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Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

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Toronto, Canada
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Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

I asked the question about hiking clothing on walkhighlands forum, and the recommendation was to choose waterproof hiking boots over hiking shoes.

I have waterproof hiking shoes Merrell which have proved very good in Switzerland. However, it never rained seriously there.

Can I get away with my waterproof shoes or is it crucial to have waterproof boots when hiking in western Scotland?

PS: the period - early September.

Scotland
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1. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

It's personal choice. They say boots will protect your ankles but I've hurt my ankles in boots and had very happy walking holidays in the Alps wearing walking shoes.

Depends what kind of walking you're doing too. If it's wet you're more likely to keep dry in boots with gaiters. They don't work so well with shoes

Edinburgh...
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2. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

It depends how off-road your hiking will take you. If you intend to stay on tracks or well defined and low level footpaths, then shoes will probably be enough. If you intend to look for rougher territory, boots are advisable.

Wet feet: the risk is more to do with having to wade over streams or through rough and boggy territory. I've climbed a few mountains in Switzerland and conditions underfoot have pretty much always been dry unless going high onto snowfields or ice. In Scotland conditions underfoot may remain damp even after long periods without rainfall. Scottish hillsides are alpine tundra ...

I tend to walk wild places. I use boots and gaiters.

Why not look for some walks and tell us how difficult your intended routes are? Lots and lots of routes listed here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ region by region.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

As to the hiking footwear, I prefer shoes over boots.

The walks that I have chosen on walkhighlands.com are all one shoe level.

Steal Falls and the Nevis Gorge

Achriabhach Forest walk

Leanachan Forest

Cow Hill circuit

Killiechonate Forrest

Glencoe Lochan trails

Lost valley

Grey Mare’s Tail (Kinlochleven)

Possibly walks in Invergarry area

Mallaig – Arisaig area

Silver Sands of Morar

Possibly Lock Morar to Tarbet

Indeed, “boggy terrain” is mentioned in the description of some walks

Do trails get that boggy to wade up to ankle?

The Stunning...
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for Scottish Highlands
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4. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

Going by your plans I would stick to your hiking shoes ;-)

Netanya, Israel
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5. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

Just take another pair with you. There is a bog!

Yuri.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

Thanks to everyone for the input.

Edinburgh...
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7. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

"Do trails get that boggy to wade up to ankle?"

Yes. Some do :-(

But walkhighlands is aware of that possibility and rates according to difficulty and squelchiness. I wear boots and gaiters and I'm safe until it gets up to my knees. Actually I find gaiters useful because I can run across streams without getting my socks wet.

I had a friend who swore by welly boots and an umbrella no matter what the conditions were underfoot or overhead. There were places where his attire raised an eyebrow.

Cheshire
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8. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

Personally i would wear hiking boots.There are reviews and photo"s on my TA profile of Ben Nevis and Steall Falls walk if you wish to view.Enjoy your trip.

Glasgow, United...
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9. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

Enjoy your trip - if you prefer shoes I'd stick with them.

I have worn either - whether they are comfy and have good grip is just as important, if you can cope with occasional wet feet. After all, you can still get wet feet in walking boots if you try hard enough :)

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Hiking around Fort William: hiking shoes or boots?

@ Derek G.

<a friend who swore by welly boots>

When I asked about wellies on walkhighlands.com they were amused :)

BTW, when hiking in Switzerland I noticed that Swiss hikers were wearing boots, even though the trails were quite dry. I guess I am not at that skill level yet..