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Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

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West Des Moines...
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Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

I am looking for suggestions on which type/brand/model of hiking boots that are well suited for the Inca Trail. I would like to purchase them soon and get them broken in on some local hikes. I realize that personal preference comes in to play, but I would like her from some people with personal experience.

indianapolis
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1. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

I have Merrill's and they were great. My husband has a different brand (which escapes me now) he likes them for different reasons. The features we thought the most helpful in hiking the Inca Trail were Gore-Tex (it will probably rain on you at some point) and very grippy soles (lots of rocky, uneven stair climbing...)

Toronto
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2. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

It really depends on fit ... our priority is to have boots up to the shin bone to help prevent turned ankles...used to love my Montrail boots, now wear Merrill because I can't find Montrail. My hubby has wide feet so he goes with whatever fits. My sister wears hikers every day to deliver the mail and she loves her Nikes.

Frisco, Colorado
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3. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

I hike a lot in the Colorado Rockies - soon to have Peru under my belt too! Similar to Travelfun I like higher ankle protection to prevent/minimize rolling. My husband finds the higher ankle to be uncomfortable on his ankle bones. Also the weight of the shoe makes a difference, his is very light and I compromised on weight for a more study shoe. Also a no slip grip on the tread is key in moist/wet environments. Personally I like a thicker tread. Gortex is a must IMO to prevent moisture getting to your skin, however they must be breathable. I changed out my laces with a slider so I don't have to worry about tying them - similar to my husband's shoes. I think you need to try on several pairs and see what brand works for you. I order off of www.Zappos.com a lot - I will place an order for $1500 worth of shoes, then take my time trying them on and return everything I do not like. Shipping is free to you and back (in the USA) - so a good deal.

Here is what my husband has... zappos.com/salomon-xa-pro-3d-ultra-2-gore-te…

Here is what I have... www.ems.com/product/index.jsp…

We are both very happy with our choices.

Little Canfield...
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4. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

I also opted for boots with good ankle support, lightweight, waterproof and breathable. I think comfort is essential and what suits one person doesn't suit another. The most expensive boot is not necessarily the most comfortable.

Try on several pairs of boots with the appropriate socks. I like to wear two pairs of socks, a thinner coolmax layer and a medium weight walking sock on top.

Yorktown, Virginia
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5. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

I agree with the others about the important features for your hiking boots ankle support, good gripping lug soles, breathable yet waterproof - but comfort is most important! Merrell lightweight mid-high boots are what we both chose - similar to this (model name has changed: merrell.com/US/… And yes, the most expensive boot is not always the best.

Because I am very prone to blisters, I also use two socks - the same as "joanandmatt" above - CoolMax sock liner and thicker (but mid-weight) wool-blend hiking sock. When preparing for the Inca Trail trek, I often got blisters even between my toes (hiking in the summer in Virginia!), so I found CoolMax sock liners that had "toes." Funny looking (think gloves vs. mittens, but for feet), but these really helped prevent those blisters. I also brought Johnson & Johnson blister bandages on the trek & applied at the first hint of a "hotspot," ending up not getting any blisters! I also carried moleskin & a product called "2nd Skin" (available in running & hiking gear stores) just in case. I do a special lacing method with my boots because my heels are much narrower than forefoot, and heel area of boots often slips on my foot (causing more blisters). This lacing method tightens at the heel without over-tightening the ankle at boot-top. A knowledgeable salesperson should be able to help with that or watch this video: hikinglady.com/hiking/…

Definitely get your boots well in advance & hike in them a lot before your trek! I also recommend the hiking poles, and prior experience with using them will help, too. We brought our own Leki poles, but some trekkers rent them in Cusco.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

Far and away the most important factor is that the shoes fit properly. The most likely ailment you're likely to suffer from is blisters, which redhead talked about. And the best way to not get blisters is to have shoes that fit properly. Your heels should not move up and down in the shoe when climbing up or down or on flat ground. Toes should have room to wiggle. Two pairs of socks also helps. And let the inner ones dry out each night as your feet sweat a whole lot and the moisture contributes to blisters. If you're buying new boots/shoes, break them in. If you have boots/shoes that are comfortable, I'd use those instead of buying new ones.

London
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7. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

as other have said the fit is the most important factor, I would say followed closely by weight and breathability.

Merrill are good but i much prefer Keens and have used these for a number of years

http://www.keenfootwear.com/gb/en/product/shoes/men/outdoor/targhee%20ii%20mid/black%20olive!yellow

they are extremely light, offer good ankle support and above all are supremely comfortable. recently travelled for six months in South America wearing them for probably 75% of the time and they are still as good as new.

works for me but your best bet is to try several different makes and types and find some that suit YOUR feet.

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

Hello,

Sorry to piggy back here, but I'm doing the 2 Day Hike and am debating between a waterproof and non waterproof pair. Both are Patagonia. I like the "non" waterproof pair better. . . Do you think I will need the waterproof pair on the 2 Day? We are hiking end of May. Thx for your thoughts!

London
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9. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

Assuming you are going in the dry season, I doubt you will need the waterproof pair unless you plan on walking through streams etc. Which is avoidable most of the time. Despite manufacturers claims of "breathability" some waterproof boots with goretex etc. can make your feet hot and "moist" . My Keens were ok though. If you like the non waterproof better then go with those. You could always buy a waterproof spray which will help.

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Hiking Boots for the Inca Trail in August

Thank you crellston :)