I am setting off (in exactly 31days!!!!) on a RTW trip for four months.
I will be going to South America (BRazil/Peru/Chile)
Now, my dilemma is, what shoes to take!!
I will be doing some hiking in SA and NZ but don't want huge bulky boots.
I was thinking of taking a pair of leather sandals/flat pumps for city days and evenings, and some more practical walking shoes for trekking etc.
I thought of picking up thongs as I go.
I am not sure which trekking shoes to get - I am not particularly up to speed with hiking trainers etc so could do with some advice!!
If you are off in 31 days it is too late for you to get hiking shoes. You should have bought them a year ago. If you buy them new now you won't get them broken in properly in time for your departure. Hiking shoes that are not broken in are utterly useless for taking on a trip.
If you had bought the shoes a year ago you could have gradually broken them in, wearing them for a day or two in a row and then switching to other shoes. Your hiking shoes would have become comfortable bit by bit and you could have easily switched to other shoes if they started to rub.
If you buy them now you'll have no choice but to wear them constantly to break them in and it will be uncomfortable. Your feet won't get rest from the shoes at all and it is likely that you'll develop blisters. Not what you want for hiking. If you got hiking boots that are broken in already use those, otherwise forget your hiking plans.
I bought a pair of Mephisto All-Rounders a few years ago and I still use them for every trip. I did try to break them in a little before going, but I must say I had hardly any blister problems with these. Plus they're half walking shoe half sandal--so they were cooler than runners in warm temperatures. Mind, I didn't travel for months at a time, but I did do an awful lot of walking.
Is something like this practical? I figure these look less chunky than hiking shoes?
Thanks for the advice - saves me buying them and them hurting me.
You might also want to take a look at Keen Venice, Keen Arroyo and Teva Dozer hiking sandals, since you will be mostly in hot countries.
Having hiking sandals will save you the trouble of carrying your hiking shoes in your backpack through SE Asia. Since you won't be hiking in Oz you don't need to protect yourself against snake bites with leather hiking boots, thus you would only need the sneakers in winter in NZ.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 11, 2008, at 5:24 PM by t_maia ]
Basically when I'm on a plane I try to wear the heaviest things and carry as much in my pockets as I can, to cut back on luggage weight. hehe. so I wear the bulky boots when in travel and walking off-road. And light sneakers all other times. for me I just find sneakers that look nice and then I try to keep them clean that way I can get away with wearing them in clubs or when nicer footwear is expected. sandals or thongs can pretty much be crammed into any nook or cranny. I've put them in my pockets before. whatever make that carry-on lighter.
t_maia is right about the buying the hiking shoes way in advance as a general rule of thumb. However, since life doesn't always work out that way, if you buy them now, at least put them through a good few hours of actual hiking before taking them.
I had a pair of hiking boots and I wore them for about a week, one of those days I went hiking for several hours. They started out okay, but by the end of the hiking day they were horrible. I couldn't stand them.
Instead of wasting more time trying to break them in, I went and bought some nice Merrells. This was a week before my trip. The Merrells ended up being far more comfortable and didn't really need breaking in.