Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pair of cheap, beater foam sandals that I can quickly slip on for van life. But as the cold weather rolls in and snow and mud start to accumulate, I needed to upgrade my outdoor slipper game.
I was excited to try the Ramble Puff bootie from Chaco (~$80) because it looked as lightweight as my foam sandals but sturdier, warmer and with a lot more coverage! So, let’s dive into my review of Chaco’s ramble puff booties!
Where Can You Buy Ramble Puffs?
Note: I am a partner with Chaco’s and this post may contain affiliate links. I only partner with brands whose mission and production process I support.
Ramble Puff Overall Review
First, this shoe gets points just for being fun to say – “ramble puff” hehe. These booties make for handy, multi-functional outdoor slippers. They have a thumbs up from me for being waterproof, versatile for low or high impact activities, and super comfy. My biggest con is that my feet might overheat if I’m already in a warmer environment.
The Ramble Puff is truly a slipper / hiking shoe hybrid. The Puff rocks the classic Chaco sandal strap, making it very easy for tightening or loosening to your preference.
Ramble Puff Family Collection
The Ramble Puff is the “head honcho” of the Ramble Puff family collection. As you can see from the image above, the Puff comes in all sorts of specific styles designed for different activities.
But the features that all of the Ramble Puff styles share are the heel loop strap and the durable but insanely lightweight outer soles (oh, and I’m assuming the super soft fleece inner lining).
The Ramble Puff is the ultimate camping slipper. I can wear these around the campfire all night and know they’ll protect me feets from random twigs or sharp pebbles as I inevitably wander back to my van in the dark.
I actually wore them all weekend at the vanlife gathering Skooliepalooza–woo baby were they dusty after that!
At the same time, I can wear them to the grocery store or even on a casual walk/hike and they are SO light but STURDY, I won’t even register I’m essentially wearing slippers.
I’m constantly going in and out of my van when overlanding, which leads to either:
1. Tracking a lot of dirt into my van from my shoes, or
2. Removing my shoes every time I get back in the van, which is annoying
The ramble puff shoe has grooved soles that are grippy but somehow don’t track dirt into the van. I don’t know if it’s because the grooves are spread out, or not too deep, but so far, so good.
They also feel secure to wear in wet weather. The whole slipper is waterproof and the grooved soles ensure I won’t hydroplane in puddles (which has literally happened in my foam sandals. It was scary, I almost messed up my back!)
These booties are more lightweight than my workout sneakers, so I decided to try wearing them while doing a HIIT workout. I was curious to see if they’d perform better and be more comfortable.
Ultimately, I found the thick tightening straps made for a more comfortable feel on the top of my foot (versus my sneaker laces). It dispersed pressure more evenly across the top of my foot, unlike my sneaker laces that pull more unevenly. The booties stayed snug and gripped to my mat well, and it kind of felt like I wasn’t even wearing shoes.
By the end of the workout, my feet were VERY warm! Not surprising, given these are designed to insulate–and insulate they did! Overall, I was pleased with their performance. I’m confident I could do power walks and small hikes in them.
The ramble puff truly feels like a cloud on my foot. The inner fleece lining makes for a soft “glove” around my feet. These shoes are very lightweight but the soles are thick enough that I don’t feel pebbles or small rocks under my feet. And they’re sturdy enough to provide real support for my slightly-higher-than-average arched feet.
I like that the bootie comes up to my ankles, for a little extra warmth and protection. We’ve all experienced the dreaded self-act of kicking snow or mud into our own shoes…but the ankle coverage helps prevent that.
At first I was bummed that the Ramble Puffs weren’t slip-ons, because I’m all about efficiency. I thought having to bend down and actively “put on” shoes was simply…too much for me! But these slip on very easily and I just pull the strap to quickly tighten. I’m proud to say I’ve already mastered putting them on without any hands.
I can throw them on in the morning, make breakfast outside my van, go on a walk in them, or wear them to the grocery store. They keep my feet a lot cleaner than the foam sandals, too, since they’re close-toed. And a cleaner foot means a less smellier foot…and in van life, you need to make the most of little ways to stay clean…because showers are a luxury!
The ramble puff booties currently have a price tag of $80. Here’s how I look at it: that equates to eight pairs of my beater foam sandals. In the last six months, I went through three pairs of foam sandals (they break easily).
This means I need either six pairs of foam sandals a year, or one pair of ramble puff booties. Of course they serve slightly different purposes, but I feel a lot better knowing my money is going to more eco-friendly products than “fast fashion” products.
I’m also confident my ramble puffs will last longer than a year, so it’s a worthwhile investment from my perspective.