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Hiking boots or shoes?

Copenhagen, Denmark
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13 posts
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Hiking boots or shoes?

We're off for our three-week trip to Australia in about a month, and we're thinking about what to bring. We will be going on a three-day trip to Ayers Rock with Wayoutback Safaris and then on two one-day trips from Darwin to Litchfield and Kakadu Ntl Park with APT. My question is regarding footwear --- what to do? We need to buy shoes, but should we be buying hiking shoes or boots? I'm thinking it will be hot in November, and would prefer to just buy shoes (also for use after the trip), but are we better off buying boots? We've actually gone out looking for some and are having a hard time finding boots here in Denmark that are sufficiently "breathable" for hot weater.

So what do you recommend, maybe someone who's been on the trips? Is it ok with hiking shoes, or are boots the only way to go (I'm also thinking snakes here...)

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?

In my experience, comfortable covered shoes with a bit of grip is the best way to go. The hardest climbing you have to do is on rocky surfaces, so you don't need anything really professional. Also, they will get destroyed with the red dirt! So don't be too precious about them. :)

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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2. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?

hi E/P,

You do not need to go out hunting for shoes or boots. November in NT is incredibly HOT and it will be uncomfortable to wear hiking boots.

As mentioned by GK , the earth (soil) is a deep rich RED colour and all shoes will be ruined. Take only shoes you want to throw away.

I have been to all places mentioned and in the depth of the hot summer and worn open casual walking shoes; which means flip flops, sandals or closed in sandshoes. You do not need hiking shoes for this region, unless you were to do some pacific walking trails.

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3. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?


Elle (again) has pretty much nailed the answer for you .. I'd wait till I got here and purchased the footwear here.

The areas you'd be going to don't need the massively expensive hiking boot.

Whatever you wear on your feet will possibly end up with a lovely red tinge.

The red "bulldust" is a very very fine sandy grit that absolutely pervades everything.

as far as the "Joe Blakes" (Aussie rhyming slang for snake) they'll only be a problem if they are cornered by you or you accidentally tread on one.

Enjoy your travels - if you have any other questions re Darwin etc - feel free to ask away.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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4. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?

I suggest that you do not wear open type sandals or similar as you need some protection from the splinters from the local trees that could be lying around. They may be small but the desert timber is tough and can easily penertrate an ordinary shoe sole. I wear boots but up in Darwin, it is to protect me from the grass seeds which are extremely sharp but that will not be a problem for you in november. But for a short trip a good shoe will be adequate.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?

I've worn both and not had any issues in full leather hiking boots or the canvas walking shoe type thing. If you need the ankle support (depending on where you are walking) and are want reassurance about a bit of extra protection from snakes then go for the boots. Otherwise walking shoes will be absolutely fine. Most walking trails are well formed - the only places in Kakadu where we wore boots was when walking to the tops of waterfalls where the footpaths were less well used. I have some Salomon walking shoes and they are still going strong - both in comfort and appearance - a bit of a wash in water and they're fine.

6. Re: Hiking boots or shoes?

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