I will be travelling round SE Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia in the rainy season. The majority of my travelling will be done overland so there's gonna be a hell of a lotta walking involved!
Could someone please advise me on what boots would be best suited for both city conditions and Jungle Conditions?
I'm a bit stuck on what to choose from as there are so many different options!
On the rare occassions I go hiking here, this is what I wear:
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I have packed Karrimor walking shoes because they're light, easy to pack, great for walking and trekking and not bad looking for cities though not the most stylish pair of shoes. I've trekked with them around Tikal for days and found them fantastic. They're shoes rather than boots so you don't get ankle support but Karrimor does a version with higher ankles. I went for the shorter version just for weight and size. GO Outdoors in the UK usually sell the shorter versions for about £20 or so.
Elsewhere on Travelfish, you'll read that I've done a heap of walking, trekking & motorbike riding across SE Asia. You'll also see that I wear sturdy, leather sandals.
Some years ago, I spent many months trekking in jungle and paddy situations and wore above ankle stout leather boots with good rubber soles - never again.
Last April, I was trekking through rainforest in Laos wearing only my sandals.
About 2 years ago, I was trekking through Taman Negara, again only with my sandals (they were a different pair then).
My wife also only wears good quality, comfortable and sturdy leather sandals.
I'd suggest you rethink the reasons for boots. They are heavy to lug when not in use, they are cumbersum, and IMHO unnecessary.
I appreciate that you are in the UK, and I in Australia, so the range available to me may not be available in the UK.
In case you missed it, there was a long discussion on (plastic) sandals here on Travelfish.
I use a type similar to (but with a bit less top cover) these.
My wife wears sandals similar to (but again with a bit less top cover) these.
While we will not win any fashion contests, we are both comfortable with these sorts of sandals, and they have the added advantage of being OK for rugged bush walking and for citystreet travel.
Hope this helps.
"I'd suggest you rethink the reasons for boots. They are heavy to lug when not in use, they are cumbersum, and IMHO unnecessary."
Those are my three primary reasons to wear boots.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Interesting you should cite such offensive creatures in your defence for wearing boots.
Actually it's even more interesting that you even talk about wearing boots. Especially since you wrote:
"I am not interested in getting close to nature... I don't even like nature (at post#8 here)
"Now, why anyone wants to walk around a Thai jungle you've got me. Hot, humid, nasty insects, snake filled... I don't get the appeal (at post #9 here.
So, may I kindly suggest your jaundiced contribution is somewhat prejudiced.
suggest that as you are averse to
Aside from the weight and bulk (when you're not wearing them) the main drag of taking boots IMO are wet socks. They stink, they have to be washed all the time and your pack ends up sticking like a wet Labrador.
If you're trekking in Thailand, the biggest hassle are leeches which you can burn off with cigarettes (any brand will do) though I agree centipedes can be a hassle -- especially when they do bite you half way up your trouser leg.
Unless you're after some bone crunching trekking, a sturdy set of sandles get my vote.
I don't do much jungle trekking since I've retired, but I did recently climb the highest mountain in Mukdahan province. And I wore desert boots (lightweight, breath well). The Monks I was with wore flip flops - and they did have lousy footing. But real sandals would of course be different.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Hi, As well as the karrimor shoes I mentioned, I do most of my trekking in sandals. I've been a fan of what seems now to be the backpacker stereotypical sandal - tevas. They were designed for trekking and rafting along rivers. I agree with all the posts above and find them the best for tropical and Mediterranean climates as they dry so quickly and are light to carry around. Usually they are the only footwear I take with me. The only disadvantage for me is no angle support which can tell after a day's walking. I think that's just my age and a career as an archaeological surveyor in the Lake District and Peak District fells and moorlands which has taken its toll over 20 years.
The one advantage I found to having the Karrimor shoes in Tikal was protecting me against the ferocious mosquitoes there - though I could have opted for insect repellent sprayed socks with sandals. I would not recommend that look for places where you might be seen by others :) There was a tad more ankle support but not the same as having boots. By the end of the day my socks could run home and scare small children.
Ok. Note to Self. No socks that smell so bad they scare small children!
Frankly I couldn't give a monkeys uncle what people thought I looked like, as long as my tootsies are comfy that's the most important thing!
Thanks for the advice.
"Elsewhere, pundits here on Travelfish exclaim that it's so uncool to wear socks with sandals...."
VERY uncool. Not GQ at all. My wife would divorce me if I wore sandals with sox. In fact, she'd divorce me if I wore sandals.
"Frankly I couldn't give a monkeys uncle what people thought I looked like, as long as my tootsies are comfy that's the most important thing!"
Obviosly we travel different circles with different priorities. Dressing well is a priority for me. I don't want to hang a sign around my neck loudly proclaiming "dork". Sandals and sox will do that for you.
#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I have been reading your posts with great interest.The only thing that makes me hesitate to bring only my Teva's, are the stinging an biting critters in the jungle. I am used to do trekkings on them, so ankle support will not be a problem. I haven't heard/read any post on travellers falling prey to snakes or other poisonous animals.
I am thinking about taking just one pair of socks for the cold moments in the hills (and Bolaven Plateau) in november. I am not much of a style icon, so that aspect doesn't bother me.
So Sophie, what did you wear and how did it go?
#17 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
These are the boots I bought recently:
They have done really well for me in all conditions. I am planning a trip to Thailand next summer, so I will be following this post closely to see what other recommendations are out there.