We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

London
Level Contributor
32 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

I will be in Costa Rica for 3 weeks in June and I really can't decide whether to buy hiking boots or not. The only places I understand I may need them are in Arenal/Monteverde and Corcovado. How essential are they? I have some good walking shoes (karimor) and shall be taking some old sneakers so will that be enough?

As it will be the wet season, I hear it takes a while for your shoes to dry so maybe I should have 2 pairs of sneakers as a backup, aswell as my karimors.

I've read people's suggestions of buying a pair of solomans/keens/tevas/gore-tex hikers but I'm not keen on splashing out $50+ on a pair if I only wear them a few times.

My walking shoes don't cover my ankles so I may buy some rubber boots (Campesinos) to be on the safe side whilst in Corcovado, where I hear you can get a nasty snake bite!

Also, any advice on walking socks? Due to the heat I guess I don't want to buy really thick/warm socks so was thinking of getting a cool/light pair. I have plenty of sports socks but I guess they won't be as comfortable if I go for longer hikes.

Laguna Beach...
Level Contributor
61 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

walking sox, no

extra sox, perhaps

I take 2 pairs of shoes.an all terrain walking shoe with great traction, not a boot or high-top, the other pair is flip flops. I wear the flip flops around town even in the rain because its not cold and my feet will dry and wash easier than shoes and socks. I hate to pack heavier than necessary as well. I use the heavy tennis shoes for excursions, hiking, zip-lining and so on.

Pura Vida!

Panajachel...
Level Contributor
731 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

I buy cheap rubber boots (botas de goma) in a hardware store for around $10 when I arrive. No problem with them drying out. This is what the locals wear--you don't see the campesinos wearing fancy-shmancy hiking boots.

Colorado Springs...
Destination Expert
for Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
4,274 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

I could be a spokesperson for Keen, I think...I've posted this before. I bought mine a year ago in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica and took them along with sneakers and hiking boots. I thought $50 seemed like a ridiculous price for a pair of sandles. But...I've worn them to death for a year, and they're still holding up great. They are the only shoes I wore in Costa Rica, including hiking near Arenal. We live in Colorado, and I hike in them here a lot (today, in fact!). We're returning to Costa Rica again this month, and they're going along with me.

Best $50 I ever spent. I was afraid I'd never wear them, and in fact, I've worn them several times a week for the past 12 months and couldn't live without them. Very comfortable, good traction for hiking, dry quick if they get wet.

florida
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
Level Contributor
771 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

Can you tell me where you bought Keen shoes for $50 -- or maybe it's the model?

Poconos, PA
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

try REI website...(as in rei dot com) they have an outlet tab and I just purchased the sturdy sandal Keens for $60 as well as Keen hikers for $80

I wasnt going to spring for either but my snow boots AND my water sandals are literally disintegrating! I tried on a pair of keen hikers locally last year and loved how lightweight and comfortable they felt.

Local store wanted $140!!

I wear hikers to airport and pack sandals.

My REI order arrived in 4 business days exactly as it has in the past...I always check there for discounted name brand outdoor equipment.

Altrec also has an outlet website.

It is pot luck whether the style you like is available in the outlets.

Teva, Merrell and The North Face are reliable brands as well.

Both outlet stores have customer reviews and ratings for their merchandise to help you decide.

Buy something - you WILL use them.

:)

London
Level Contributor
32 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

Thanks for all your tips guys.

I ended up buying some waterpro maipo MERRELs which are incredibly comfortable, light and should dry quite quickly too.

I did try various Teva and Keen sandals but decided against them as my feet aren't really used to wearing sandals and they're not ideal for the rougher terrain.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
186 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

You could get by with the tennis shoes and do take 2 pair. You can get rubber boots for corcovado because of the heavy downpours of rain there and snakes, but if you stay on the designated hiking paths there you should be OK.

As for socks, Cotton hiking socks are good. I would not take the heavy wool ones. And several pair in case you get them wet. I invite you to read my travel blog on C Rica. Im on the web costaricalearn

Great info on travel to C Rica. I think you will find it very helpful and its categorized for easy read. Have a very nice trip. Ann

Colorado Springs...
Destination Expert
for Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
4,274 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

I got my Keens on the REI website outlet section, too. :-)

Atlanta
Level Contributor
826 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

Somebody mentioned wearing cotton socks while hiking....thats probably the worst thing you can wear while hiking. Cotton sucks up the moisture and your socks will never dry out. I always wear either wool socks in the fall/winter or wool running socks in spring/summer. They dry out a lot quicker and will be a lot cooler then cotton.

Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
876 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Are hiking boots really necessary? And what socks to wear?

I bought a shoe that is like a tennis shoe (hiking shoe)but the body has a mesh type of material so that they will dry out. Drying out shoes is difficult and then they can get funky if you pack them up to go.For the life of me I can't remember who made the shoes. I think they are Merril's but not positive.

The rubber boots are what locals where and I think they have them at Monteverde for hikers.