The best walking shoes for backpacking

I have been doing a little research into the types of ‘suitable’ footwear for our world adventure. When packing for a worldwide trip its important to maximise on space and weight (otherwise your back will suffer for it later!).  Obviously I’m not talking Stiletto’s here before I get the ‘smart’ comments, but more practical attire!

With this in mind my main criteria was:

  1. Gortex (GTX) – essential
  2. Lightweight
  3. Comfortable
  4. Breathable lining – nobody likes sleeping in the same room as smelly boots!
  5. Looks good to the eye – I will be wearing them everyday!
  6. Able to cope with my wide feet

Last time I went travelling with a pair of Berghaus GTX Walking boots which have lasted me since 1999 and they still have life left in them.  They served me well while trekking in Chiang Mai Mountains, Blue Mountains Range and also across New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing. However, this time I’m looking for something more versatile. I need a shoe that can withstand a variety of terrains (we are looking at Nepal treks) but I’m hoping I can find something with flexibility for exercising. I really don’t want to take a walking shoe & a pair of trainers if I can help it.

Luckily, some kind soul has done all the hard work for me and researched the top women’s hiking shoes to death.  A very detailed and informative article.  They even compared the hiking boot vs the hiking shoe and in conclusion determined “Hiking shoes are often the best option for day hikes and backpacking trips. They are much lighter, breathable and less expensive than hiking boots while giving more support and traction than trail running shoes.”  That just about sums up my thoughts on the matter too!  Here is the link:  http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Hiking-Shoes-Womens-Reviews#bicreview.  Note, this is a US comparison site but these shoes are available to purchase in the UK too.

The shoe comes in a range of 4 colours, depending on the site you go to.  Personally I don’t want a lighter colour as they will turn black after a few outings!  But I liked the look of this one.  http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/salomon-womens-ellipse-2-gtx-shoe-b2212131?id_colour=1721.  I found a variety of prices (plus postage – bear in mind I live in the Isle of Man so pretty much EVERYTHING needs to be delivered):

  • Trekk Inn – £73.95 (£5.95 postage)
  • Cotswold Outdoor – £100 (free postage)
  • Amazon.co.uk (Evolution Sport) – £67.32 (£12.00 postage)

Quite a difference in price.  The only negative reviews relate to having to tie the laces in a double bow!?!  I think I could cope with that!

I’m in the process of ordering these and will give them a test run before I report back!

Marie xx

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