A good camp or water shoe is lightweight, has a porous mesh to drain out water, and has a shallow rubber tread that grips wet surfaces. Camp shoes are marketed as water shoes or river shoes but there are also some brands out there that are just for in camp and not for wading thru water. Sandals, moccasins, flip flops and going barefoot are other camp shoe alternatives.
Camp shoes are important when camping because they can minimize impact and reduce the damage to fragile vegetation. This is of most concern in the kitchen area of a campsite which usually is impacted the most because that is where a lot of time is spent. They are definitely a useful tool for low impact camping.
I wear camp shoes but I also enjoy being barefoot. I love the feel of cool earth or forest on my feet around camp or on short hikes. It helps me feel more connected to nature. But more importantly is that bare feet have an even lower impact on vegetation. Can't beat that.
After a long day of hiking I can't wait to slip on my camp shoes!