Day Hike / Bushwalk Giving Back - Fundraising Hiking / Bushwalking Essentials Weekend Retreat

Bushwalking: Boots, shoes – or thongs?

Standard, August 17, 2015, samlcook, 0 Views 0 Comments

A question I get asked a lot by those who are coming on our Walk to Make a Difference, and on the Weekend Retreats is: Do I need shoes or boots specific for hiking?

The simple answer: No, not always

Take our Walk to Make a Difference for example. We’re walking along the Surf Coast Walk – most of it is hard compacted dirt, or there are also parts along the beach or bitumen. So – in this case, runners are just fine.

Or – our Weekend Retreats – along the Great Ocean Walk. Once again, we only walk for 1 or 2 days, along well maintained trails – runners would be fine for this.

There are certain things to note though – your runners must be a good fit for your feet (ie the level of support you need), and still be in good condition. Also, on certain parts of the bushwalking trails you may slip easier than if you were wearing proper hiking boots or trail shoes. Another thing – runners will not provide the ankle support that boots will, or if you have specific concerns with your feet it’s best to consult with a health care professional to discuss your particular needs.

For me – I like to mix it up, depending on what I’m doing. I love a good pair of trail shoes, as I like the non-slip sole (but they are lighter than boots, and still feel as comfy as runners), but as most of my hiking is along well compacted bushwalking trails in South West Victoria, I also do a lot of walking in my runners.  I have noticed recently thought, that on my longer walks (ie over 20km), my feet are getting tired before anything else.  I have recently read that boots can help with this, so it’s something I’m doing a bit more research on.  It should also be noted that I also always wear a good pair of hiking socks (I’ve found this is best to avoid blisters).

And…as a final note – if you’re interested in such things Google ‘Bushwalking in Thongs’ (only in Australia…) – there are so many more results than I thought there’d be! (OK so most of them cover why you shouldn’t bushwalk in thongs, but there are also some funny results!).


To find out more about what I’m doing with The Hunger Project Australia, and WHY, head to my fundraising page.

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