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sneakers/trainers/joggers ok for kids in Swiss Alps in September?

sneakers/trainers/joggers ok for kids in Swiss Alps in September?

Apr 1st, 2013, 06:48 PM
  #1  
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sneakers/trainers/joggers ok for kids in Swiss Alps in September?

Hi everyone

Will be in Grindelwald 4 nights from 24 Sept. and would rather not pack heavy footwear because lots of train travel before and after (3 weeks in Europe in total).

Question is: will my sons (aged 12 and 14) get by with their lightweight Nike joggers for hiking? We'll be sticking to the usual trails, nothing too outrageous.

Thanks for any advice.
smm_18 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 06:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,162
No problem. I always wear tennis shoes or ladies walking shoes (Clarks, etc.). My son (teenager) just wore his tennis shoes everyday on our hikes.
BarbAnn is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 09:09 PM
  #3  
 
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Smm, the problem is that so many people write here: "I am going to Europe and don't want to look like a tourist, and I hear that Europeans don't wear jeans/sneakers/whatever."

Yes, they do, and no, they don't really care what you wear.

So if you are asking from a fashion aspect, no problem.

On the other hand, if you are asking from the athletic aspect (will these shoes be sturdy enough?), I would think they would be good, as long as you aren't talking about very extensive mountain hikes.

But I will leave that aspect to the hiking experts.
Greenway is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 09:23 PM
  #4  
 
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Hi smm-18,

I agree with Greenway -- I'm afraid the sneakers may not be best for hiking the mountain trails. Unless he/you guys stick to the very easy trails, the sneakers will get wet and muddy and won't have the traction and grip necessary for the trails.

Actually, all of the hiking trails are sign-posted as to their difficulty. An all-yellow sign means that the trail is easy and safe for most people and most footwear. But if there is a white square with a red line through it at the end of the yellow sign, then sturdy footwear is required. There is another sign to denote even more difficult trails where mountain-trail footwear is required and where only fit hikers should go, but I forget exactly what that sign looks like -- maybe two red lines through the white square.

Many times, there are multiple trails between two points, and you'll have a choice to take the easy trail or the more challenging one.

On my last trip to Switzerland, I was not prepared for the snow that had fallen and couldn't do the hikes I wanted -- I really felt bad. So, I guess you have to weigh how much hiking you'll do and how bad you'll feel if you don't get to do them against the weight in your luggage.

You can always wear the hiking boots on the train -- that's what I and many others do.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 09:25 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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smm:

Reasonable question (note to pvs: this is not about fashion, but about safety):

I think you will be just about safe for hiking trails marked with yellow lozenges, but do in no circumstances try hiking trails marked with white-red-white squares. These are more demanding trails and should be walked with dedicated hiking equipment.

Personally I would prefer walking shoes with a sturdy well-profiled sole even for the easier trails.

Hope this helps, enjoy your trip.

Phil.
Phil is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 09:30 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Here's a link to what the Swiss tourist office recommends for each level of trail:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/signage.html

and here is a link to a photo of the hiking trail signs:

http://tinyurl.com/d9kzc69

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 09:53 PM
  #7  
 
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Will these be the only shoes they are taking?
I just worry a little if they get wet and or muddy - and having walked a lot in this area in July even then some days my boots were damp.
I guess if they have other foot wear for when these are drying they might manage OK especially as you say you do not plan to take any difficult tracks.
Is it possible for them to have a more sturdy pair of what they might think of as more fashionable boots?
They are old enough to look after their own bags so hopefully you can sort something out.
I love this area - we spent a weekend there a few weeks ago - as non skiers - just to relax and enjoy the amazing views.
Happy travels.
love_travel_Aus is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 10:59 PM
  #8  
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Thanks, everyone! Definitely not about fashion, don't give a hoot about fashion in the mountains! It's about travelling light and safety. Aiming to haul as little as possible on and off trains. Hoping the boys have a cabin-sized bag each and for me only slightly larger.

Also the fact that they've outgrown their hiking boots and I'd have to buy new ones! Budget constraints, you know.

Would anyone know, for example, if the hike from Grindelwald-First along the Bachalpsee to the Schynige Platte qualifies as a 'yellow'? Yes, it may tell me on those links, I haven't looked at them yet...

Will probably have a light pair of canvas shoes in case of wet feet at the end of the day.

