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Footwear for Backpacking!

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

If your feet ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy.


Our feet are such an important part of everything we do. It's amazing how one tiny little hotspot or blister can overshadow an entire weekend. With careful planning, your feet can be happy! Your shoe and sock selection for each adventure will be dependent on many things including weather, distance, pack weight and personal preference.

Never ever head out for a multi-day trip with shoes right out of the box! Allow yourself plenty of trial hikes in different shoe/sock combos to select the perfect combination that works for you.

Prepare for a longer backpack trip by doing an assortment of day hikes leading up to it. Hike in all sorts of conditions. Hike uphill/downhill, quickly/slowly, wet/dry, etc. You may find that you prefer a hiking boot/wool sock combo for longer alpine trips where you are carrying a heavier pack. You may enjoy a lightweight trail runner and a synthetic ankle sock combo during hotter weather and flatter terrain.

If you are planning to hike through a canyon with water such as Coyote Gulch, Death Hollow or others you will want to SERIOUSLY consider using a neoprene sock (Seal Skinz are a favorite!) with shoes for hiking in the water (hiking shoes that drain well or Chacos/water sandals). The combination of the neoprene sock and Chacos keeps your foot warm and keeps the water draining away from your feet. Otherwise your shoes or boots fill with water and you are sloshing around all day - not to mention carrying a lot of extra water weight around your feet!

Often, keeping a journal with weather/terrain/footwear choices can help you remember your successes! So, get those shoes out of the box and get testing!!

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