Hiking Boots Suggestion

Nov 29th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Hiking Boots Suggestion

My Husband n I are climbing Kilimanjaro in about 4 weeks. Just starting to get all the gear together and we are not too sure what kind of hiking boots we'll need, there seems to be a wide range(also pricey) of Hiking boots out there -
Does anyone have any suggestions on what the best boots are?
Do we need 2 pairs - one light hikers for the first couple of days and then winter hikers that keep the feet warm?
Should we even consider renting the hiking boots?(we are going with good earth)

PeaceLamp is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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I can't suggest a brand of boot, but I will suggest that you (soon!) go to a really good quality outdoor store with knowledgeable help such as (in the US) Eastern Mountain Sports, REI, etc. (I used to work in a store like this while I was in college.)

The store should even have inclined ramps so that you can test the shoe going "down hill". After trying on several pairs and buying them, wear them as much as you can before you leave to break them in (even just walking the dog, etc).
Good luck!
cruisinred is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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Never done kilimanjaro, not fit enough but I can recommend a make of hiking boot that I wear almost permanently (when I'm wearing footwear, that is


Mine are pretty light, real leather, felt incredibly comfortable from the first moment I put them (no breaking them in) and have lasted incredibly well (daily wear at home, not just on holiday for around two years).
Kavey is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Just light weight, broken in and comfortable. Waterproof them. Its just that early AM attack on the summit that an extra pair or heavy duty socks might be nice. I did it in tennies(don't recommend) and 2 pairs of socks. Had no plans to do the climb when I found myself with some 20somethings that insisted I go.
luangwablondes is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Just came back from Kili and I can tell you one area not to skimp is your boots!! You only need one pair with light wool hiker socks for the first couple of days and then a heavier weight sock for the summit and higher altitudes. I suggest Smartwool's for socks.

My husband wore Mendels with a pig skin interior and he had no foot problems at all. I have scarpa's but found them a bit too stiff and had do serious blister prevention with plasters.

Get them properly fitted, do not rent them, buy them as soon as you can and start wearing them everywhere. If you even think you feel the start of a blister, slap a plaster on it immediately.

I'm posting our photos and a write up on my web site this week at


Post a comment there if you want me to get back to you with any more info about the climb.

Good luck!
luckykat is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 02:37 PM
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oh, and my narrative can be found at:


luckykat is offline  
Nov 29th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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I would recommend wearing liners under your socks. I wear them under my socks and hiking boots whenever I'm trekking. They actually will help guard against blisters.

And as previously mentioned, break your boots in as soon as you can. I would recommend getting them ASAP and wear them a lot between now and the time you leave.

Have fun! Don't forget to post a trip report when you return.
divewop is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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I will third what is mentioned above: make sure your boots fit and are well broken in. I would never consider renting boots. If they don't fit right you will be in major pain, and have blisters that will be on your feet for weeks.

I just purchased a pair of these, took them out of the box and hiked 20 miles over a weekend. They are the best boots I have ever owned, but they do come with sticker shock! However, boots are not the place to skimp. I have seen them for $150 online at REI, but limited sizes.

Lowa VERTEX GTX with BIOMEX® Technology

Here is my Kilimanjaro Trip Report if you are interested:
Nelson is online now  
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:28 PM
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Posts: 6,164
The type of brand that's good for you will depend on your foot. Is it narrow or wide, is your toe area wide or tapering? Basically, there is no one brand that works for everyone and you are going to have to try on a few pairs.

Cruisinred's advice is dead on--go somewhere with knowledgeable staff and some ramps to walk down and see if you get heel lift or toe bump when you walk in the shoes as either of these is sure to cause serious pain.
schlegal1 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2005, 11:20 AM
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Just a good pair of well worn in waterproof (gore tex) hiking boots will do the job. Don't forget hand and foot warmers for summit night. You don't need 2 pairs of boots, just warmer socks for the summit night. I wore Merrell Ridge Gore Tex boots for the entire trip and had no problems. Merrell Polar Blast or similar would be good as they have a Thinsulate and Polartec lining for warmth.
Teejay is offline  
Dec 1st, 2005, 06:38 PM
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I have not done Kilamanjaro, but I have done snow stuff in the Alps where the snow was deep.

The big thing is a good lug sole and comfort of fit. Socks are vital too. I use a wicking liner and good quality wool outer socks. For the outer socks I have Smart Wool and Birkenstock brands.

The big thing is to have plenty of the room in the toe of the boot. The down hill is where you really need the traction of lug soles, and the room in the toe. Otherwise, you may suffer from the dreaded black toe disease.

It is a bruising of the toes and the underpart of the toenails turns black. Usually the cause is pressure on the toes while descending steep downhill pitches.

For a continual uphill sloglike KJ I think a light weight, but supportive boot, is essential.

I have never been higher than 15,000 feet, so I am not sure how cold it will be at the altitude of KJ. It is in a strong tropical sun, so solar radiation should be plenty strong! I think you could cook without adequate sun screen and other protection.
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2005, 10:52 AM
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Thank You all. I'll try and get the boots this weekend.
Lucky Cat and Nelson your narratives are awesome and very very helpful.
and the website www.SummitPort.org has really good information on it for Mountains around the world.
Thanks - I will write a trip report once we get back.
PeaceLamp is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2005, 01:00 AM
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Good luck on your trip PeaceLamp. Hope it goes well. Look forward to yout trip report. One correction in a typo: the mountain site you mentioned is spelled www.summitpost.org.

Luckykat, your site is great. I need to spend some more time there later.
Nelson is online now  
Dec 4th, 2005, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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shucks! Thanks! I do put a lot of work into it and its great that some people read it! Look out for my write up about the cooking school I went to in Devon this weekend! And my Kili photos are all online now with the associated commentary. Make sure you turn captions on. The default seems to turn them off for some reason and I haven't figured out how to fix it!!
luckykat is offline  
Dec 4th, 2005, 09:12 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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I have not climbed Kilimanjaro, but done some serious hiking in the Alps, and on glaciers. I highly recommend neoprene socks. They keep you warm, wick moisture away from your feet, don't bunch up, insulate...

To prevent blisters: This is a tip I received from an Australian - it works! Smear your feet/toes, and your legs to where the boots end liberally with Vaseline before you put on your socks and boots.
Africaholic is offline  

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