I’ve made some questionable decisions when going on trips. As the years have gone by I’ve learned the hard way that shoe choice is definitely something that matters. Some of you may think, ‘Of course, that should have been obvious.’ And you wouldn’t be wrong in that thought, but I was naive and later, just foolish.
The first time I went on a solo trip I was extra budget conscious. For the trip I made investments in a new tent, camping gear, and some appropriate hiking clothes, but I decided that my old and tired running shoes would suffice. It was when I nearly slipped down a muddy trail at Bryce Canyon National Park that I thought perhaps I made a mistake.
After that trip I bought a pair of hiking shoes to be more prepared. Those shoes lasted a respectable length of time, though they still weren’t the best quality. Before my first trip to Yellowstone National Park I decided to buy a pair of hiking boots since there was a threat of snow and ice, I figured boots would be a better choice than the shoes and I didn’t want a repeat of my near fall the last time I hiked in snow. It was the first time I bought the right pair of shoes before a trip rather than after learning a hard lesson. I still use those hiking boots, so clearly that worked out for me.
Over this past summer I hiked part of the Narrows at Zion National Park and I wore a pair of hiking sandals over a pair of neoprene socks. I would 1000% recommend buying or renting neoprene socks for that hike, they were fantastic, the shoes I wore though…YIKES! They were okay for the first part of the hike while I was fighting with the current, but when I was struggling to stay on my feet while the river was pushing against the back of my knees, the shoes were not good, they kept threatening to slide off my feet despite my continual tightening of the straps.
Trust that, after years of hard lessons, I now have a pair of Columbia hiking boots that I love, a pair of Salomon trail-running shoes that are fantastic, and a pair of Keen hiking sandals that are adorable. I feel I’m all set with footwear. Anyone have any other suggestions?