Sandals, shoes or boots: what to wear tramping?
|Keen Newport H2 sandal|
For perspective, some chap walked the whole 3000 km Te Araroa Trail in sandals a couple of years ago, so just walking the Abel Tasman would be luxury...ay, sheer luuuxxxurriiieeeee!
Look for sandals with similar features to most good hiking shoes: tough stitching, quality materials, tough soles (Vibram if you have a choice), and good arch supports. Keen are one of the major brands for sandals, I own a pair of their Newport H2 sandals and they are rugged and comfortable to wear.
Trail Shoes or Hiking Shoes
|La Sportiva Lead trail shoes|
Good brands include: Salomen/Innov8/La Sportiva/Salewa/Merrell/Asolo
Trail Running Shoes
|Asics Sonoma, lite mountain trail shoes|
Good brands include: Innov8/Salomon/Asics/La Sportiva/Salomen
Mid-weight Tramping boot
|Synthetic Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid|
|Leather Vasque St Elias GTX boots|
Good brands include: Salewa/Vasque/Asolo/Lowa
If you do fall into the category of hard arsed bush pig, then you know that a heavy boot can be your best friend.
|Lowa Tibet GTX|
Of course, for all of this protection you pay a price. Heavy boots are, well, heavy! In fact they can be god-damn soul destroying heavy if you are walking a long way. They are also expensive, most are European made and you will not see much change from $600-$700 dollars.
|Meindal Bhutan MFS boots|
Don’t expect them to be super comfortable either. These kinds of boots are designed for hard work and will be overkill for anything else! Think combat boots: you are the soldier and nature is the enemy...vanquish it with your colossal boots!
Some well known manufacturers include: Haix/Lowa/Meindl/Carrimor/La Sportiva
When do I need hiking boots?When trails are particularly rocky, covered in roots, or are made uneven by other objects in the trail.
When the trail is wet/very muddy.
When there the possibility of rolling your ankle is high.
When trails are exceptionally steep.
When hiking in the snow.
e.g: walking up the Joe River to the Olivine Wilderness area, crossing Waiau Pass, hunting in Fiordland
|Boots are useful in muddy conditions|
When will hiking shoes be OK?Well maintained even trails.
e.g: Most of the Great Walks, The Queen Charlotte Track, most of the Te Araroa Trail, Te Ara Pataka
|Walking a section of the Christchurch 360 Trail in Asiacs|