioned and lightweight strap atop a very light sole (more on that later) make for an incredibly well-fitting flip flop. The only ding is that the sizing could use about a quarter to a half-inch more in length, but this isn’t a big deal.
The style is a mix between rugged, “which way to the gym”, and relaxed. These three very different personas meld together in the Basecamp. It works.
“Aren’t beach walks done best barefoot anyway?”
The top and midsole is all one piece and made of a very durable and light foam, dimpled with a very small egg-crate pattern that would perfectly cradle dozens of tiny hummingbird eggs. This pattern serves to enhance their overall comfort, and light weight.
Unfortunately, the Basecamps do have a somewhat significant flaw which is only discovered on sand but once encountered becomes a nuisance. The little dips and divots on the footbed that provide so much comfort and light weight make the Basecamps footbed a LandO’Lakes array of tiny sand traps. Beach walks are best done barefoot with these as the sand fills every void and won’t come out until you’re well out of the sand and away from the beach shaking them and banging them together as you leave. But this flaw could, perhaps, be intentional. Aren’t beach walks done best barefoot anyway?
“Well Done North Face…well done.”
True to all that is The North Face the outsole is made of a solid, hard-wearing, rubber with uncompromising traction that, somehow, remains unbulky and really light weight. These flip flops can take on any terrain (even sand, though they’re best experienced in had in that case due to the sand trapping footbeds described above). City, country, hill, flat, wet, dry. Solid traction every one.
I am amazed at how much I love these deceptively rugged little flip flops. They have become my daily drivers for most scenarios and are a joy to weary. The looks aren’t stylish but also not orthopedic. The Basecamp is perfect for camping, neighborhood walks and carrying in hand as you stroll along the beach – thanks to their incredibly light-weight construction. Well done North Face…well done.