Shoes.....What to take..

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Aug 9th, 2004, 01:31 PM
  #1
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Shoes.....What to take..

Because of the weight limit, we are struggling with the shoe question. Our biggest decision now seems to be what shoes to take. Do we need our hiking boots at the camps? I have hiking boots, tennis shoes, tevas and some low dress shoes for eating out in Cape Town. Thanks
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Aug 9th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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You don't mention which country, if other than SA, nor the camps you'll be visiting. So, unless you're doing serious hiking, leave the boots home. Will you be taking small charter flights? If not, then you won't be strictly limited as to weight. So the tennies, tevas and flats are perfect.
 
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Aug 9th, 2004, 02:36 PM
  #3
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Thanks Sandi!

We are going to three camps in Botswana, savute, eagle and Khwai, then to vic falls, then to cape town. I am not sure if you hike around vic falls or not. The boots are just kind of fun to wear, but maybe not really needed.
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Aug 9th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Hi there, here is what I do for what it's worth.
My first 3 trips I wore my steel toe work boots over there. With the thought of leaving them behind.I wore these on the plane over. I brought along flip-flops for the shower. Which I also left behind. I pretty good pair of sandles for around camp ect. Those come back. I wear these on the plane.
This trip coming up in 4wks. I went out and bought a pair of hiking boots w/o steel toes. Again I plan on leaving behind and wear on the plane. They only cost about 24bucks. Dosen't mean anything. I leave them with friends.
Flip-flops, leave behind. Good sandles wear back on the plane.
Plus many other things I take and leave behind.
Cheers, David
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Aug 9th, 2004, 06:31 PM
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I think an excellent alternative to hiking boots is trail running shoes. They are more comfortable than hiking boots and can double as tennis shoes.

On this last trip of mine, combining Italy and Zambia, I only took three pairs of shoes.

1. A black pair of Rockport walking shoes, that also doubled as dress shoes. I was on a guided tour of Italy staying at 3.5* hotels, not on a Seabourn cruise, so this was fine, both in Italy and in Zambia (and would have been fine even if I was staying at Singita).

2. My Asics trail running shoes. These were excellent on the bush walks. Despite being majorly out of shape, I had no problem walking 10 miles on our 4+ hour bush walk at Chichele, thanks to my trail running shoes, which are absolutely essential if you are going to be walking over fresh elephant and hippo tracks, as we were doing.

3. A good pair of birkenstock type sandals with a strap in the back so they don't slip off.

I would, personally, be hesitant to ever bring hiking boots again. The trail running shoes work out so much better. After I did a 30 kilometer race (finishing dead last!) on a very nasty course a couple months before my vacation, I had no doubt in my mind that I was bringing my trail shoes instead of my hiking boots. Hiking boots are heavier, less comfortable and bulkier to pack.

My advice is that anybody that is planning on doing some serious bush walks while on safari should invest in a good $100 pair of trail running shoes.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 02:01 AM
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Rocco, you don't pack the hiking boots. you wear them on the plane. then leave them behind to save some room. I also did much walking and tracking in zimbabwe & kenya. I wear boots all day anyway. So, thats what I prefer to use. No need to spend 100.00 on shoes.
My advice, bring stuff you don't need back home. Leave it as you go. Film ect is more important any way.
thanks, david
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Aug 10th, 2004, 05:13 AM
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Dave,

I wore my hiking boots on the plane last year, and it didn't do much for my comfort level for the 35+ hours from Zambia to Los Angeles.

Just from a comfort level alone, trail running shoes would benefit anyone planning on doing a lot of walking and, ultimately, would be more useful than hiking boots. Trail running shoes are the new hiking boots and will largely replace hiking boots now and in the future.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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hey there rocco, i am so used to them. it's all good for me. i have no idea of the other shoes you mention. in any event. it will be inexpensive shoes i always leave behind.
at work now. later.
dave
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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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I would highly encourage sandals (with really good traction) at Vic Falls - your feet are going to be soaked when you visit the falls. Something to consider, if you start and end you trip in the same city - we left the comfy clothes and shoes we wore on the plane in a small suitcase at the hotel, along with extra books and neck pillows, etc. That way, for the return flight we also had some non-bush clothing to wear as by the end of our time in the bush, I didn't even want to see those clothes for a while. Just a thought.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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I find my walking boots more comfortable than trainers/ sneakers for extended wear, protection and ankle support but I took time to pick a pair that really worked for me as I wear them most of the time at home too. (Arthritic hip and weak ankle, seem to benefit from flat, supportive shoes).

Trainers just don't support my feet in the same way, many designs aren't that sturdy and I wouldn't want to walk through muddy areas or over uneven surfaces in them.

I also take one pair of open sandals (for wearing in the camp or for a drive in the heat of the day, when I know I'm not going to be walking anywhere much).

