Shoes for high temperature hikes

1:15 p.m. on October 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Hello all,

I'm new to this site, and new to the world of hiking!

I am off travelling around Australia and decided to do a bit of hiking around Flinders range and the more common routes around Uluru. This is with all with a tour group, so it's unlikely to be overly difficult, but it does specify fitness levels etc.

Can anyone tell me what type of shoe/boot I will need?

It's going to be really hot, so I would rather wear a good pair of breathable trainers, which would also be a good deal easier to carry around in my backpack.

However, I am slightly concerned by the recommendations on some sites saying sturdy walking shoes are needed. I doubt the trails will be difficult as it's a tour, but I'm worried it may be to protect against things (i.e. spiders/snakes... a bit of paranoia coming through). I've seen other that have said that they wore normal trainers and it was fine.

Any advice and/or shoe recommedations would be greatly appreciated.



2:33 p.m. on October 4, 2012 (EDT)
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the lighter end of of trail-walking shoes that are actually shoes, as opposed to sandals or minimalist footwear like vibram fivefingers, is probably a pair of trail-running shoes.  these are not much different from a pair of 'trainers' (traditional running shoes).  Like running shoes, trail runners are generally a combination of nylon and leather, with leather reinforcing certain parts of the shoe.  The sole/tread on a pair of trail runners may tend to be a little more aggressive, deeper lugs, than normal running shoes, and the leather reinforcements may be (but are not always) a little sturdier than the average pair of running shoes, particularly in terms of lateral support for your foot. 

unless you expect significant rainfall, i would not get trail runners with a gore tex or other waterproof/breathable liner because they tend to make one's feet feel hotter and sweatier. 

no matter what kind of footwear you get, it's always possible for a spider or snake (or other critter) to get access to your arms or legs.  i don't think the prospect of encountering either of these should dictate what kind of shoe you wear.  however, if you think a trail might be sufficiently rugged or otherwise have some fear of getting bitten in the foot, boots made of leather are more likely to protect your feet.  leather boots won't feel as cool as trail runners, generally.

pay attention to the kind of socks you wear.  people often choose cotton for hot weather.  for shirts and shorts/trousers, that may make sense.  for socks, stick with a more resilient material that won't absorb as much moisture.  a relatively thin merino wool blend sock would probably be a good bet because they don't absorb much moisture and are sufficiently stretchy that they don't tend to bunch and cause blisters.  if it's really hot, consider changing to fresh socks midday - it makes a difference. 

10:28 p.m. on October 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Either mesh trail runners or mesh hiking shoes. They will be quick to dry if they get wet.

6:35 a.m. on October 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Thank you both so much for the advice, particularly the comment about breathable/goretex trainers, I thought they would be cooler! I don't expect any rainfall at this time of year, so I will hopefully avoid getting wet.


10:48 a.m. on October 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Not to focus on one specific brand but I have a pair of Merrell moabs non gortex and they have served me well. I did replace the stock insole with the Superfeet green insole.

1:03 p.m. on October 5, 2012 (EDT)
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For very high surface temperatures in dry weather - I've heard of people being paradoxically devoted to thin fabric boots with a thick sole.

For hot, humid weather with poisonous vipers - I'd recommend a tall boot with drainage holes to permit water to escape.

For hot, humid weather without the creepie crawlies, I'd echo rob with the Merrell Moab Ventilator low or mid.

Either way - welcome to Trailspace and please share some pictures of your adventure!

4:32 p.m. on October 5, 2012 (EDT)
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I would say a pair of low cut hikers would serve you well. you want something with an aggressive lugged sole and a sturdy footbed...stay away from running shoes. merrell and lowa are two brands to look at. you could also look at keen, although they seem to have a problem with lugs coming off their soles. you don't need goretex, so that should save you some money. have a good time!

June 22, 2018
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