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RooseveltG Dec 1st, 2009 04:35 PM

Hiking Boots vs. Low top walking shoes for SE Asia?
We will be in SE Asia from January to March. I am thinking of wearing high top hiking shoes, but am concerned that it could be too hot with a high risk of athlete's foot. I would like the ankle support, but am now thinking of wearing low top walking shoes.

Any thoughts or experience would be appreciated.



lcuy Dec 1st, 2009 04:45 PM

Are you going to be doing real hiking with heavy packs or day treks. If just walking, I'd wear cooler, lighter shoes, especially ones that dry quickly in the high

Kathie Dec 1st, 2009 05:34 PM

Cool, light shoes or "trekking sandals" are likely what you want. Boots will be too heavy and hot. There are walking shoes that are all mesh, and shoes like Keens that have lots of openings for air circulation. Even usual low top walking shoes will likely be too hot.

Cicerone Dec 1st, 2009 06:37 PM

Without knowing if you are actually going to be doing any walking/trekking/hiking and whether those are day or overnight trips, it’s hard to advise. If you just mean for street wear, I can’t imagine wearing high top hiking boots. High top boots would tend to make you slow and clumsy on streets/stairs, not to mention it is a bit uncomfortable to sit at restaurant tables in them; plus remember that in many places you have to take your shoes off to enter temples, etc so you may be spending a lot of time lacing and unlacing. Even low hiking books or sneakers may have the same drawbacks.

If you are walking/hiking in the countryside, it will depend on the terrain, the weather and the purpose of the trip. I agree that unless you are doing a long trek with a heavy pack, you don’t need high boots. I hike every weekend on very hilly terrain and don’t wear high tops, but I am only carrying a small day pack with a couple of bottles of water.

If you are walking/hiking and wear any kind of boot, even a low walking shoe or sneaker, the main thing you want is to have with you are several pairs of socks and change them often. Unless it is raining, the shoes will stay as dry as your feet are, but your feet will sweat. Simply changing socks every so often makes a big difference.

november_moon Dec 1st, 2009 08:27 PM

For walking around, biking, and light hiking, we found Keens to be perfect. I actually didn't wear socks at all in SE Asia. Seemed too hot to even consider them.

crellston Dec 1st, 2009 11:59 PM

Another vote for Keens. On a year long trip last year I took a pair of Keen Newport HT sandals and a pair of Keen low rise trekking trainers. Bothe were exceptionally comfortable and I could wear them all day with out a problem. The sandals are still as good as new but the inside of trainers fell to bits after 6 months! Not a great fashion look but wearing socks with the sandals is REALLY comfortable (but clearly not cool!). If ankle support really is an issue for you consider buying a couple of tubulat elastic ankle supports and use instead of socks.

I took hiking boots with me as we were also travelling to colder climes but only used them once in SEA - just too hot.

RooseveltG Dec 2nd, 2009 07:47 AM

Thanks for all the responses. I will not do heavy hiking and will look into the Keens.


jacksallaround Dec 3rd, 2009 05:06 AM

It all depends on the countries you´re planning to visit, though I´d definitely go for the walking shoes or sandals and avoid boots.
January-March is a good time to over here, but average temperatures and rainfall changes according to countries and cities, it´ll be vey hot in Singapore (humid too) and Malaysia (around (90F/32C) while not so much in Vietnam (62F/17)

hikes Dec 8th, 2009 10:44 AM

I would take a hiking sandals and another pair of hiking boots with me.
You would not want to go trecking with sandals, on the other hand it's nice to have them...
I would like to recomend you a great blog-site that gives very useful review and tips about what to look for when looking for hiking boots and how to take care about hiking boots.

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