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misha2 Aug 6th, 2011 08:18 AM

Favorite shoes for safari
I know there have been other posts about this. But, the newest one I found seems to be dated '08, so I think it's worth asking again. What are some of your favorite shoes for a Safari? I think we will be doing a combination of walking and riding. I'd prefer not to lug around big boots and I realize we'll need some coverage, but ideally I'd like something that looks good with a casual dress too so that I can use it for our Capetown city walks etc. I really prefer the comfort and ease of a dress when travelling, But understand that this won't be an option for the safari. Any thoughts?

lisa Aug 6th, 2011 08:33 AM

What time of year are you going?

lisa Aug 6th, 2011 08:47 AM

When I am on safari I spend 80% of my time in these. Expensive but worth it, great support. I have had them for years and Mephisto will even replace the footbed whenever they need replacing.
Super comfy for riding around in the vehicle or for walking around town, sightseeing, going to dinner, etc. They look good with pants, capris, shorts, or skirts. If you're going in winter though you probably would want a closed shoe rather than a sandal for Cape Town. My favorite closed-toe slip on casual shoes for safari are Merrell's. Slip-ons are nice for wearing on the plane and getting through airports without having to untie.

For more serious walking in the bush or hiking I bring a pair of very lightweight hiking shoes, usually Merrells. No need for boots.

TC Aug 6th, 2011 09:10 AM

I took my Chacos-Zongs and my Keen-Newport H2 shoes + one pair of cheap “blingy” flip flops for a little fun dressing up at dinner in the camps. Easy to pack-- wore the Keen's in flight. The other two took up barely any room in the luggage.

sandi Aug 6th, 2011 09:13 AM

I wear mocassins only when on safari. Similar slip-in rubber bottom shoes for walkiing around in Capetown. At night, it's usually a pair of ballet slipper whether on safari or in town... what's comfortable. If doing a bush walk, some actually wear Teva type sandles, but I'd feel better with a short desert-type boot covering ankles.

As to wearing a dress/skirt while on safari, if not on a bush walk, why not wear when in vehicle? Certainly comfortable and if you need to make a bush "call" easier than navigating doing so in pants.

linjudy Aug 6th, 2011 10:28 AM

I have an interesting dilemma in that we are spending about a week in Istanbul before going to safari and then Zanzibar next Feb. So will need to pack for big city/winter, safari, and beach, all in a carry-on not to exceed 15kg.

I don't want to take more than 2 pairs of shoes. Definitely will take my trusty Easy Spirit sandals in sparkly bronze that can go from beach to 3* restaurant (in a pinch). However, I'm stumped on the other pair. Will need it to be closed-toe, can handle walking in the bush and city, and dressy enough to go out. I was excited when I saw these, but sadly sold out.


ShayTay Aug 6th, 2011 11:31 AM

Anything comfortable... athletic shoes or walking shoes unless you're going to be chimp trekking or gorilla trekking. I also have a pair of sandals along for around camp.

skibumette Aug 6th, 2011 12:03 PM

Linjudy: did you check Zappos for the same shoes? They generally have a huge selection, free shipping (both ways if necessary) ...but not necessarily the lowest price. (Gotta cover those shipping costs?) It's worth checking?

We went in August (their winter) with a 15 kg limit. Had simple light-weight flip flops for room/pool but could have done without -- never hot enough to seek out pool. Like Sandi, I used (lightweight) ballet flats for evenings.

Took Merrell low-ankle lace-up shoes (think running shoes in beige) for gorilla trekking -- found solid base more important than ankle support. Without trekking, any low heeled/rubber-soled shoe would be fine; slip on/off is good for airports. Unless your itinerary specifically includes several "bush walks" you'll spend most of your time in vehicles. (One of the hazards of safaris: three delicious meals a day and little exercise.)

sandi Aug 6th, 2011 12:05 PM

That link isn't showing much but a login screen.

misha2 Aug 6th, 2011 12:36 PM

We'll be there the first part of September. There is someone else organizing the safari part of the trip and I am not sure, but I think we will have two days of trekking and the other two riding.

Absolutely love the Mephisto's, Keen's, Chacos and the "blingy" flip flops. Can you really wear the Mephisto's walking all day?

I do own a pair of Chacos that have travelled all over the world with me. Darn Chaco's! It's hard to justify a cute "Zong" pair when these have served me so well for about 8 years and are still in perfect condition.

I thought I needed closed toe shoes. I'm going to check out some of the Merrell's too. I think they have cute Mary Janes type things.

As for the dress" how problematic are mosquitos? I thought I might have to keep my legs covered. Otherwise, the convenience of a dress can't be beat!

