Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby Zuleika » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:59 pm

They do look weird!
But I guess if they are comfortable then all good.

Only two things I would think about thou, are they waterproof?
It absolutely poured all day on the third day of our trek. Are they still comfortable for prolonged wear when wet?
And can you wear socks with them to keep your feet warm - it gets pretty jolly cold up there once the sun has gone down. Cold wet feet??

Would it be better to consider them either as your camp shoes to change into, or to take some other shoes to wear at camp?
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby jimshu » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:34 pm

Are the soles sturdy and rigid?? If so then I dont see why you cant wear them on the trail.

Be careful here.Rigid and stiff does not equal good grip.
Footwear rigidity, and the hardness of soles are designed dependant on the use they are intended for.
Sole composition(as distinct from the overall rigidity of the shoe/boot)firmness is measured on a scale of very soft to very hard.
And a very soft sole will have more grip than a very hard sole.Why?Because the rubber/synthetic will contact more of the substrate.Whereas the hard sole will sit on the top of all the microscopic peaks of say a rock surface.Soft soles compress and wrap around so bringing a greater sole surface into contact with the rock.= better grip.

But the downside is very fast wear.So there is a trade off between the optimum wear scale, and the softness/firmness scale.
(However in specialist mountain climbing, a more rigid boot/sole is desirable.)
But general trekking hiking, whether shoe or boot,a medium firmness sole is the optimum.Vibram soles I use here.The hikers hate them as they are slippery on wet rocks.Why?Too hard.
But the thermoplastic rubber soles,I offer, which are medium soft, are giving better grip in all conditions,but will wear faster.
Last trip in Namibia, I had made myself a pair of desert boots with TPR soles, and the grip they had on those rock Kopjies saw me walking straight up those rocks!The grip was excellent.The guide was impressed so I donated them to him.

So check those soles for firmness.Hard soles IMO don't give the best grip in wet, slippery conditions.A resilient sole will.
And the best sole material in all wet slippery conditions, and frozen sub zero....felt.
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby jimshu » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:20 pm

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_ ... gest_snake
And if you meet up with this monster, you're gonna need runners! :D
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby hollykate » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:10 pm

Hi guys,

Even though a million people have commented, just thought I¨d share my experience. I recently completed the Salkantay, (the 5 day-90 km trek) yes, its the rainy season and yes, it was muddy at times. I assure anyone that hiking shoes as apposed to boots are the better option. I bought proper boots, and honestly, DIDNT need them. Something that has ankle support and is waterproof is perfect. Dont take converse/vans/running shoes unless you are prepared to have soggy feet! Also, if you are prepared to look around, footwear is easy to hire in Cusco.

Its an awesome adventure and I would recommend it to anyone.

Cheers,
Holly
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby PreservedLimes » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:08 pm

Hi

I'm new to the watering hole and am very impressed with all the info posted here! After reading all these posts I'm still feeling unsure about whether the footwear I'm considering is a good idea. So, I would like an opinion or two from Inca Trail walkers.

Are these Keens a good idea or should I be looking at a 'real' pair of hiking shoes?

These are the walking shoes I'm thinking of wearing http://www.keenfootwear.com/product.aspx?p=451&pc=1287

They are comfortable, have reasonably flexible soles, have hard toes for bumping into stone stairs and seem to have a decent grip.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby jimshu » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:48 pm

They look pretty good to me.I note they say waterproof.Make sure they are comfortable, and try them on with the socks you will wear on the trail.Give them light waterproofing occasionally.Several light dressings better than a heavy dressing.A warm hairdryer blown over will help to get that dressing penetrating rather than sitting on the surface attracting dirt.

Important.
When trying on footwear, and they are a little tight around the forward area of your toes, that indicates they are too short.Downhill walking can be murderous if footwear does not have enough length!

Also important.
Most footwear these days are not produced in true half size increments.It's got to do with the sole moulds being engineered for only full sizes .And the inbetween half sizes have a little extra room over rather than lengthwise.
So a 5 and a 51/2 can still be the same length.Or the 51/2 and 6 can be same length.
So always try each pair on, before you buy.

And buy well before your trip and have them well worn in.

All this info comes at a cost.The price to you is to report back on your trip to inspire others.Go for it!
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby Zuleika » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:00 pm

Personally they dont look that supportive or cushioned, and having done the Inca trail, I found this paramount. I looked on your keen website and think something more like this kind of style would be better and is indeed similar to what I wore on the trail.
http://www.keenfootwear.com/product.aspx?p=572

But that is just my preference and it is obviously entirely your decision for what you prefer and it is definately best to try these things on - try to find a shop with a ramp so you can test walking up/down hill.
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby lulu4444 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:47 pm

Oh my gosh, I don't know if reading all of this info is making it harder or easier to decide on boots or trail runners! I walk about 2 hours every day with my dogs and never wear my hiking boots unless I am on rough terrain, climbing, or it's sopping wet outside and we aren't walking that far. Otherwise I just use my North Face gortex trail runners and a good wool blend sock to keep my feet dry. I was sure I was going to bring my boots for the Inca Trail (mid November, worried about the rainy season) but realize after wearing them extensively over the last month that I feel slower and clumsy in them, and also that my feet get very tired after a good 5km walk. SO - on that note, I am going with the trail runners, will give them another water proofing, pack my gaitors and more than enough pairs of socks, and hope for the best!! It appears 95% of people voted for shoes vs boots so I hope we're all right :)
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby aussiedave88 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:54 pm

I am doing the Inca Trail in December and have gone for a hiking shoe (Oboz firebrand) rather than a boot - just made sure they were waterproof and comfy. Have done a few practice hikes and they are feeling great so hopefully will treat me well on the trek!
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby sblosser » Thu May 11, 2017 11:54 pm

Hi, I hope I haven't missed this response but I need some help with my shoe choice as well. I'm doing the 10 day adventure trip to the Galapagos in June. The itinerary says we'll be hiking volcanoes. I'm trying to pack very lite. Has anyone been on this trip and are full hiking boots needed? Thank you for the help in advance!
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Re: Footwear in South America... hiking boots or shoe?

Postby g_traveller_189e17ef » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:30 am

I went for hiking shoes in the end and consequently went hiking in them so I managed to test them out properly. Im really glad that I got them because they are very light yet sturdy so I can wear them for day to day things. They also keep my feet cool in hot weather which is a bonus.
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