The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

The North Face Base Camp Mini - Women's Review

Simple and fun, this flip is a highly affordable choice for casual warm weather fun.
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Price:  $28 List
Pros:  Comfortable, cheap, textured footbed, fun colors
Cons:  Footbed can be slippery, not very supportive
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 13, 2019
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support & Stability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The North Face Base Camp Mini is a sleek, low profile flip flop with a unique egg-crate shaped footbed meant to massage and soothe your feet. Decently comfortable, this flip has soft straps and requires almost no breaking in. It's fairly durable, though some of the fun colors show dirt and wear rather quickly. Traction and water-resistance are adequate, and the price tag is super friendly. All in all, this isn't a top scorer in our review, but it's an excellent sandal that will appeal to a lot of folks, especially for the price.

If you'd prefer more support than the Base Camp offers, have a look at the Birkenstock Gizeh Essentials EVA, our Best Buy winner. For just a little bit more money, you get a lot more shoe.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $28 List$58.82 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$64.80 at Amazon$56.21 at Amazon$59.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, cheap, textured footbed, fun colorsAttractive, supportive, comfortable, adjustable strapExcellent traction, built in orthotics, very stableAnkle strap, water resistant, durable, lightweightVery comfortable, grippy footbed, stable
Cons Footbed can be slippery, not very supportiveStiff, breaking in takes timeRuns big, arch support can hurt if you're not used to itContouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slipSporty look, runs a bit big
Bottom Line Simple and fun, this flip is a highly affordable choice for casual warm weather fun.A beautifully unique sandal that provides amazing support and some of the most personalized comfort a shoe can offer.A seriously impressive flip-flop with pronounced arch support and excellent traction.A fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip-flops and sandals and wants everything combined in one shoe.If you're looking for a durable flip flop that feels amazing, this is an all-around great shoe to own.
Rating Categories Base Camp Mini Birkenstock Gizeh Vionic Tide II Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana - Women's
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
10
Support & Stability (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Durability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Traction (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs Base Camp Mini Birkenstock Gizeh Vionic Tide II Astral Rosa OluKai Ohana -...
Sole material EVA EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) TPR (thermoplastic rubber) Granite Grip rubber Non-marking rubber or gum rubber
Footbed material EVA Cork lined with suede EVA Dual-density EVA Molded EVA with soft ICEVA drop-in footbed
Strap Material Coated PU Birko-flor (PVC) lined with fleece Woven textile fabric and leather with foam lining Cushioned synthetic leather with knit liner, ankle strap: polyester webbing Water-resistant synthetic nubuck leather lined with quick-drying jersey knit
Width of Strap (inches) .625" Varied: .75"-2" across top of foot, vertical strap starts at .75" and finishes at 1.5" over toe post 1" Main: .625"-1", add-on webbing strap: .5" 1"
Length of size 9 (inches) 10.5" 10.625" (size 39) 10.25" (size 8) 10.5" 10.75"
Length of toe box (just above toe post) (inches) 1.75" 1.25" 2" (size 8) 1.75" 1.75"
Weight (pair) (ounces) 11.2 oz 13.5 oz 12.8 oz (size 8) 12.7 oz (11.8 oz w/o ankle straps) 13.7 oz
Dry time after being fully submerged Foodbed mostly dry at 8 min, some dampness in straps but not bad Damp but very wearable at 26 min, underside of strap over an hour to fully dry Footbed 4 min, straps only slightly damp after 30 min Footbed dry to touch at 7 min but damp with weight until 15 min, main straps dry in 22 min, webbing straps damp but good at 30 min Feels damp but good by 11 min, fully dry in 40 min
Unique features Textured egg-crate-inspired EVA footbed Adjustable strap, contoured footbed that molds to feet Built-in orthotic Extra strap converts flip flop into a hikable sandal ICEVA (soft EVA) drop-in footbed
Animal products? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Base Camp Mini is a fun and simple flip with a uniquely-textured footbed and is geared toward maximum comfort. It's not outstanding in any particular way, but it does everything you would expect from a simple sandal for a very approachable price.

Performance Comparison


The textured Base Camp Mini comes in fun colors and offers everything you need in a simple summer flip flop.
The textured Base Camp Mini comes in fun colors and offers everything you need in a simple summer flip flop.

