walking/hiking boots for Latin America

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walking/hiking boots for Latin America

Avatar for Aiga
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Hey I am looking to buy walking/hiking boots for my 6 months Latin American trip.
Has anybody has any experience with Berghaus Women’s Explorer Trek Hiking Boot?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berghaus-Womens-Explorer-Trek-Hiking/dp/B001VH6G86/ref=pd_sim_sh_2

Any advice would be great!

     
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You MUST MUST MUST try on hiking boots before buying them. Do not even THINK of buying them online unless you have tried them on first, because they need to be super comfortable.

First thing to do is get out and try on a good selection of boots and approach/trail shoes to see which ones you’d like.

I would say that unless you are planning on doing any serious hiking, you would be better off with approach or trail shoes rather than hiking boots, which can be annoying to carry around (I took hiking boots for my 7 month trip and they came in useful on maybe 3 occassions total).

Oh,and some practical advice - Vibram soles are well worth paying good money for; eVent is better and more breathable than GoreTex but much more expensive; good ankle support is essential if you plan on doing Inca Trail or mountain climbs and if they feel comfortable when you first try them on, you’re onto a good start.

     
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Hey thanks for advice!  :wink: I will go to shop but first I want to get an idea what to look for :wink:

     
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I’ve never had a clue when it comes to these sorts of things so I find the best thing to do is to explain fully to a shop assistant exactly where you are going, for how long, time of year etc etc and they will be able to give you a lot of advice as to what is best. Quite often there’ll be someone in the shop who has been where you are going and therefore knows the terrain and what foorwear would be most appropriate. As said above, trying them on is by far the most important thing though.

     
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Hey thanks for advice!  :wink: I will go to shop but first I want to get an idea what to look for :wink:

Well, as I said above the important thing to have in mind is:

1) What kind of activities are you going to be doing?
Trekking the Inca Trail and mountain climbing will require more ankle support than if you’re just doing some general hiking around and about. Jungle hikes will require a totally different fabric to other activities. Think about what you hope and plan to do while travelling as your first step.

2) Fabric
If you plan to use the boots in the rainforest you will need a different type of boot to that for the Inca trail. If you use a breathable (GoreTex or eVent) boot in the jungle, it will actually encourage the moisure to be sucked into the boot rather than being evaporated out. It’s complicated but it has to do with air pressure and evaporation % in and out of the boot. For the rainforest you would be better with wellies or non-breathable boots with a good gripping sole than GoreTex boots!

If, however, you plan to do mountain climbing - e.g. Aconcagua, you will need to buy boots that can fit crampons. These are more expensive, heavier and less flexible in terms of how you can use them.

If you’re just doing a few Inca Trail trek type activities stick with a good quality GoreTex or eVent boot with good ankle support. Leather boots are my personal favourite because they can look less like trainers (so are smarter) and they are more waterproof. They are also much more expensive.
The boots I have are 3 years old and I love them - KSB Skye X-Lite leather eVent boots. I’m not sure what they are like now that Karrimor has been taken over by Sports Direct though. There are some similar Meindl boots which might be a better alternative.

3) Sole
As I mentioned, Vibram soles are the way to go. They are world renowned and high quality with good deep drip for all kinds of terrain.

4) Fit
The boots should feel comfortable on - snug but not tight or pinching anywhere. If you are even slightly concerned that your toes are too close to the end of the boot, try the next size up. Descents can ruin your feet and toes if you have too-small boots. I’ve lost toenails and had black toes for months in the past and my boots are well fitting.

Q-Form is a type of cushioning inside the shoe or boot that is specially designed for women by the shoe maker Merrell (a good brand). Women have a gait that is different to men and the idea of Q-form is to correct the overpronation or underpronation we may suffer from when we walk. It is better for the knees, back and feet (in theory). I’ve never used any so can’t speak from experience. You can read more here: http://techcentre.fitnessfootwear.com/manufacturer/merrell/q-form

5) Boots or shoes?
Ankle support is the main difference between hiking boots and approach shoes (aka trail running shoes, hiking trainers, walking trainers etc). If you are not planning on doing any difficult hiking but plan on doing lots of walking, you would be better off with approach shoes rather than hiking boots as these are cheaper, lighter to carry around and you can use them as trainers with lots of outfits without (necessarily) looking like a hiker (if that bothers you).

