Machu Picchu - Hiking shoes needed or not?

Jun 30th, 2008, 06:07 AM
  #1  
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Machu Picchu - Hiking shoes needed or not?

I just posted this on julies's trip report thread but I thought maybe it should be its own post --

Silly question but I see a variety of opinions and am thinking maybe one more will help: if you are not hiking the Inca Trail or Huayna Picchu do you recommend hiking shoes/boots or would running shoes (trail running) be enough?

If I do need more than a running shoe, I'm thinking a pair of the hybrid style that are lighter might be the way to go.

I'm not a hiker in general so I hate to spend money on shoes I won't be wearing too much in the future.
Any advice would be appreciated.


Leslie_S is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Running shoes are fine. There are a lot of stairs but nothing very difficult.
RBCal is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Good to know - thanks!
Leslie_S is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 02:41 AM
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Yes, definitely not hiking shoes for MP if you're not doing the Inca Trail or Huayna Picchu. I wore Keen's sandals. My daughter wore lightweight sneakers. As previous poster said, lots of stairs, but otherwise easy.
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Jul 2nd, 2008, 08:55 AM
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Just got back from Machu last night... you donīt need hiking shoes... but do know that whatever shoes you do bring, they will take a beating. So, donīt wear the cute Pumaīs like some girls at the ruins. And do bring mosquito repellent with at least 20% deet. The mosquitos are ravenous up there. And my final piece of advice, bring a backup camera. My digital broke on the way to Cusco from Lima (on the plane). I cried all the way to Cusco. I ended up with a disposable Kodak at the ruins. What a disgrace.

cheers! Veronana70
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Jul 2nd, 2008, 10:09 AM
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veronana70 - That stinks about your camera. My husband & I will each bring one just in case.

althom1122 - when you say HP is easy do you mean only in a fitness level sense or also that it is not scary? I've read some posts about people being freaked out at HP by sheer drops and then others that say it's tough but not in a fear-of-heights way.

So if I'm pretty scared of heights do you think any of the trails or stairs are so narrow and close to a drop-off that I shouldn't try it? I guess I can always give it a go and turn around if vertigo kicks in.

Leslie_S is offline  
Jul 4th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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Leslie - I was referring just to Machu Picchu being easy, not Huayna Picchu - sorry for the confusion! We didn't hike up HP (because of my daughter's fear of long sets of stairs/heights), so I can't comment on that. I just meant that it's easy in general around MP if you're not doing either the Inca Trail or HP.
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Jul 4th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Oh, okay!

My own fear of long flights of stairs and heights are probably enough to deter me from HP.


Leslie_S is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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if you need more help about inca Trail hiking or Huayna Picchu I recommend the good hiking shoes not running shoes; I went in May 06 with All Trek company (hpp://www.alltrekcusco.com) they treat their porters well, the food is great and they have great guides. you shouldn't have any problem being a solo traveller.
Shara
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Oct 6th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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To bring this topic back into play - I have another similar question.

What kind of shoes would be best for visiting Machu Picchu in the rainy season? Is it muddy at the ruins?

We won't be hiking on any of the trails, but will be visiting the ruins for a couple days in February. I love Keens, but I wonder if I would need something more "rain boot-y" that time of year.
scdreamer is online now  
Oct 6th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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When I visited MP during June last year, I found it very dusty while tromping thru the ruins.

Conversely, I would imagine that during rainy season, all that dust/dirt turns into alot of mud. If that's the case (others could confirm who have been there during rainy period), then I'd guestimate shoes w/ good tread would be a priority. Trekking thru mud and along wet stairs can be very slippery.
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Oct 6th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Recently trekked Lares to Ollantaytambo and Macchu Picchu. My advice wet or dry season, would always be to go for boots with good ankle support, the steps and rocks are just waiting to help you twist an ankle and trainers or shoes, even the trekking variety just wont provide the support. I use Rockport XCS boots and Keen trekking sandals for nless demanding walking
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Oct 6th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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emd
 
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It's not a silly question, and I always like fresh answers. Thanks for this thread.

I broke my foot last year in Mexico (fell down stairs in the airport upon arrival, while carrying my luggage, two bad breaks). Although it was casted and has healed well, no problems in months, I am definitely taking my hiking boots to Machu Picchu in April. It could be went/slippery as it will be end of the rainy season. We will probably do some other hiking also.

Leslie_S, What time of year are you going? I think that factors in also re wet ground and slippery stairs.
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Oct 8th, 2008, 04:09 AM
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I'm going in two days (yay!). I finally decided on just a hiking/sneaker hybid shoe from North Face. It has a supportive sole and good tread but no ankle support. I don't plan to do HP so I'm hoping it will be enough. I'll check back in when we return to give an opinion on that.
Leslie_S is offline  
Oct 20th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Replying to my own question since I've recently returned from my trip.

For doing MP but not HP I found trail running shoes to be adequate. I was glad to have a grippy tread - the climbing at MP and other ruins is still slippery (dusty & sandy) in places even when it's not rainy and I would not have wanted to be in just plain running shoes.

That said, at MP I saw several people in flip flops - and not the sturdier version but the very thin ones that have an eighth of an inch thick sole. Very bizarre! Can't imagine how uncomfortable that was, much less the danger of slipping or twisting an ankle. To each his own...
Leslie_S is offline  
Oct 20th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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emd
 
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Leslie, how was the trip??? Give us some details when you get a chance.

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Oct 22nd, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Check out Leslie's trip report .... "Back from Peru ... " at http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...6&tid=35163042

And do look at her photos (you'll find link in her trip report). Great pics!
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 02:39 PM
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I am certainly NOT a regualr hiker but I can offer some advice...

Unless you have a real reason to bring special shoes, any type of normal tennis shoe or sneeker is fine. Machu Picchu is built with uneven, stone surfaces. For hiking Huayna Picchu - the same tennis shoes are fine. If you're not doing other hiking activities, don't waste the room in your suitcase.
JKinCALIF is offline  
Dec 1st, 2008, 03:06 PM
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I beg to differ on the last piece of advice about regular tennis shoes. We did hike Huayna Picchu, and I was SO glad that I had on my real hiking boots. First of all, you need a shoe with a really sturdy sole that has a great gripping tread. Secondly, you'll appreciate some ankle support. Finally, we were there in the dry season in the end of May. It had rained, and the trail was extremely wet and treacherous. I slipped even though I had good hiking boots on. If I had't been holding on to one of the guide cables, it would have been curtains for me. As it was, all I got was a huge nasty bruise.

We are not super trekkers or mountain climbers, but I am so glad I have the boots. Even if they only get used on a vacation every year or so, they are worth it. My current boots are 10 years old. Also, we live in a snowy climate, and I sometimes wear them for walks here in the winter. So, maybe if you live in a similar climate, you might look at the boots as being more versatile.
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Dec 7th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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We just got back and I have to put in my two cents about the hiking shoes. We knew we were going in the rainy season and didn't want to only rely on just tennis shoes and we are so glad we didn't. We wore tennis shoes to our first site at Sacsayhuaman and ended up with pretty sore feet with all the climbing we did there. From then on out we wore our hiking boots (waterproof from Columbia) and we never had sore feet again. There were places at Tipon and MP where it was nice having the ankle support we got from the hiking shoes and when it was wet, it gave us a little more grip.

My vote would be to take hiking boots even though you can easily go without.
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