Putting your best foot forward on a trek is a lot easier in the right pair of boots. It’s hard to appreciate the beautiful scenery and enjoy the physical challenge when your feet are blistering up a storm. We’ve asked our five avid trekkers in the Back Track office to tell us about their most beloved trekking boots that are perfect for treks such as Kokoda, Everest Base Camp and Mount Kilimanjaro
Ray Baker, Director & Kokoda Trek Leader
What brand and style trekking boots do you wear? I wear the Scarpa Terra, a high cut, Goretex lined all leather boot.
How long have you had them for? I’ve had the Scarpa boots for 2 years, my previous pair lasted 3 years which included about 15 treks plus innumerable training walks.
How do you find the fit? The fit is perfect for my wide feet!
What do you like about them? Comfort, comfort, comfort and waterproofness. I keep the all leather Scarpas waterproofed and conditioned using Snowseal, a bee’s wax compound that soaks into the leather.
Are there any draw backs? No
Would you buy them again? Yes, I’ve bought the same model Scarpas for over 10 years and I’m into my 4th pair.
Clare Davissen, Tours Manager & Trek Leader
What brand and style trekking boots do you wear? SCARPA Kailash
How long have you had them for? Just bought a new pair of the same type I have had for 6 years.
How do you find the fit? I have very broad feet. Scarpa are not traditionally known for their width, however after trying on every pair in the shop and allowing for that extra space needed in a trekking boot, they were the most comfortable and have never given me a blister.
What do you like about them? Perfectly fitted so NO BLISTERS!
Are there any draw backs? They have changed slightly in the 6 years since I last bought a pair but still NO BLISTERS!
Would you buy them again? YES
If not, do you have other boots you’d buy? I love KEEN’s as well which are brilliant for wide feet. I just find the soles are not as sturdy, so they don’t last as long. They are cheaper though, so if you aren’t intending to be doing too many treks, they might be a great choice for those with the wider feet. I would however always recommend being expertly fitted and trying on many different pairs to ensure you find the right fit for your foot.
Kylie Gilbert, Finance, Administration & Nepal Trek Leader
What brand and style trekking boots do you wear? Keen Targhee II Women’s Mid Hiking Boots
How long have you had them for? 2 years 3 months
How do you find the fit? My wide feet fit perfectly and are very comfortable. I bought them last minute just before a 3-week BTA trek in Nepal in October 2016 (on Clare’s recommendation) and so I didn’t get time to wear them in but I had no problems with them at all. I definitely wouldn’t recommend buying a pair of boots and not wearing them in before a trek, but I didn’t have a choice and luckily, I had no problems with blisters or soreness.
What do you like about them? Comfortable, support the ankle, have only one hook at the top for your laces, waterproof, plenty of room for your toes.
Are there any draw backs? This is gross, but my feet get a bit smelly when I trek and the boots do seem to absorb the smell, which is a bit unfortunate. This wouldn’t stop me buying them again.
Would you buy them again? Yes, for sure.
If not, do you have other boots you’d buy? I wore Scarpas for 20 years (in my 20s/30s) and I do like them too so maybe I would give them a go next time.
Jim Drapes, Director & Kokoda Trek Leader
What brand and style trekking boot do you wear? Salomon lightweight
How long have you had them for? 2 years
How do you find the fit? The fit is great, and they’re true to size.
What do you like about them? My boots are extremely lightweight and waterproof, great for Kokoda especially.
Are there any draw backs? Depending on the style of trekking you are planning on doing, they may not be solid enough construction for carrying a heavy pack. But, if you’re intending on using a porter for most of the weight, you should be okay.
Would you buy them again? yes
If not, do you have other boots you’d buy? Any established, well-known brand from specialist outdoor shops, as long as fit is good.
Prue Barker, Kokoda Reservations & Avid Trekker
What brand and style trekking boots do you wear? Salomon Quest Prime GTX
How long have you had them for? 8 months
How do you find the fit? Mine are perfect for my long skinny feet. The sizing is pretty standard – I normally wear a size 9 shoe, but I buy a half size bigger for hiking boots so that I can fit my arch-support inserts in as well as having the option for 2 pairs of socks.
What do you like about them? Lightweight and flexible while still being very sturdy. Super comfortable – the first time I wore mine was for a (fast) 28km hike and there was no discomfort, despite not being worn-in. They also have flat laces, which are much easier to tighten and secure than round ones. Salomon also offers ‘proper’ colours for women’s boots. A lot of other brands have black & grey for men, but then only brown with pink or very girly colours for women – it has no bearing whatsoever on their function, but I don’t want to go hiking wearing Outdoor Barbie’s shoes!
Are there any draw backs? None that I’ve found so far. They held up well on a multi-day trek in the desert and did a good job keeping out the sand, which was nice. I trekked in the Annapurna region in a different pair of Salomons years ago and they were great also, so I’m not expecting to have any trouble with them!
Would you buy them again? Yes, for sure.
If not, do you have other boots you’d buy? I trekked the Inca Trail and Kokoda in Keen Targhee boots. They were great for the walk, and I would probably buy them again. I would say, however, that the reason I’m back in Salomons now is that my Keens delaminated (the sole came off) after less than a year of wear. To their credit, Keen’s after-sale service is very good, and they were prepared to replace my boots rather than repair them.