One of the essentials when going for hiking trips is to have the right shoes for you. Today, more and more technology has been developed to meet the needs of any hikers depending on the type of terrain one will be expecting.
The never ending question most old and novice mountaineers struggling to meet is “What is the best shoes to get?” The answer is simply not finding the best footwear for you but choosing the right footwear for the right terrain.
Hiking Boots – For Rough, Dry, Rocky and uneven terrain.
Hiking boots is needed for medium to hard terrain as it typically provides full support for ankles for those uneven and long hours of trekking. This type of shoes is usually waterproof and has high-cut design meant for providing ultimate support. It
This type of shoes is best to use in hiking for multiple days like Annapurna in Himalayas and Grand Canyon.
This type of shoes is best to use in hiking through the tropics and rainforests. It is most advisable for a multiple day trips that includes crossing rapids, streams, rivers and hiking through the falls as it easily gets dry.
Trekking Sandals – Have sturdy straps, flexible soles and
comfortable for day hikes.
This type of footwear is advisable for groomed terrain and in river trekking and not advisable for multiple day treks. It is best to bring a pair for every mountaineering trip.
During my on and off climbing escapades since 2010, I only had 2 trekking shoes and 1 trekking sandals.My current trail shoes was scouted because of the year end sale at Columbia shop. I had chosen Columbia for no other reason aside from its cuteness. However, I got to love the shoes because I find it comfortable and easy to dry.
My first pair was like a disaster because I actually had my friends look one for me at the UKAY. It was during the KAMRAS sa Camiguin last 2010, climbing Mt. Timpoong and Mt. Hibok hibok, an unplanned climbing trip that was grabbed at the last minute. A couple more days prior the event when we had decided to join and I got nowhere to find a decent pair of shoes in Iligan. My friends were too kind to find one for me since they left earlier. With only size 6 as specific, they got me a low type hiking boot which was okay for a start. Without any knowing, one of the mountain that we were about to barge in was a rainforest and we had to cross a body of water with no other way but to submerge into a waist high leech infested swamp. Its crazy to imagine on our way back using the same route, the water level had risen up not only because of the heavy rain but also because the ground sunk after the company of 30-ish people marched in. Not minding the leeches around, I had to endure the slurpy and squishy feeling of my feet considering that the shoes is waterproof. Yes, you want no water to enter but if they do, you want to sip them all out just to keep your feet and body dry and warm. The result: unforgettable slurpy and squishy adventure for 3 whole days.
After the shoe drama, I decided to look for a comfy; easy to dry pair of shoes to finally replce the old pair. Mind you, leeches wasn’t attracted to me with my leggings + shirt + shoes attire after seeing the rest having instant attachment with multiple leeches in their arms and legs. As for me, they had only managed to climb up to my shoes. Phew!
When you got your new pair, don’t initiate it with a major hike. Instead, use it to jog or to walk for the shoes and its soles to get ready for the big adventure. Even when the soles are extra flexible, with an instant usage of a whole new pair of shoes, it might break in the middle of your climbing adventure. The same goes for unused shoes. So better to have it on your practice jog so your feet can also get acquainted with it.
Always bring a petroleum jelly with you or some sort. It will help your swollen feet relaxed and if you must, put a relative amount of jelly into your toes and soles before your socks to avoid getting blisters. Surprisingly, it is also effective to apply a small amount to your body when you get cold. Amazing huh?