Best Boots for Gorilla Treking?

Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:29 PM
Original Poster
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Best Boots for Gorilla Treking?

What is the best footwear for Gorilla Treks to be done in August? Also, best shirts and pants to wear?
13moons is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Havent done a gorilla trek, but, would imagine you need one of those hiking boots like Timberland or Rockport that gives you a good grip.

Caution: A friend of mine did a tough trek recently here in India. They hadnt been on a trek in a while....took out their shoes from their closet that had been sitting there for almost a year. Halfway thru the trek, the soles came apart.

Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:47 PM
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a pair of comfortable, breathable, high ankle support hiking boots with good grip soles are best with the emphasis on comfortable.
safarimama is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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Running shoes were fine for me... I didnt want the extra weight of boots, and did not need them.

richardfh is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Unless you're also climbing Kilimanjaro leave the boots at home! Weight is an issue when traveling around Africa so keep it simple.

Gortex (waterproof) trail runners are light-weight with good grips. Perfect for gorillas.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Boots--I like something that comes up around my ankles so I usually had boots. I've worn rugged tennis shoes that aren't boots also and those worked fine too.

I also prefer a couple pairs of water proof socks instead of Gortex boots or to supplement the waterproofing of Gortex boots. Seal Skin Socks or Seal Skinz are some brands of waterproof socks.

I took 2 pairs of footware, however I did numerous gorilla treks and other hiking during the trip. I feared something might happen to one pair of shoes (like soles falling off or who knows what) and I would not be able to get a replacement pair, dooming my gorilla viewing.

I see from the other responses that there is a variety of preference on footware.

The big thing is to make sure the footware is broken in and comfortable. Don't wear new shoes.

Shirts-long sleeved for nettles. I wore layers that included a waterproof jacket.

Pants--Anything that can get muddy and be cleaned easily. Once I wore those breathable, water resistant, nylon fabric pants and they got very muddy so I had the camp staff launder them. Well, they ironed them too, which resulted in big iron-shaped holes where the fabric disintegrated and it ruined the pants. You won't use the shorts feature of zip-offs, again due to nettles. I always took and occasionally used water proof rain pants.

One thing I did that made a big difference for me was I had water on my person at all times so I could sip every 10 minutes or so. I had a bottle in a holster around may waste. Porters will carry your backpack and water and stop for you whenever you want, but stops are not usually every 10 minutes. I drank more in Uganda in August than Rwanda because the heat/humidity was more in Uganda.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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I wore running shoes because I like to travel light. After the treks, I rinsed them and wore them on safari.
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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Maybe it depends on time of year and where you are trekking? The mud was well over ankle high throughout PNV when we were there in December. If I didn't have boots that went over my ankles I think my shoes would have come off continuously during the trek. I would have also been worried about twisting my ankle on the steep/slippery parts but with the boots on I was like a four wheel drive.

Our tour operator repeatedly said "hiking boots that cover your ankle" and while this really cramped my packing light strategy, I was SOOOO glad that I had them. I splurged and bought Asolo Stygers (granted I'll be using them for some other trips too) and they are definitely worth the extra weight. For the rest of our trip I just packed a pair of flip flops.

Another option is to buy a pair of those knee high rubber boots that the trackers wear when you are there. Two guys in our second trek destroyed their shoes on their first trek and ended up buying those rubber boots for the second day.
Toshi is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Please note that there is a difference between running shoes and trail running shoes (which I recommend).

More and more people are doing moderate hiking with trail running shoes - I climb Kilimanjaro with them. Some makes are waterproof, have super grips, have membranes to keep pebbles/mud out, protect the bridge and provide good ankle support.

If you are worried about mud, consider knee-high gaitors. About $20 and they take no space.

I still believe there is no need for boots when weight is a factor as it is on most safaris.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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For packing, I have tied my boots to the outside of my duffle and that was ok with airline personnel. That was before the latest packing restrictions that limit fluids.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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gators are a great idea. We had no trouble with mud (trip was 12/21-1/3/07) but we were lucky. I wore wicking socks which were wonderful, esp when I stepped in the stream. BRING GLOVES if you are trekking in RWanda - stinging nettles suck - if I were to do it again, I would bring rubber pants as well. Used lightweight low top shoes both in Uganda and Rwanda (Merrills) but would have liked a higher top as the treks are steep and I could have used the extra support. Light weight is the key.
annergizer is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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I guess the LL Bean Storm Chaser footwear is out of the question since they have rubber soles? We are going in Nov. so it will be quite wet/muddy and those look comfy, waterproof and cover the ankle=plus we could give them to someone after our treks.
moremiles is offline  
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