Comfort


If you like textured footbeds and low-profile designs, the Base Camp is a great option to consider. This flip takes no work to break in, the straps are soft, and the egg-crate inspired footbed massages your feet with every step. If you don't like textured surfaces under your feet, this probably isn't the best choice, nor is it the best option for wide feet as it runs narrow. It's also thin so, if you require a lot of cushion to be comfortable, this might not be quite enough. But if you want a mini foot massage while you walk and don't mind being able to feel a thing or two through your shoe, this is a fine choice.

The Base Camp Mini is small enough to take traveling and camping and provides some nice relief after a long day of backpacking.
The Base Camp Mini is small enough to take traveling and camping and provides some nice relief after a long day of backpacking.

Support & Stability


We can't give a super high score here because the Base Camp Mini is rather thin and minimal. The textured foam footbed offers just enough to keep you comfy and not much beyond. It gets a bit slippy when wet and there's no contouring or arch support; however, if all you need is a simple sandal with some fun texture, you'll be just fine.

This isn't an overly supportive shoe and it becomes less stable when wet  but if you prefer simple and minimal in your summer flips you'll be more than satisfied.
This isn't an overly supportive shoe and it becomes less stable when wet, but if you prefer simple and minimal in your summer flips you'll be more than satisfied.

Durability


Durability is decent but not spectacular for the Camp Mini. The straps are coated and quite robust, but the EVA footbed is thin, and shows wear more quickly. With the light color we tested, dirt accumulates in the egg-crate texturing and darkens the footbed. This certainly does not affect the performance of the sandal, but it's something to keep in mind when you choose your color. While this isn't the most bomber flip, it's decent should last many seasons with decent care.

Between the light color and the texturing  this flip got grimy pretty quick.
Between the light color and the texturing, this flip got grimy pretty quick.

Water Resistance


The footbed of the Camp Mini feels pretty slimy when it gets wet, but the feeling is short-lived. With just a bit of time and sun, it absorbs the moisture, and you're back to flipping and flopping with ease. The straps stay damp longer but remain comfortable and pleasant-feeling to wear.

Water dries off the Camp Mini relatively quickly  though the footbed can feel quite slippy in the interim.
Water dries off the Camp Mini relatively quickly, though the footbed can feel quite slippy in the interim.

Traction


Nothing to write home about here. The Base Camp is perfectly adequate for simple low impact hikes and outings, but it isn't the best if you plan to get very technical. The sole is decently grippy, but we did slip a couple of times on a pine-needle-covered trail. The footbed, despite being textured, is quite insecure when wet, so keep aware if you walk through a puddle or your hike gets muddy.

On flat  non-technical terrain the Base Camp is great  just pay attention if things get more complicated or water is involved .
On flat non-technical terrain the Base Camp is great, just pay attention if things get more complicated or water is involved .

Style


Depending on your aesthetic you can wear this flip flop with anything from jeans to leggings to a summery dress, though it is decidedly sporty-looking.

The Base Camp Mini is sporty  fun  and available in some great colors.
The Base Camp Mini is sporty, fun, and available in some great colors.

Best Applications


The Camp Mini is best suited for simple summer shenanigans where the terrain doesn't get too complicated or wet. It has decent traction when dry but doesn't offer a ton of support so, unless you're specifically comfortable with minimal shoes, it's better for post-climbing recovery and tent-pitching than it is for long approaches or miles of walking.

The Base Camp Mini having a great time at the doggo park.
The Base Camp Mini having a great time at the doggo park.


Value


This is a great value purchase! The price is very approachable, less than dinner with a couple of drinks (and certainly longer-lasting). If you need something simple and straightforward without spending a bundle, this is pretty perfect.

Conclusion


The North Face Base Camp Mini is humble, approachable, and comfortable. It does everything a flip flop should and won't strain your wallet in the process. If you want a simple summer shoe with no break-in fuss, decent traction and water resistance, and adequate durability, you've found it.

Fun and simple  the Camp Mini is a great budget summer flip.
Fun and simple, the Camp Mini is a great budget summer flip.


Penney Garrett