Footwear to trek Gorillas

Old Oct 9th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Footwear to trek Gorillas

Leaving next week to trek gorillas in Kenya and Rowanda. Last minute question: If I can't find comfortable hiking boots, can I wear my Nike walkers to hike after Gorillas in Kenya and Rowanda?
My excitement is now beyond belief! So can't wait!!!
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Old Oct 9th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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If you don't have your boots already, I'd probably go with something that you already have that comforable for walking pretty good distances over somewhat rough terrain.

While your walkers might not be the greatest choice, trying to do the trek while wearing boots that you haven't used much (or broken in) is definitely worse.

That said, if you can very quickly come up with some boots (head to EMS or REI and ask for help!)... and give them at least a couple of good practice hikes, it would probably be the best bet.
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Old Oct 9th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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My family calls me "swivel ankles" because I often turn my ankle. I thought long and hard about buying hiking boots for the gorilla treks - but, since they were bulky and would take up needed suitcase space, that meant wearing the boots for much of the 3-week trip.

I went to REI, where the clerk convinced me that a broad sturdy heel was more important than padding around the ankle. The Merrills I bought were great and needed virtually no breaking in. Wore them on planes and almost daily outside of cities. No problems on even the 3-hours-in- each-direction gorilla trek.

But, if your foot is really stable in your walkers that may be all you need?
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Old Oct 9th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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I say what astein12 does.
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Old Oct 10th, 2008, 04:44 AM
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As said worn in boots may be your best bet.
Don't know about REI, as I haven't been for awhile but EMS has an incline deck that you can try your hikers on. It will give you a good sense of how well the shoe grips as well as foot stability.
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Old Oct 10th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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We just got back from Rwanda two weeks ago. You definitely need something with a good grip and the one thing I found with a higher ankle support was that when you stepped in mud a foot deep, it didn't suck your shoe right off. I had Timberland's with a higher ankle support. While not technically "hiking boots" they were perfect for the trek. Whatever you wear, be prepared to have them covered in mud, buffalo poop and gorilla poop!
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Old Oct 10th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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Hey, I just have to secong the last post. when I was there a year ago, I found that my bslightly loose fitting boots ( had borrowed them from a friend and they were a size too big!!)were practically sucked off my foot by the mud. The fact that they came above my ankle made a HUGE difference as did their being water proof! I would sugest light, waterproof, good fitting / comgy and with a sold with some tractions (not smooth).
Rhoda
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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I wore running shoes, as did everyone in our party. Had no issues at all.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Whatever footware you take, throw in some bandaids and moleskin. You will likely rub different parts of your foot when you hike terrain that is steeper with more obstacles and mud than you are accustomed to.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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I so thank you for the time you all took to reply to my question!!!
reslonina is offline  
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