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Hiking Boots?

Naples, Florida
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Hiking Boots?

We are doing gorilla trekking. Can anybody recommend any comfortable boots that would make the trek bearable?

My sore feet thanks you

geneva
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1. Re: Hiking Boots?

Hi, you should go with hiking boots that you have had for a while and feel very comfortable wearing, definitely no new shoes!

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Hiking Boots?

I don't know US Makes of boot but most trekking boots with Vibram soles and Goretex breathable uppers will be fine. The big thing is good ankle support and some grip on the slippery surfaces you make encounter.

A good tip that your not sore feet will thank you for is to do a few walks in them before you take them to Uganda. This will mold the boot to your foot and run them in. Also any fit problems can be resolved at home and not left to be discovered on a wet morning in Bwindi when you can't do anything about it. Try with different socks, take a sock to the shop when buying boots.

Finally, I always wear my boots outbound when travelling. It may cause a stir in Security but better than having them go missing in your luggage and you be without them. You feet won't thank you for that!

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Hiking Boots?

I haven't been yet, but following Mfuwe's sage advice, I bought a pair of trekking boots - not full rigid hiking boots. The trekking boots have ankle support and are gortex lined, but lighter and more flexible than serious boots. It took me a while to get used to the ankle rubbing, but I recently returned from a 4 week trip to Ecuador where I wore them almost every day. I also used them as my winter boot for a number of weeks to get comfy. Merrells, or Keens are practical (I can't remember my make) and they take orthotics as well. I think even in Florida you should be able to get them at a big sporting goods store...at least to try on and then consider mail order. I see the closest REI store is in Jacksonville, so that isn't much help unless you want a road trip, but something similar would be useful.

Also, some suggest gaiters to put over to protect your lower legs from fire ants and nettles. I am hoping just a light pair will do it.

I don't much use them, but I am also debating taking a collapsible walking stick. (like a ski pole). I used one occassionally in Galapagos over the lava and I was surprised how much it eased the 'struggle'. I think it would help alot on the climbs.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Hiking Boots?

Wise advice from Maama QM too.

Gaiters I have never used and doubt I ever will. Trousers (pants to you foreign folks) tucked into socks work fine and breathe. Gaiters don't breathe. I have never been troubled by Siafu (Red ants) when walking. Your guide will spot them and you just step over the convoy. You might get a few if standing around in grass waiting or watching. Soon brush em off. Move on!

I can't see how Gaiters will protect from African Nettle. Ankles maybe but these plants grow 4 foot tall. Wear Gardening gloves if you think necessary but the chance of a sting is remote if you are careful.

Trekking Poles. I love them and use them almost everywhere but for Gorilla Trecking they are of limited utility. Far more helpful is to 'hire' a walking pole from the team of porters. That way you are providing them with a small income which is much appreciated. Looks the part on photos too!

Canada
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5. Re: Hiking Boots?

I'm all for (well-worn) Keen's...they served me well with nary a sign of a blister or chaffing, even after 8 and a half hours. 8 and a half hours, I say! I have not posted a trip report as yet, and out of sheer humiliation, I may never tell that long sad tale of woe.

Socks pulled up over the end of your pants work well, unless you need to look good...

QM, they do have walking sticks at the trail head...the weaker, rough ones are free,( avoid the bloody ended one-even though I do not test positive for any known infectious disease!), and go for the nice smooth strong ones that cost a dollar or 2.!

Naples, Florida
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6. Re: Hiking Boots?

Thanks for all the great information on the hiking boots. Can anybody recommend a type of sock.

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Hiking Boots?

These days there are purpose made 'Hiking Socks" but any calf length or longer will do. I prefer woollen for its durability.

Canada fran. <unless you need to look good...> that's me to a T. Sartorial elegance on the trail.

Naples, Florida
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8. Re: Hiking Boots?

Thanks for your answer mfuwe...Wow....... I just can't wear wool socks.... I instantly scratch, alergic reaction.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Hiking Boots?

Canadafran4 kenya, now you have to write the report....if only to explain thebloody ended stick. My worst nightmare is having to trek all day. Ugh.

Socks? i swear by thin Merino wool ones. Wear double when necessary. I actually wear them year around now particularly with those boots. Get a taller pair to deal with any rubs, and they can also be pushed down to bunch at the ankles for that breaking in rubbing. Bitding in rubber boots or these gortex hikers make for sweaty feet and the merino wool avoids blisters, no rubs from dampness and don'tstink.

Edit. Just saw your reply. The place you get your boots should recommend non wool socks. Plenty of synthetics around.

Edited: 11 April 2014, 02:12
Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: Hiking Boots?

Wool is king. Any wool. Mine comes from good tough Yorkshire sheep. Wears well and soaks away damp. Take them as an example. Never seen a bald sheep or a sweaty one. Have you?