Boots are essential for any kind of expedition hiking or extreme things because your ankles are so vulnerable in these circumstance.

6) Brands
Some well known, good quality brands include:
Scarpa (my favourite and chosen brand if my current boots ever give up on me), Merrell, Meindl, Salomon, Brasher and Keen. I don’t know much about Berghaus boots.

Let me know if you have any specific questions as I have worked in an outdoors store so have been trained on all this stuff.

Lexi

     
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Alexandra you are the star!  LOL

Well I am looking to do Inca trail AND rainforest! i am outdoorsy person so would take any opportunity to go wild LOL I don’t mind looking like a hiker too!
I wouldn’t like to carry around 5 pairs of shoes so would like to find one good pair that I could use daily if that’s possible… I am also going to do a month of volunteering in Bolivia jungle with animals; they are advising to bring wellies or walking boots… I haven’t done all of my travel itinerary yet but will definitely want to do all king of mountain climbing, jungle trekking and stuff… maybe i could take good boots from home and to buy wellies there? 

     
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maybe i could take good boots from home and to buy wellies there?

You sound just like me. I LOVE moutains and hiking etc. I think taking a good pair of hiking boots from home and buying wellies there is a very sensible idea! smile

Oh, and make sure to take leech socks for the jungle and non-cotton socks like Bridgedale / Smartwood ones for the other hikes. Cotton socks can cause blisters and athletes foot, eugh.

     
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Alexandra, if you read some of the reviews left by costumers in amazon.co.uk you can see that these boots are suitable for rainforest and for mauntains… They are GORE-TEX® and waterproof!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berghaus-Womens-Explorer-80023-NO7/dp/B002P4BPBC/ref=sr_1_9?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1294863456&sr=1-9

     
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Alexandra, if you read some of the reviews left by costumers in amazon.co.uk you can see that these boots are suitable for rainforest and for mauntains… They are GORE-TEX® and waterproof!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berghaus-Womens-Explorer-80023-NO7/dp/B002P4BPBC/ref=sr_1_9?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1294863456&sr=1-9

Well, I’ll let you make up your own mind about that but what I said above is based on 2 years of training and experience working in an outdoors store.

GoreTex shoes might be okay for the jungle but they are not designed for the jungle, in the same way that you could wear jeans or cotton t-shirts for trekking but they aren’t the best thing to wear (as I’m sure you know if you do lots of trekking). Waterproof shoes are fine (e.g. wellies), as are shoes that actually have large holes or mesh that allow water to flow through and moisture to escape but technical boots are not ideal.

The very best thing to wear is jungle boots: http://www.militaryclothing.com/ImgUpload/P_196393_1297658.JPG

It’s up to you what you choose, I’m just offering you an opinion.

     
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I used to have a pair of those boots. They were lightweight, breathable and reasonably comfortable. I only say reasonably because when they had worn out I bought some saloman’s which were so much more comfortable and durable. I even have saloman treakking trainers so that would be my brand of recommendation.

     
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Alexantra, I am very thenkful for your opinion! I am just trying to sort everything out thats all wink this forum is created to share opinions and ask questions isnt it? :D

I also found something interesting here:

http://ask.metafilter.com/126526/Hiking-around-South-America-what-shoes-should-I-be-wearing

I am trying to find one pair of shoes that I could use everywhere..

     
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Aiga - 09 January 2011 11:46 PM

Hey I am looking to buy walking/hiking boots for my 6 months Latin American trip.
Has anybody has any experience with Berghaus Women’s Explorer Trek Hiking Boot?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berghaus-Womens-Explorer-Trek-Hiking/dp/B001VH6G86/ref=pd_sim_sh_2

Any advice would be great!

We know that both quality and durability can determine a hiker’s ability to move far, fast, and safely. All features are in this hiking boot. It is the best choice.
Good Luck..