On the last trip I also took one pair of reasonably smart black flat shoes incase we needed to look vaguely smarter for any restaurants in the Cape area. Didn't wear them once though as the restaurant scene is pretty casual. Even in the smarter restaurants in Cape Town people were dressed in a range of casual to smart styles.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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If at the camps you'll be in land rovers, light weight walking shoes or running shoes will do. You'll also need light loafers for the evenings, just to give your feet a rest. Even short walks and canoe rides can be accommodated. You do not need heavy boots. And if you wear the boots on planes, that weight doesn't count.
 
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Aug 10th, 2004, 04:06 PM
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You may have the luck to do some walking somewhere. Take the boots anyway. Wear them on the plane. Don't try to pack them. I know it does not count as weight. It frees up room in your bag. Yes I said bag.Just one carry on and my camera bag. I have all I will need for 3 weeks plus.
Back to the boots. If you are lucky enough to do some walking. There are thorns everywhere!! Don't forget, the felled tress and rocks lying around.
If the boots go up a little over your ankles, that will help keep them from twisting. I am on my 4th trip. Done much hiking, tracking, stalking, red clay, rocks, thorn bushes, some hills ect. Think of it this way also. You will have that wilderness feel. You won't regret it. No need to spend a lot. Go to K-MART if your in the states some place like that. Grab a pair.
Expect to leave them behind with someone who needs it more.
Yeb, with all my cam stuff and a 120 rolls of film. I have no more than 30lbs. When I leave the boots behind. Plus a bunch of other stuff and wear the good sandles home.I Have that much more room.
Cheers, David

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Aug 10th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Wow, thanks everyone for your help! We are first time travelers to Africa. Leaving next week. So we will leave the dress shoes behind !! Seems we probably do not need the boots...but.. I really like wearing the ones I have so they still may find their way. I was hoping we could find some trails to walk.

Kind Regards and happy travels to all.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 06:00 PM
  #14
DJE
 
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lana,

On our trip last year I wore a pair of fairly lightweight Rockport walking shoes throughout the entire trip and on all plane rides. Found these to be very comfortable and sturdy enough for walking on any trails ( did a bush walk at Kings Pool ) and in the City. Also took a little pair of flat casual shoes for dinners in Cape Town and Joburg. For me it was the right combination.
Have a wonderful time on your African adventure.
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Aug 11th, 2004, 09:57 AM
  #15
Blacktie
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DJE has a good idea. Along those lines, I take Polo walking shoe/boots and italian rubber sole loafers for in-camp. And that is it. Suggest extra laces, and treat both before going.
 
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Aug 12th, 2004, 12:53 PM
  #16
TC
 
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We did three weeks. Almost always in LandRover. Hiking boots would have been way too hot. Good comfortable cross-trainers or the like is what you need and make sure they are cool. Don't forget too, your feet are going to swell something awful on that long, long plane ride so make sure you can stil get the hiking boots on when your foot is 1/2 to a whole size bigger. I recommend one pair cool cross-trainers and one pair smart, comfortable sandles for around camp. Cold toss in a pair of inexpensive flip/flops for shower and or Falls if getting wet.
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Aug 12th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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A lot will depend on your own fitness levels and what feels most comfortable to you.

I have arthritic hip plus slightly weak ankles (tore ligaments through one of them years and years ago). I find the additional support of walking boots over trainers (sneakers) invaluable.

We also travel in winter and although it can get hot during the day my feet tend not to overheat as the vehicle is moving a lot and lots of air comes in. On the other hand I do find it bitterly cold in the early mornings and late afternoons/ evenings and so my leather walking boots keep me warm.

Mine aren't much heavier than trainers - I have brasher boots and they have a number of lighter models.

When walking in the bush I also like the idea that if something tries to bite my foot it's got a lot of THICK leather to get through before it finds me! Of course if something tries to bite me elsewhere I'm screwed whatever I'm wearing on my feet.

If you opt for trainers rather than walking boots make sure they have the kind of thick sole that cushions you when walking on rough surfaces as you may end up doing bush walks in areas with jagged rocks, lots of pebbles, twigs and so on.

Just go on what's most comfortable to you as that's very important.

It's not the time to break in a new pair of shoes!
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Aug 16th, 2004, 05:34 PM
  #18
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I am sitting here in my hiking boots...making final plans for the trip. While I love the outdoors, I would never be accused of being too coordinated, so the boot really help. I am leaving saturday and really starting to get excited. Thanks everyone for your advice. I am already planning next year based on your trip reports. We we have not even gone our first trip yet!
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Aug 17th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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Hi Lana, I am taking it from your last post. You are going with boots. Good, you will not be sorry. On the plane, thats easy. You take them off. On the way back. Leave them behind if you can.
Like I mentioned before and someone else did a couple of posts ago. There are many things to walk on, and maybe step over. Take them. Oh , throw some foot powder in there too.
You want that bush feel right? You want that africa under my feet thing right?
The boots are it!!!!!
By the way, it dosen't matter what kind of crappy looking things you bring. It's a safari.
Take care, david
ps, if you need anything mail me at:
[email protected]
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