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Adidas kampung; the ultimate tropical jungle shoe

adidas-kampung

Adidas kampung- shoes for the tropical jungle

The Adidas kampung is a popular shoe when it comes to choosing the right shoe for tropical jungle of Malaysia. This cheap yet practical piece of footwear has decorated the feet of Malaysians for generations, especially among rubber tapers and estate workers for as long as the independent of Malaysia perhaps. Its light, fully water resistant and simple design makes it even more attractive among those venturing into a jungle that is constantly wet and humid.

Adidas Kampung is up for anything. They are shoes for jungle hiking. Great footwear for tropical water paddling and they make excellent tropical shoes for river crossing and general camp wear.

There are a number of designs for this rubber shoe. The one characteristic that makes the shoe stands out is the fact that it is wholly made of rubber. Some comes with fake shoelaces (they are actually rubber, part of the shoe itself) and some do come with simple cords.

Why is shoe called Adidas Kampung? Well, there is this one particular model that comes with studded soles. The entire shoe is still made of rubber and the sides are painted with 4 yellow stripes. Because of these stripes and the fact that they are the only ones normal kampung folks can afford as soccer boots…hence the name Adidas Kampung. The name was so popular that it is used to blanket almost all the similar types of rubber shoes available.

adidas-kampung-stripes

Looks familiar? The four yellow stripes that makes an Adidas Kampung

adidas-kampung-soles

There are a number of reasons why this rubber shoe is the preferred choice by many locals for the tropical jungle. Its construction of being 100% rubber makes it fully water repellent, easy to drain out water and easy to dry. Compare this with any of the boots we can find in the shopping mall, to dry a pair would probably require only some dabbing with a piece of dry cloth! But of course, the rubber wear is by far not a perfect shoe. There are a few things one got to remember when using them.

For jungle use and river crossing, some people would actually recommend making two small holes on the sides of the shoe to help drain out water. Some models already come with ‘holes’ but more often than not, they are sealed tight out from the factory. But it is easy to solve this. Just grab a scissors or a knife and make the holes yourself. Very easy.

making-holes

Use a sharp knife to make them holes

In the Malaysian jungle, crossing rivers and being drenched by constant rain makes any pair of our normal shoes a nightmare to walk in. The only setback I would say with these rubber shoes are its lack of ankle support and not so durable soles. The shoes are no hi tech bit of gear, they are simple and very basic. Their soft soles mean that they get eroded or eaten in much faster than usual shoes. This is especially when one walks on tarmac.

I have two pairs . One pair I use as my tropical jungle footwear and the other I keep in my motorbike’s storage box. I change into them whenever I travel in the rain to keep my work shoes dry.

Honestly, I don’t think anything beats the Adidas Kampung for light or medium walk in the jungle. For longer expeditions and trips, perhaps the more robust jungle boots would be much more suitable.

Thinking of those Cr*@s sandals? Well, if you can afford them to be thrashed in the jungle, then go ahead. Also, Cr*@s do not give you the traction you need, no matter what they claim. Have seen them worn on tracks, you can see how they ‘slide’ when it rains.

new-adidas-kampung

This new pair of Adidas kampung for my wife costs only RM4.80!

But with prices ranging between RM5 and RM10 per pair (yet another reason why they are the best jungle shoe) as compared to the hundreds of ringgit for a pair of Cr*@s, the decision is more than obvious I think.

Where to buy adidas kampung? If you are in KL town, some hardware stalls around Chow Kit or Jln Ipoh sells them. The Pasar Malam opposite Sunway Pyramid every Wednesday nights have them too.
Out of K.L? Head to almost any hardware, sundry or shops selling agriculture products and you are likely to find them. This is especially true with places where there’s many rubber plantations.

So…to summarize:

Pros:

  • Water-repel, easy to dry.
  • Cheap…really cheap
  • Practical (use it to walk, camp use and rivers)
  • Easy to obtain
  • Field proven
  • Almost zero maintenance

Cons:

  • May not provide the support needed for tough climbs/ treks
  • Soles wear out pretty fast
  • Soles are soft, vulnerable to punctures. One can literally feel what’s been stepped on
  • Shoe may ‘slip’ when descending steep slopes

Go to Outdoor Gear Malaysia for more information on Adidas Kampung rubber shoes.

Looking for outdoor gear? Try OGM-Online!

43 comments to Adidas kampung; the ultimate tropical jungle shoe

  • Kenny Ho

    Yes, these Adidas Kampong are damn good for jungle use/trekking. However, one main issue that you have not mentioned here is that it causes one to perspire hard – at the feet – and this will cause smelly feet since it is all rubber even if you have made some holes at the sides.