Food for thought. I really appreciate your help and advice, kind people!
smm_18 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 11:02 PM
  #9  
 
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" will my sons (aged 12 and 14) get by with their lightweight Nike joggers for hiking? "

No. That's to say, probably not.

I've personally never spent a late September week in Switzerland without encountering at least one period of substantial rain. And I've never seen a child on a proper (6 miles or over) walk in the rain in trainers look anything other than miserable. Or rather, I've never seen a modern brat with the moral fibre to go on walking in the rain in unsuitable footwear after the first mile and second sulk.

It's got nothing to do with mud (even today's children don't really care about looking scruffy): it's the sheer misery of wet feet and the conviction that it's OK to let such misery influence behaviour.

My experience with Swiss rain doesn't guarantee there'll be rain while you're there. But it's likely enough there'll be some for you to think about how to deal with it. Incidentally: in most of mountainous Europe, historical averages, especially round the equinoxes, are almost useless at predicting the likelihood of weather in even a few days' time.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 1st, 2013, 11:31 PM
  #10  
 
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Hi again,

You know, there are hiking "boots" that look and feel and weigh like sneakers. Some are low and some go up to the ankle. They'll have the grip and traction needed for the trails, and some of them are even waterproof. They are excellent for running around town, and of course will work for the trails.

I have a pair of low Solomon SCS GTX that are good for everything but the steepest trails, and a pair of Meindl that are high-tops. They both look like sneakers and weigh about the same.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 12:46 AM
  #11  
 
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My kids wore joggers when we were in the Swiss mountains in October and had no problem. They also wore socks on their hands instead of gloves because we were unprepared for snow. We were, however, blessed with reasonably good weather. Regardless of what shoes they wear, I suggest having a second pair so if one pair gets wet they have an alternative to wear the next day.
dreamon is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 01:27 AM
  #12  
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Thanks again. Yes, tending towards swandav's suggestion re low-ankle shoes, which is in fact what I'll be wearing (well-worn and loved Asolos), leaving my good leather hi-tops at home.

Was hoping to get away with the joggers, since one son HAS to bring his in order to keep up his running training in Europe!! (Damned tough and committed, definitely no brat.) I guess they'd be OK for perfect day, perfect weather, perfect trail... but how awful to be snowed/rained in with sodden tootsies, and I really don't think they have great traction to boot (scuse pun). So these must become the alternative, as you say.
smm_18 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #13  
 
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http://www.wanderland.ch/en/page.cfm/318235

1) Hiking trails - easiest - Yellow
2) Mountain hiking trails - Red line over white
3) Alpine hiking trails - the most difficult - Blue line over white

I see 1) and 2)signs all over hiking areas. The only 3) I have done is between Bettmerhorn and Eggishorn ( have done a few times ) and that route is very rocky. First - Bachalpsee is not particualrly demanding, rather flat and maybe I did it wearing sneaker/jogging shoes a long time ago. Have not done farther toward Schnige Platte. FYI, http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/pl...hiking-trails/

I see no bleu trails so it's not excessively hard though a long 6hr walk.

I have both high and low rise hiking shoes but wears nowadays mostly low rise including when I do alpine routes. Seems fine and easier to carry when not wearing them. Would be a bit afraid with neakers on rough rocky grounds and in case of rain, on slippery surfaces.
kappa1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,350
http://www.wanderland.ch/en/page.cfm/318235

1) Hiking trails - easiest - Yellow
2) Mountain hiking trails - Red line over white
3) Alpine hiking trails - the most difficult - Blue line over white

I see 1) and 2)signs all over hiking areas. The only 3) I have done is between Bettmerhorn and Eggishorn ( have done a few times ) and that route is very rocky. First - Bachalpsee is not particualrly demanding, rather flat and maybe I did it wearing sneaker/jogging shoes a long time ago. Have not done farther toward Schnige Platte. FYI, http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/pl...hiking-trails/

I see no bleu trails so it's not excessively hard though a long 6hr walk.

I have both high and low rise hiking shoes but wears nowadays mostly low rise including when I do alpine routes. Seems fine and easier to carry when not wearing them. Would be a bit afraid with neakers on rough rocky grounds and in case of rain, on slippery surfaces.
kappa1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 01:59 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for the advice, kappa1, and for that great link!

Wonder what the 'removed' comment was? Whoever posted it wasted their time because I didn't see it. I'm fairly new to this Forum and was rather taken aback by the tone of one of the earlier comments (also removed, I see). Thanks, moderators.
smm_18 is offline  

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