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walking shoes or hiking boots for Switzerland walking

walking shoes or hiking boots for Switzerland walking

Feb 9th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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walking shoes or hiking boots for Switzerland walking

Fit 60 plus couple plan to take trains to several different destinations and spend days walking on all kinds of terrain (mountains/country side/towns) the second week in May. Would we beneifit from wearing ankle protection with a hiking boot or will supportive walking shoes be adequate? Also, would you recommend whatever we wear be waterproof?
samsam is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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I found water resistant walking shoes with a heavy profile on the soles very satisfactory hiking downhill from the Kl.Scheidegg to Wengen (trail and grassy hillside, when I lost my way), and the Maennlichen to the Kl. Scheidegg (trail). However, I was VERY happy to have my (collapsible)trecking pole along. You can buy these in Switzerland, Austria or Germany. I have used the Komperdell poles, made in Austria.
treplow is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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PS, I am 79.
treplow is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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You'll find much better quality and less expensive shoes in the US. ankle protection and waterproof, of course!
logos999 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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I wrote something similar a year ago. I never did reply - I got hiking shoes from LLBean. LOVE them - still wear them. much more packable than the boots, believe me. they almost can pass for trainers, not quite but close (only in looks - they are much more durable than trainers).
flygirl is online now  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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oops. almost two years ago! how time flies.
flygirl is online now  
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Loved hiking in Switzerland. Love my Merrell hiking shoes. Dislike boots because I don't like anything on my ankles (personal preference). Also liked the light weight of the shoes compared to the boots. I need all the help I can get with light-weight things going up those steep hils and I'm in my 30's!
Have fun in Switzerland! Don't get too close to the cows; they spook easily! Cows mooing and bouncing up a hill are not a pretty sight!
Do rec waterproof/Goretex shoes since sudden storms can pop up.
nibblette is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Well, I don't know about Switzerland, but we were in the Pyrenees last summer just doing day hikes and we were both very happy to have our hiking boots with the ankle support. Without this is you make a false step off a rock you will twist your ankle.

I should also say that we decided to take these (and wear them on the plane of course since they aren't the easiest things to pack) because on two prior trips we had been walking in the mountains in both southern Poland and in Andalucia and had kicked ourselves for not bringing real hiking boots when we already owned some. I vote for real boots. I wore mine all over last trip. I guess you just need to factor in which percentage of which type of walking you will be doing.

p.s. We're also fit but a little younger than you are.
julies is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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I have done three 2-week hiking trips in Switzerland and always take boots, in part because I have found that hiking downhill in low-top hiking shoes does not work---my feet slide forward and my toes hit the front. I also like the greater stiffness and protection underfoot. Last summer, my younger sister, who is a marathon trail runner, tried to get by with her trail shoes, and she was sorry---her feet and lower legs were sore. But we are doing strenuous hikes (8 or more miles with lots of elevation gain and loss) on rocky trails. If you will be mostly on the wider, better surfaced paths, you may be fine in low-top trail shoes, so long as they have a good lug sole. The trails are likely to be muddy in May--and maybe some snow as well. I agree with "treplow" that hiking poles would come in very handy. One for each might be fine---that's all I use.
enzian is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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I also vote for hiking boots--trails there can be wet, muddy and slippery in places as well as rocky--good ankle support is not absolutely required but helpful. I agree with Treplow that the Komperdell collapsible poles are good--some fold up short enough to fit in standard luggage if you get the rubber tips.
taxatty is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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good point - didn't pay attn to the dates - I was mid June and it was still slippery in a few places.
flygirl is online now  
Feb 9th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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A good lug Vibram sole, ankle protection, a hard toe and enough room in the toe area are the essential requirements.

I think any one of several boots will fill the bill. I have an old pair of Merrills I got from L. L. Bean years ago.

I have had them resoled more than once.
I do that because they fit, and I don't have to worry about blisters with them.

Rather than buying by brand, I think it is more important to buy by fit as long as the boot has the requisite features.

Also, I recommend hiking poles. They are essential on rocky trails, scree slopes and snow banks. Removable rubber tips and a telescoping design are essential.

My wife has Gabels and I have Lekis. I prefer the Gabels.
bob_brown is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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My husband hikes in very lightweight boots by Asolo---I think they are Gore-tex. They are not as stiff as mountaineering boots, and require no break-in.
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 11:34 AM
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eurogals is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 08:03 AM
Original Poster
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Thanks to all of you for your input. We feel more confident now about our choices. We are going to go with treplow's recommendations.
samsam is offline  

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