    Would the simple canvas shoes used by rubber tappers be a better shoe for jungle wear? They are cheap, more comfortable and are more ‘breatheable’ than the Adidas Kampong. Downside is when they are wet, they do take longer to dry when compared to Adidas Kampong but dries faster than the other shoes.

    Would love to hear your views on this.

    Cheers
    Kenny

  • Keong

    Obviously, you are a person who knows what he is talking about.
    Yup, I agree with you on stinking feet with Adidas Kampung. Happens to me all the time really. And true, the upper canvas shoes do make sense. My only challenge with them canvas shoes is that I can’t find the size! Even with the Adidas Kampung, because of its ‘stretchable’ material, my feet fits (very) snugly.

  • find us@chiong keng trading,we hav the shoes

  • Keong

    Hi Yuen! Thanks for dropping by. I wish you all the best with your business!
    By the way, good stuff you are selling.

  • Keong,

    Very funny article la ..i dont know that Chinese also called this adidas kampung…Malays also use the same terminologies…good job…

  • YK Loh

    Hi Keong,

    Any idea whereabout in Penang and Kedah these Adidas Kampung are available…
    Cheers

  • Lih Yan

    Where can i get this shoe at Bukit Mertajam?

  • Keong

    Email coming your way!

  • AJ

    Good info bro…

    So when we can go trip together..AJ

  • Keong

    Hi AJ! Long time never hear from you mate.
    Can…we can plan a trip soon!

  • forestgump

    Adidas Malaon as we call it!
    To the right people wearing it – it can be a very unbelievably comfy and perfect pair of shoes to wear! Even captured PGKs as we call them wear this Adidas Malaon and so does ALL of my survival instructors AND me too!
    To the beginner, advisable that you wear them first on short treks through belukars!
    This type of shoes can spell DANGER to beginners and even sometimes to tired oldies like me when walking through the river, on rocks & boulders as well as moss covered fallen tree trunks.
    It’s the only trusted pair of shoes that I put on while teaching survival skills or leading expeditions!!!!

  • Keong

    Can’t agree more. Thanks for your valuable comments forestgump!

  • YK Loh

    Finally found these shoes at Baling Town (main street). Though it isn’t Cap Gajah with yellow stripes but Osaki Brand, they are identical in design, looks and pricing.
    Osaki has both flat-ribbed and studded soles at RM4.80 per pair. My advise to those looking for them is go to small towns where rubber and oil palm plantations abound and ask around. I believe most hardware, general and shoe stores there have them.
    Cheers

  • Keong

    Great to know that you have finally found them Adidas Kampung. They are awesome aren’t they. And what great price you got them for. I can’t agree more with what you said. Smaller kampungs are a sure bet for the shoes.

  • Balenciaga

    Wow,Great!Thanks for Sharing This!

  • Marky

    Anyone know where to find them in Sandakan, Sabah? Do you wear socks with them? Do they come in slightly larger than size 9?

  • Keong

    Hi Marky…I am in KL, not sure where they sell it in Sandakan. But I can gurantee you it is available. Most hardware shops and sometimes grocery shops would have them. Don expect malls to carry them (not sure if Sandakan have malls). Ask any local, tell them you are looking for ‘kasut getah’ (rubber shoes). Should be nothing more than RM12 (max).

    I wear a US sz12 shoes and I am okay with Size 10. Look for a particular brand called Boco if you can. Their sizes are generally bigger.

    Yes, you can wear socks with the shoes. But if you plan to walk in the jungle, just wear cotton leech socks. That ought to be enough.

    Hope that helps!

  • Do you know where in KL I can get one without those studs?

  • Keong

    Try some of the hard ware stores around Jalan Ipoh. Not the safest place to be but I can gurantee you can find some at Chow Kit in the evenings when the stalls are set up.
    Good luck

  • z4zizan

    hahaha so many of u guys know about this adidas huh?. my friend laugh at me when they look at me wearing that adidas kampong. but finally they know this is the perfect shoe for that purpose after they see the europe traveller wear ADIDAS KAMPONG when we go to gunung angsi ;), i buy it at one of hardware shop hear in kepong k.l

  • Keong

    Hi z4zizan…yeah, adidas kampong is the best man. Funny that some of our friends have to wait to see a mat salleh wear the shoes baru percaya that they are good. I too have come across that sort of scenario. The best thing to use are what the locals use I think.

  • aha~ i just convince a friend to believe that Adidas Kampung actually is good! anyway, don’t know he believe or not ~
    But, nice post, man!

  • Keong

    Hi Angela…I know what you mean. Many of my friends too are very skeptical at the beginning. But they normally change their mind after they have tried it!

  • HaHa

    Is it good enough for Mount KK?

  • Keong

    I would recomend that you try the shoes on a gradual basis before attempting Kinabalu. I am sure there are people who may have done it in Adidas Kampung but then again, everyone’s comfort zone is different. Try the shoe on some easy treks first and see how it goes.