TC Aug 6th, 2011 12:57 PM

Take your old Chacos and add a new pair of the closed toe Keen for trekking, etc. My Zongs are an older style with wider straps in plain old black, but I love them. The Keen are good barefoot as water shoes or with socks for in town or on the plane. My Keen are kiwi green and I wear them or the Chacos with skirts.

lisa Aug 6th, 2011 01:15 PM

In Cape Town in September I would definitely make sure you have at least one pair of closed-toe shoes with you -- it can get chilly.

Jane62 Mar 24th, 2012 02:25 PM

Hello - I seem to be reviving several older threads in preparation for my trip to S. Africa in June - hope you all don't mind! We'll be at 3 different lodges (Londolozi, Phinda, Kwandwe), Jeffrey's Bay (for surfer husband) and Cape Town. Also 1 afternoon/night Johannesburg but not concerned about that. Am trying to figure out footwear. I should mention that I have large, flat, wide feet that are a bit hard to fit and find comfortable shoes for.

I try to live in sandals or shoes that are as open as possible most of the year here in Northern CA but finding my feet are pretty cold right now in our winter, even in the house. Am torn between wanting to have lightweight shoes for packing purposes and for the middays when I know it will be warm, and wanting to have shoes in which my feet will not freeze on the 11 days of safari drives. I've heard it's especially cold at Kwandwe and they give you some kind of long "safari suits" to wear!

I know people recommend keens but I think they are not quite wide enough for my feet.

I bought these two pairs yesterday which are comfy and very lightweight but now worrying my feet will be too cold in them!

These are a sort of super lightweight walking shoe - enclosed but meshy

These are maybe slightly heavier, very comfy and easy on/off with velcro strap - also meshy

I also have these sort of orthotic "flip flops" which I love and want to bring for when it's warm/around camp/etc. - mine are more basic/less fancy looking but this is the style:

Any thoughts for me on these or others?

Jane62 Mar 24th, 2012 02:44 PM

Forgot to mention, I also tried on these Merrel slip on "mules" yesterday and liked them (though the heel "slips off" a bit when you walk but the saleslady said it's supposed to? - also meshy but might be a tad warmer?

They also have warmer-looking versions of those, I see. Clearly, my feet are feeling very cold right now!

I also own a pair of Chacos. And some kind of water shoe thing that laces up that i got for a trip to Costa Rica last year which is ALSO meshy (seeing a pattern here?) and which my husband asks why I am not taking on this trip? They are a little snug on my bunions and seem to make my feet itch when I wear them for long!

cary999 Mar 24th, 2012 07:23 PM

I don't wear them, but, I love to see thigh-high waders :) . (You know who you are!!!).

regards - tom

christabir Mar 25th, 2012 12:19 AM

tom - way too funny!! Anybody know where she is?

Back to the subject - how about socks? Any shoes that you mention are fine, but to keep warm you need socks. Plus I'd rather use bug spray on my socks than bare ankles.

Jane62 Mar 25th, 2012 12:36 AM

I don't know who the thigh-high wader person is, but it won't be me!

Yes, socks are important for warmth and I agree for mosquito protection, I will definitely bring some of those!

ShayTay Mar 25th, 2012 02:43 PM

I think Atravelynn has been tiger trekking (minus the waders, of course!)

Jane62, I'd say just find some comfy shoes in which you can walk in CT and can wear in the safari vehicles and around camp. The Merrills look good. Usually, the safari vehicles have blankets onboard, which help once the sun goes down. Use them to cover up from your feet upwards.

rahelahelen May 26th, 2013 12:19 AM

Hmm, I have read the every single discussion on the post that is written about shoes for safari, I also have been finding for the little quality shoe’s Shop from where can increase my business through my local areas. I just decided to order from the Amazon. I tried to contact with
It is the time to wait to get the footwear….

LeePr May 26th, 2013 03:22 AM

For my gorilla trekking I used Bates M8 combat shoes which were nice because of their ankle stability on the wet ground as well as their high quality of fabrication. Actually, I didn't only wear them on my gorilla trekking but on my entire safari with Instinct Safaris in Uganda a couple of months ago. If you want to look at them yourself:


olive1209 May 31st, 2013 02:36 PM

I am bringing tom's

KTtravel Jun 4th, 2013 10:26 AM

If you are going to be in tsetse fly territory, I would wear closed toed shoes on safari.

atravelynn Jun 6th, 2013 08:51 PM

Just "wading" into this conversation.

What kind of walking are you doing? If just short mid-day walks around camp, then tennis shoes are fine. Some of the nicer comfortable shoes would work for safari or city.

I agree with closed toes.

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