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Do we really need our walking boots?

Southport, England
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41 posts
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Do we really need our walking boots?

We have been to the Bernese Oberland many times and have always taken our walking boots. However, we are trying to travel light this time, and they do take up a lot of room in the case!

We are arriving in Interlaken on 4th August for 6 nights.

We are not serious hikers, just leisure walkers. We will usually do routes like Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, then come part way down towards Wengen on the train and get off halfway and walk the rest of the way down to Wengen.

Also we will get the cable car up from Lauterbrunnen, and then walk along to Murren. We like the 'Nature Trail' from Wilderswil to Lauterbrunnen. We don't do any steep walks.

We are wondering about just taking leather shoes and trainers this time, but it's been about three years and we can't remember if it gets wet underfoot on those walks.

Anyway, if you have walked those routes in the last few weeks, do you think we could do without our walking boots? I know it could all change depending on the weather when we are there, but I'm just trying to get a feel for it.


Kent, England
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1,765 posts
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1. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

I have the same decision to make when I travel in a few weeks time. Knowing that I have weak ankles I will take my walking shoes, they have ankle support. I would rather take the footwear than spend time in a Swiss hospital

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2. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

I always wear mine on the plane, thus solving the packing problem. I find that if you are sitting in the aisle and want to snooze, you need not fear your toes being run over.

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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3. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

Why not ask your hotel if you can send them by post? Keeps them out of the cases but gets them there. You can send them home or wear them or pack them.

Destination Expert
for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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4. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

Hi sturob777,

I recently bought some hiking "shoes" and find them fabulous for the walking you describe, as well as regular touring and walking.

These hiking shoes have a sturdy sole, are waterproof, and are made for hiking, but they look pretty much like sneakers; mine are Solomon. I've used them for hiking a lot of the trails around Garmisch (where I live) and Gstaad (where I'm currently vacationing), and they've been fine. They're very sturdy on gravelly downhills. I only put on my regular hiking boots for one of the hikes here.

When I bought them, the saleslady said they are good for all hiking, but . . . not for climbing the Zugsptize!

I've also found myself putting them on for regular touring or walking around town because they're so comfortable.

So, you could combine your footwear and have one set for both touring and light hiking --

Have fun as you plan!


Lucerne, Switzerland
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5. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

Something like the Lowa "Renegade" hiking boots would be ideal - these are not much heavier than trainers but offer that extra bit of ankle protection.

I see a lot of people hiking in the Salomon shoes that swandav mentions as well; I haven't tried them myself but they seem to be highly regarded by people who spend a lot of time walking.

Southport, England
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6. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

Thanks for all the very helpful comments and suggestions.

We decided to wear our boots on the plane, but I'm definitely going to check out the Salomon and the Lowa options as well.

Thanks again!

W. Palm Beach, FL
Destination Expert
for Murren, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland
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3,934 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

One thing to remember is that hiking boots/shoes are acceptable footwear for almost anything in the Alps from restaurants to church so you may be able to save packing room by leaving some other shoes at home.

8. Re: Do we really need our walking boots?

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