  • Collin

    Do u know whr I can get a pair in size 11 (UK size)? Thanks

  • Keong

    I wear a size 12. The biggest I can find is size 10 of a particular brand but it is hard to come buy. The Adidas Kampung is made of rubber, so it does stretch quite a lot. Been walking a lot in them without issues. Where are you based?

  • kamlit

    better for camping and water confident activities….

  • Keong

    Hi Kamlit…yeah. I agree with you. I also think that it is a matter of comfort zones. Everyone has different comfort levels and it is a matter of training and getting used to.

  • Kris

    I will be doing some trekking in Sumatra soon and will only have an afternoon in Kuala Lumpur, close to the airport.

    Does anyone know if there is a place not too far from Kuala Lumpur International Airport where I can find Adidas Kampung shoes ?

    Thanks,

    Kris

  • Keong

    Hi Kris…I doubt if there’s any nearby shops near KLIA that sells them. KLIA is probably in the middle of no where!
    Sumatra is your best bet. They may have it there locally I am sure

  • JRN

    My husband and I, and our two children (ages 6 and 8) are traveling to Borneo next month. We plan to do some light jungle trekking in the Danum Valley. We would like to pack as light as possible, so my hope is to simply wear a pair of teva-style sandals, then find adidas kampung to buy when when we reach Kota Kinabalu. My questions are:
    - Will we be able to find these for the children as well as ourselves? Do you happen to know where we should go in Kota Kinabalu to find them?
    - Will my husband (size 10 USA) be comfortable in them with his leech socks, or will they be too tight?
    - Do I need to worry about comfort or “break-in” issues such as chafing, rubbing, blistering, etc.?

    Thank you so much! :-)

  • Keong

    Hi…if you plan to climb Kinabalu, I’d suggest that you just wear something comfortable with reasonable soles. For long treks, best not to take risk with new shoes.

  • David Mah

    I first encountered Adidas Kampung when I took part in a jungle/caving trip 20 years ago in Pahang.. I am semi-experienced survival/camper due to my days with boys scouts and malaysian nature society in high school.. also climbed Mt. KK once.

    My gear of choice for shoes depends very much on the terrain and expected duration of the trip.

    The Adidas Kampung, Jungle Boots, Brand Hiking Boots and even cheap thong slippers with ankle straps have their pros and cons.

    Adidas Kampung:
    Pros: Cheap, Easy to Dry, Decent Grip, Light, best for short treks, cheap backup if anything gone wrong with main shoes
    Cons: Not for long trek as it’s not breathable, easily dislodged if stuck in mud, no protection from thorny scrubs, no heel cushion/support, NEVER WEAR for mountain trekking/climbing (ascend is OK but there’s virtually no cushion/support for feet/ankle/knees for the descend where the force impact is greatest)

    Jungle Boots (full length/half length calf protector):
    Pros: Protection from environment (i.e. thorny shrubs, sharp stumps, etc), decent grip, won’t came off if stuck in mud, best for extended trekking in jungle through multiple terrain (rivers, dry track, etc).
    Cons: need long time to dry, not as much heel support as dedicated hiking boots, NOT recommended for mountain climbing(high ankle wrap restrict movement for and insufficient cushion/support for feet/ankle/knees for the descend).

    One might have to bring 2 to 3 different type of shoes for different purposes and as backup.

    Few other tips:
    NEVER wear shoes that have not been break in.
    DON’T keep long toe nails
    DON’T cut toes nails too short or less than a week before the trip
    BRING extra socks
    BRING 1 backup general purpose shoes

    My $0.02

  • Keong

    Hi David!
    Thank you for your inputs. Yes, I think there are many valid points in your comments. Agree fully.
    .
    .
    It is interesting that we now have so many variety of footwear to choose from. What intrigues me is how our ancestors made it through everyday bare feet!
    .
    I am a firm believer that while tools and gears are great, real knowledge and skills will help us do without many of them.

  • HTP

    Great post! I’m planning to get a pair for the 2nd leg of climbing Mt Kinabalu. Do you know where I can find them in Penang? Thanks!

  • Keong

    Hi HTP…email coming your way!

  • Grace

    Hi,
    I am interested to get a kampung adidas, any idea where can I find it in JB or KL? Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers

  • Keong

    Hi Grace…not sure about Johor but around KL..you can try Chow Kit area. Or the pasar malam near Sunway Piramid, Wednesdays and Sundays.

  • kwloh

    where can i get these in ipoh? tq

  • Keong

    I have no idea. But you can try any hardware shops or pasar malam. Good luck.

  • Ayumi

    Has anyone tried using these shoes in a gym or on the race track? With many shoes now touching a few hundred dollars, I might try Adidas Kampung next. What say guys?

  • Keong

    Good idea. Give it a go and let us know!

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